Many examples illustrate that taking the soft path

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Unformatted text preview: epicted here, other factors—including other environmental factors as well as economic, social, technological, and cultural factors—influence human well-being, and ecosystems are in turn affected by changes in human well-being. From the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005. In the field of ecological economics, ecosystems are considered capital assets because they provide services such as clean water. Many examples illustrate that taking the soft path and relying on nature to provide ecosystem services is cost effective and preserves the beauty of nature. Table 1.5 lists some of the ecosystem services provided by nature. According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005), a four-year research effort by 1,360 of the world's leading scientists commissioned to measure the actual value of natural resources to humans and the world, nature provides roughly $33 trillion worth of ecosystem services each year. The Assessment notes that "Ecosystem services, particularly food production, timber and fisheries, are important for employment and economic activity. Intensive use of ecosystems often produc...
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