We are people and organizations who seek and supply knowledge about ecosystem services.
Ecosystem services are benefits that flow to humans from nature. Examples include the filtration of ultraviolet radiation, the decomposition of and detoxification of human wastes, the dissipation of energy from storms that can erode our infrastructure, the recycling of nutrients, the attenuation of noise pollution, and the rejuvenation of mental health.
Ecosystem services need special attention. People often fail to know – or follow – their limits of sustainable use. Markets fail to reveal their economic scarcity. People who voluntarily conserve and enhance them are rarely rewarded.
Ecosystem services are rarely exchanged in markets, so they are usually unpriced. They can remain unpriced as they are fully used up, even as their decline reduces economic productivity and impairs human health.
Fortunately, ecosystem services can be understood, and measured, and valued, so that we can better manage our impacts upon the ecosystems that sustain our wellbeing.