UBC Graduate Research

Conservation of Ecosystem Services : (Annotated bibliography) Echeverri Ochoa, Alejandra; Chan, Kai Ming Adam, 1975-


As the processes by which nature renders benefits for people, ecosystem services are fundamental to healthy and thriving human life, and include climate regulation, flood mitigation, and clean water provision. At the turn of the 21st century, the “ecosystem services” term was coined to help the biological conservation movement broaden beyond its traditional reliance upon the intrinsic values of nature, and thus emerged a vibrant and burgeoning field of research and practice on the ecological provision of such services, their economic valuation, and management. The concept has become central to the quantification and communication of the consequences of environmental management generally. Assessments of legal frameworks and regulations have revealed the ways in which existing laws and policies protect some ecosystem services but do so in a patchy and incomplete manner. Accordingly, much attention has been focused on the development of new institutions for ecosystem services conservation, particularly incentive programs like payments for ecosystem services (PES). The ethical considerations of the concept and its application have been a constant source of passionate debate, including concerns associated with the underlying anthropocentric utilitarian framing, the appropriateness of a production metaphor for ecosystems, and the valuation and commodification of nature. Recently, a diverse swath of social scientists has contributed crucial insights regarding the cultural context for ecosystem services and the appropriate representation of the nonmaterial (or “extra­material”) values associated with nature. Perhaps the recent more inclusive engagement with values could enable ecosystem services to attain a long­sought normalization of conservation.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International