The next step is to place ecosystem services in the centre of decision-making and environmental policies.
Ecosystem or environmental services are those services resulting from ecosystem function which are of utility to society, promoting wellbeing. Examples are the production of clean water, soil formation, climate regulation by forests, pollination, etc. Though many of these services go unnoticed, they must be conserved because they support human health, economy, and quality of life. When they are not adequately preserved their degradation is accompanied by serious negative affects for human wellbeing.
For this reason, ecosystem services are increasingly being moved to the center of national and European policies, and used as indicators of the quality of society's interaction with the environment. The next step is to place ecosystem services in the centre of decision-making and environmental policies. Once this is done we will have the tools to identify what management options can help mitigate the effects of global change, optimize the benefits, and avoid costs and potential risks to ecosystems and societies.
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