Sustainability is a key challenge for humanity in the 21st century. Ecosystem services-the benefits that people derive from nature and natural capital-is a concept often used to help explain human reliance on nature and frame the decisions we make in terms of the ongoing value of nature to human wellbeing. Yet ecosystem service science has not always lived up to the promise of its potential. Despite advances in the scientific literature, ecosystem service science has not yet answered some of the most critical questions posed by decision-makers in the realm of sustainability. Here, we explore the history of ecosystem service science, discuss advances in conceptualization and measurement, and point toward further work needed to improve the use of ecosystem service in decisions about sustainable development.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Grant information: EMB thanks the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for an EWR Steacie Fellowship that helped
EMB thanks the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for an EWR Steacie Fellowship that helped provide funding and time to work on this article.
© 2016 Bennett EM and Chaplin-Kramer R.
- Human impact
- Human wellbeing
- Sustainable development