Ecosystem Services: What they are, why they are important and how do we value and manage them
Our health and wellbeing depends upon the services provided by ecosystems and their components: water, soil, nutrients and organisms. Ecosystem services are the processes by which the environment produces resources utilized by humans such as clean air, water, food and materials. Ecosystems services are important but often neglected part of the analysis. It’s not easy to estimate value/price of benefits drawn from nature. Agriculture cannot be managed in isolation from rest of the landscape. The more we appreciate the value of nature and benefits we draw from it, the more we will be able to manage the natural resources sustainably. There is an urgent need to understand the linkage between ecosystem management and human health, effects of producing biomass for biofuels and impact on ecosystem services and ecosystem resilience.