Essay, 2 pages (450 words)

Ecosystem services

Due Ecosystem Services Humankind derives most of its essential goods and services from the existing natural ecosystems. From the seafood eaten in restaurants to the fresh water and air taken in, all are products of the often free resources found in nature that supports the wellbeing of humans on the earth’s surface. Ecosystem services, therefore, refers to the processes by which the environment avails the resources exploited by human beings either for direct consumption (such as air and water) or for the production of goods and services used by man (Wilson 307). The preservation of biodiversity and the production of ecosystem goods largely depend on these services. In particular, ecosystems services not only help in regeneration of soil fertility, balancing of the impacts of extreme weather, cycling and movement of nutrients, detoxification and decomposition of wastes, shielding man from the harmful ultraviolet rays emanating from the sun, but also provide humans with a range of services that are often unrecognized, yet vital (Wilson 243-45).
While the importance of the fundamental life-support services provided by the ecosystem may seem obvious from the definition above, the nature and value of placed on these systems have largely been ignored by the human race until their loss highlights the ultimate danger to the living populations. Intuitively, the society undervalues the ecosystem services. Given the non-tradability of these services in economic markets, warning signals that would hitherto regulate their supply are non-existent. As such, a huge chunk of the human populations are neither conscious of the vital role of natural ecosystem services, nor attentive to the consequential effects of their actions to the ecosystem (Wilson 244). It is now more obvious that the mismatch between the immediate needs and long-term societal well-being driven by the modern scale of human enterprises aided by advanced technology is not only a threat to the natural biodiversity but touches on the very existence of the human race in years to come.
The large-scale alteration of natural ecosystems has informed a number of competing perspectives towards ecological restoration. Scientists contend that biodiversity is a product of the ecosystems services, and that the loss of biodiversity is an effectual indicator of changing service provision in an ecosystem. As such, ecological restoration should target ecosystem service provision and not particular species. On the flipside, economists are of the view that the traditionally hidden costs must be accounted for; and so the remedy lies in the introduction of price tags on the service-providing functions of the ecosystem (Wilson 304). Notwithstanding the above views, ethical perspective places the ultimate responsibility to the source; the restoration and conservation of ecosystem services begins with taking concrete within immediate surroundings such as gardens (Johansson 430).
Work cited
Johansson-Stenman, Olof. The Importance of Ethics in Environmental Economics with a Focus
on Existence Values. Environmental and Resource Economics 11 (1998): 429-442. Print.
Wilson, Edward. The Diversity of Life. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press/Harvard University
Press, 1992. Print.

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