Human Health as an Ecosystem Service: A Conceptual Framework
To live in good health and, in many ways, to live at all, people need a wide array of life-support benefits that derive from ecosystems. Collectively these are called ecosystem services, a term referring to the conditions and processes through which ecosystems, and the species that make them up, sustain and fulfill human life (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 1981; Daily 1997; Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). These processes underpin the production of goods (such as seafood and timber), life-support functions (water purification and flood control), and life-fulfilling conditions (beauty and inspiration), as well as the preservation of options (such as genetic diversity for future use).
KeywordsEcosystem Service Natural Hazard West Nile Virus Mangrove Forest Water Treatment Plant
Much of the content of this chapter was discussed in a workshop held at Stanford University in December, 2008. During this workshop, the authors received very constructive input from K. Arkema, B. Brosi, J. Davis, P Ehrlich, D. Ennaanay, R. Gould, A. Luers, H. Mooney, and G. Schoolnik.
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