Ecosystem services and valuing the environment

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without trees we would have no air to breathe…

Woodland Matters

What’s the problem, who pays – and what about the rest of the natural world?

What’s the problem?

Ecosystem services’ and ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’ have gained in prominence in recent years. The UN ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity’ (TEEB) and the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA) reports have highlighted the importance of the natural environment to the economy.

Image: www.countdown2010.net Ecosystem services are the goods and services which arise from the natural environment. Whilst the value of some ecosystem services can be seen through market transactions, such as for timber or wood for fuel, many are non-market ‘common pool resources’ or ‘public goods’ – such as regulation of the climate, maintaining water quality, mitigating flooding and biodiversity.

In these cases the lack of clear, or any, property rights means they are either over-exploited or undersupplied. Where existing natural resources are…

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About plewsgardendesign

A garden design partnership based in Beckenham; we offer design only and design & build; planting designs for borders and whole gardens; garden advice & horticultural consultancy; garden lessons from a qualified garden teacher; tree advice and works; seasonal & regular maintenance packages - especially useful for lettings agents and property management companies

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