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Unformatted text preview: BIODIVERSITY AND AGRICULTURE Ecosystem Services for Human Well-Being Healthy ecosystems provide services that are the foundation for human well-being including health. Ecosystem services are the benefi ts people obtain from ecosystems: provisioning services (also known as goods) such as food and water; regulating services such as fl ood, pest, and disease control; cultural services such as spiritual and recreational benefi ts; and supporting services, such as nutrient cycling, that maintain the conditions for life on Earth. Biodiversity underpins ecosystem functioning. Figure 1 taken from Global Biodiversity Outlook 2 demonstrates the link between ecosystem services and human well-being and drivers of change. 1 Th e diff erent levels (genes, species, ecosystems) and aspects of biodiversity directly and indirectly contribute to ecosystem goods and services, which not only deliver the basic materials needed for survival but also underlie other aspects of a good life: health, security, good social relations, and freedom of choice. Humans, through social and economic activities and environmental management, create indirect and direct drivers of change that can aff ect, positively and negatively, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Th e Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, completed in 2005 by more than 1360 scientists working in 95 countries, exam- ined the state of 24 services. Th e assessment concluded that 15 of the 24 services are in decline, including the provision of fresh water, marine fi sheries production, the number and quality of places of spiritual and religious value, the ability...
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This note was uploaded on 07/19/2011 for the course EVS 101 taught by Professor Varsolosunio during the Winter '10 term at American Intl. University.
- Winter '10