Ecosystem Services Connect Environmental Change to Human Health Outcomes
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Global environmental change, driven in large part by human activities, profoundly impacts the structure and functioning of Earth’s ecosystems (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). We are beginning to push beyond planetary boundaries (Steffan et al. 2015), and the consequences for human health remain largely unknown (Myers et al. 2013). Growing evidence suggests that ecological transformations can dramatically affect human health in ways that are both obvious and obscure (Myers and Patz 2009; Myers et al. 2013). The framework of ecosystem services, designed to evaluate the benefits that people derive from ecosystem products and processes, provides a compelling framework for integrating the many factors that influence the human health response to global change, as well as for integrating health impacts into broader analyses of the impacts of this change.
Information key to assembling the puzzle linking environmental change to human health is typically sealed within academic silos. The...
KeywordsEcosystem Service Mangrove Ecosystem Ecosystem Change Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Economic Valuation
This research, including salary for BRB, was supported by the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI ES2). KAB was supported by the UMN Institute on the Environment. A number of coauthors (AME, CDG, SSM, SAO, THR) are members of the Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages (HEAL) consortium. We are grateful to the staff of the Cape Eleuthera Institute for providing gracious meeting support. Laura Nieland assisted with graphic design.
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