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Policy Brief: Nordic Ecosystem Services

Examples, Applications and Knowledge Gaps

image of Policy Brief: Nordic Ecosystem Services

Nature provides us with a multitude of goods like food and fiber, drinking water, protection against floods and storms, carbon storage and recreational services like swimming and bird watching. Our welfare and well-being depend on these goods and services – often called ecosystem services, defined as “the benefit people directly and indirectly obtain from nature”. We often distinguish between four categories of ecosystem services; supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services. This report aims to sum up and show some examples of the results of the ecosystem services projects carried out for NCM. It illustrates which ecosystem services we receive from Nordic nature and the importance of these. It also shows examples of how the ecosystem services approach has been and can be used in management of nature in the Nordic countries, and to point out some knowledge gaps.

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Brief Summary

Nature provides us with a multitude of goods like food and fiber, drinking water, medicines, protection against floods and storms, carbon storage and recreational services like swimming and bird watching. Our welfare and well-being depend on these goods and services – often called ecosystem services. However, many of these goods and services are not traded in markets and hence have no market price. The welfare cost to people and society that results from degradation of these goods and services is therefore not reflected in our commonly used accounting systems, at least not in the short term.

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