Ecosystems provide a multitude of benefits to humanity, from food, clean water and flood protection to cultural heritage and a sense of place, to name but a few. However, many of these benefits, known as ‘ecosystem services’, are under severe threat from man-made pressures. Decision makers need clear information on how biodiversity underpins these services, the demand for them, the capacity of ecosystems to provide them and the pressures impairing that capacity. In this report we explore four core facets of the ecosystem services concept: the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services; current techniques for mapping and assessing ecosystems and their services; valuation of ecosystem services and the importance of considering all ecosystem services and biodiversity as part of an interconnected system.
Science for Environment Policy (2015) Ecosystem Services and the Environment. In-depth Report 11 produced for the European Commission, DG Environment by the Science Communication Unit, UWE, Bristol. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/science-environment-policy