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Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem services are broadly defined as the tangible benefits we all receive from nature.  These benefits can range from food, fresh water, flood control, climate management, tourism, and even spirituality.  Though these benefits have long been recognized as critical to our way of life, we have never truly assigned a value to them, instead writing them off as “externalities of economics.”

Recently, though, a study was released that monetized these ecosystem services.  The Economics of Ecosystem Biodiversity (TEEB) study provided a cost-benefit analysis of the benefits we receive from nature and the consequences our increasing rate of development worldwide is having on those services.

To read more, check out The New York Times’ coverage by clicking here.

Photo courtesy of Hogs555

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