The value of ecosystem services
Through its ecosystems, planet earth provides mankind with resources such as food, climate regulation, fresh water and clean air. Without these resources, which we call ecosystem services, life on earth is not possible. Currently, we are using per annum 1.5 times the amount of ecosystem services which the planet can provide us with sustainably. As a result of this 'overuse', the capacity of the earth's ecosystems to provide these crucial services is declining. At the same time the demand is increasing because of global population growth and increasing wealth in emerging economies. Without wanting to draw a doom scenario, it is not that difficult to predict that continuing the current global overuse and degradation of ecosystems will result in serious threats to mankind and its ability to live on the planet. Sustainable ecosystem management
In this article, which is the first in a series, we will not focus on the need for change or on the threats we are facing. Instead we will briefly present the conditions for a new sustainable framework for ecosystem management. In following articles we will address the conditions in more detail, discuss barriers, describe the necessary paradigm shift, explore issues of implementation, and present ideas of several experts. The aim is to eventually come to a well balanced framework for sustainable ecosystem management, which can be summarized as: An ethical business model for sustainable ecosystem management, which includes financial, economic and social benefits for all stakeholders. Nine conditions
The first condition for a new framework (which is sustainable, lasting and financially strong) is to create continuity and permanence in ecosystem management. Currently, ecosystem conservation depends largely on donations. The nature of donations is that they are one time only (or incidental). However, ecosystem management needs much more...