Posts Tagged ‘ecosystem services’

How wolves change rivers

February 17, 2014

Mary Bourne highlighted this amazing short film.  We are only just beginning to understand the complexity of interactions between different living things in any system.  Wolves are not just top predators, it’s not just survival of the fittest, systems are not simple cause and effect, physics is not the correct metaphor.

Natural Capital

April 8, 2013

Does the (natural) world exist to provide ‘services’ for human beings?  Should we attempt to justify the importance of bees or trees or rivers or mountains or bacillus acidophilus in terms of an ecosystems services analysis, i.e. what services they provide to us?

Alternatively should we analyse what services we provide to ecosystems?  This question was raised by Shai Zakai recently during a discussion about ecosystem services.  It seems to focus precisely the problem with the ecosystems services approach, which is that it leaves us as the beneficiary of the services, limiting our responsibility to those we can comprehend.

For some useful background on this subject see the Arts and Environment network at CIWEM resource on Natural Capital, and in particular their introductory document From Microbes to Mountains.


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