BElgium Ecosystem Services : a new vision for society-nature interactions : final report
Earth and related Environmental sciences
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT POLICY
Brussels : Belgian Science Policy, 2012
MetadataShow full item record
Natural and semi-natural ecosystems and landscapes provide benefits to human society, which are of great ecological, socio-cultural and economic value (e.g. Costanza et al., 1997; de Groot et al., 2002). These benefits consist of a mix of goods and services, both private and public, provided by multi-functional landscapes, which, therefore, are sometimes referred to as our “natural capital”. Ecosystem services are distinct from ecosystem functions, because there is human demand for these natural assets. Costanza et al. (1997) raised awareness on this by calculating the total contribution of ecosystem services to the global economy, which amounts up to ca. 33,000 billion US$ and is at least of the same order of magnitude of the entire global GDP (at 35,000 billion US$). Although these estimates were very coarse and caused some controversy, the insights from this publication stimulated a lot of research on this concept.