The Wetland Book pp 1349-1351 | Cite as

Cultural Services: The Basics

Reference work entry

Abstract

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment classified ecosystem services into four major categories: provisioning services, regulatory services, cultural services, and supporting services. Cultural services are defined as “. . .the nonmaterial benefits people obtain from ecosystems through spiritual enrichment, cognitive development, reflection, recreation, and aesthetic experiences”. Heterogeneous ecosystems influence the diversity of cultures, spiritual and religious values, knowledge systems (traditional and formal), educational values, inspiration, aesthetic values, social relations, sense of place, cultural heritage values, and recreation and ecotourism. There is also a degree of feedback from cultural uses into ecosystem structure and function than can, in turn influence the services provided by ecosystems. Spiritual and other cultural values are as important as other services, but have been significantly compromised by ecosystem degradation, recreation and ecotourism placing pressures on ecosystems but also serving as potentially influential levers for their conservation. It is important to balance management for and uses of cultural services provisioning, regulatory and supporting services to ensure overall resilience and contributions to human wellbeing, including their contribution to poverty alleviation.

Keywords

Nonmaterial benefits Spiritual Religious Cognitive development Reflection Recreation Tourism Aesthetics Knowledge systems Poverty Alleviation 

References

  1. Everard M, Kataria G. Recreational angling markets to advance the conservation of a reach of the Western Ramganga River. Aquat Conserv. 2011;21(1):101–8.  https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.1159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystems & human well-being: Synthesis. Washington DC: Island Press; 2005a.Google Scholar
  3. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystems and human well-being: Wetlands and water synthesis. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute; 2005b.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Water Security NetworkUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUK

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