The concept of ecosystem services has emerged in recent years as one of the most powerful guiding principles for ecology, biodiversity conservation and the management of natural resources. It provides the basis of assessing the multiple values and services that ecosystems can provide to humankind, including such diverse issues as carbon sequestration, flood control, crop pollination and aesthetic and cultural services. This introductory textbook sets out the key aspects of ecosystem services.
The book details the historical roots of ecosystem services in the second half of the twentieth century and through initiatives such as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. It shows how ecosystem goods and services can be categorised and valued in economic as well as non-monetary terms, while also highlighting some of the difficulties and limitations of valuation techniques. The author describes how themes such as systems thinking, social-ecological resilience and natural capital relate to ecosystem services, and how these can contribute to more sustainable and equitable development. The book assumes limited prior knowledge and is aimed at a wide interdisciplinary audience of students across the social, environmental and life sciences. It is illustrated by a wide range of international case studies and includes learning objectives and guidance for further reading.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to Ecosystem Services
2. Origins and Eveolution of the Concept and Practice of Ecosystem Services
3. Understanding Systems
4. Ethical Considerations
5. Valuing Ecosystem Services
6. International Initiatives to Embed Ecosystem Services
7. Putting Ecosystem Services into Practice
8. Regenerative Landscapes: Revising the Cycle
9. Ecosystem Services and the Pursuit of a Sustainable Future
Mark Everard is Associate Professor of Ecosystem Services at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), UK, and Director of Pundamilia Ltd. He has extensive practical experience in the development and implementation of the Ecosystem Approach and in Government advisory roles, including the UK National Ecosystem Assessment and Defra Natural Value Programme. He is the author of numerous books, particularly on the management of freshwater and other natural resources, and has worked on international development projects in South and East Africa, Sri Lanka, China, India and Nepal.
"Given the huge interest in ecosystem services and the difficulty of students and practitioners alike in keeping up with such a fast moving field, this book is a must. The writer brings all the authority of someone who has worked in this field as it has evolved and is able to communicate in incredibly accessible language and style his passion for the approach." - Professor Dave Raffaelli, University of York, UK
"This is an excellent introduction to a highly topical subject. It is structured ideally to accompany an undergraduate or postgraduate course and will also be of great value to professionals and interest to the general public." - Kathy H. Hodder, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Ecology, Bournemouth University, UK
"A great introductory text to the key issues behind the concept of ecosystem services; comprehensive but succinct, with plenty of relevant case studies." - Dan Van der Horst, Senior Lecturer in Environment and Society, University of Edinburgh, UK