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Science for Environment Policy In-Depth Report: Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity

To keep Europe’s ecosystems healthy, we need to protect biodiversity. How can the ecosystem service approach help? And how can we capture people’s more deeply held values beyond mere money? Watch the short film about the different tools in the ecosystem services toolbox: or read the In-Depth Report on Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity.

Ecosystems provide a multitude of benefits to humanity, from food, clean water and flood protection to cultural heritage and a sense of place, to name but a few. However, many of these benefits, known as ‘ecosystem services’, are under severe threat from man-made pressures. Decision makers need clear information on how biodiversity underpins these services, the demand for them, the capacity of ecosystems to provide them and the pressures impairing that capacity. In this In-Depth Report we explore four core facets of the ecosystem services concept: the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services; current techniques for mapping and assessing ecosystems and their services; valuation of ecosystem services and the importance of considering all ecosystem services and biodiversity as part of an interconnected system.