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Environmental impacts of the use of ecosystem services: case study of birdwatching.

Kronenberg J - Environ Manage (2014)

Bottom Line: As with the use of products and services generated within an economy, the use of ecosystem services may lead to unintended environmental consequences throughout the 'ecosystem services supply chain.' This article puts forward a framework for analyzing environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services, indicating five categories of impact: (1) direct impacts (directly limiting the service's future availability); and four categories of indirect impacts, i.e., on broader ecosystem structures and processes, which can ultimately also affect the initial service: (2) impacts related to managing ecosystems to maximize the delivery of selected services (affecting ecosystems' capacity to provide other services); (3) impacts associated with accessing ecosystems to use their services (affecting other ecosystem components); (4) additional consumption of products, infrastructure or services required to use a selected ecosystem service, and their life-cycle environmental impacts; and (5) broader impacts on the society as a whole (environmental awareness of ecosystem service users and other stakeholders).To test the usefulness of this framework, the article uses the case study of birdwatching, which demonstrates all of the above categories of impacts.The article justifies the need for a broader consideration of environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of International Economics, University of Lodz, POW 3/5, 90-255, Lodz, Poland, kronenbe@uni.lodz.pl.

ABSTRACT
The main reason for promoting the concept of ecosystem services lies in its potential to contribute to environmental conservation. Highlighting the benefits derived from ecosystems fosters an understanding of humans' dependence on nature, as users of ecosystem services. However, the act of using ecosystem services may not be environmentally neutral. As with the use of products and services generated within an economy, the use of ecosystem services may lead to unintended environmental consequences throughout the 'ecosystem services supply chain.' This article puts forward a framework for analyzing environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services, indicating five categories of impact: (1) direct impacts (directly limiting the service's future availability); and four categories of indirect impacts, i.e., on broader ecosystem structures and processes, which can ultimately also affect the initial service: (2) impacts related to managing ecosystems to maximize the delivery of selected services (affecting ecosystems' capacity to provide other services); (3) impacts associated with accessing ecosystems to use their services (affecting other ecosystem components); (4) additional consumption of products, infrastructure or services required to use a selected ecosystem service, and their life-cycle environmental impacts; and (5) broader impacts on the society as a whole (environmental awareness of ecosystem service users and other stakeholders). To test the usefulness of this framework, the article uses the case study of birdwatching, which demonstrates all of the above categories of impacts. The article justifies the need for a broader consideration of environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services.

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Framework to assess environmental impacts of the use of ecosystem services
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Fig1: Framework to assess environmental impacts of the use of ecosystem services

Mentions: The use of ecosystem services entails direct and indirect environmental impacts, which can be associated not only with the actual use of an ecosystem service, but also with other activities that this use entails (Fig. 1). The underlying metaphor suggests that altogether these activities can be called an ‘ecosystem service supply chain,’ including everything that is necessary for a service to be generated and used, its actual use, and the subsequent effects on other potential uses, through relevant information flows. Ultimately, the use of ecosystem services is driven by human behavior, either at the individual or group level (communities, companies, etc.). The framework presented below is meant to be applicable to all of such cases, and its main objective is to highlight the broader context of the use of ecosystem services and its environmental implications.Fig. 1


Environmental impacts of the use of ecosystem services: case study of birdwatching.

Kronenberg J - Environ Manage (2014)

Framework to assess environmental impacts of the use of ecosystem services
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4129236&req=5

Fig1: Framework to assess environmental impacts of the use of ecosystem services
Mentions: The use of ecosystem services entails direct and indirect environmental impacts, which can be associated not only with the actual use of an ecosystem service, but also with other activities that this use entails (Fig. 1). The underlying metaphor suggests that altogether these activities can be called an ‘ecosystem service supply chain,’ including everything that is necessary for a service to be generated and used, its actual use, and the subsequent effects on other potential uses, through relevant information flows. Ultimately, the use of ecosystem services is driven by human behavior, either at the individual or group level (communities, companies, etc.). The framework presented below is meant to be applicable to all of such cases, and its main objective is to highlight the broader context of the use of ecosystem services and its environmental implications.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: As with the use of products and services generated within an economy, the use of ecosystem services may lead to unintended environmental consequences throughout the 'ecosystem services supply chain.' This article puts forward a framework for analyzing environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services, indicating five categories of impact: (1) direct impacts (directly limiting the service's future availability); and four categories of indirect impacts, i.e., on broader ecosystem structures and processes, which can ultimately also affect the initial service: (2) impacts related to managing ecosystems to maximize the delivery of selected services (affecting ecosystems' capacity to provide other services); (3) impacts associated with accessing ecosystems to use their services (affecting other ecosystem components); (4) additional consumption of products, infrastructure or services required to use a selected ecosystem service, and their life-cycle environmental impacts; and (5) broader impacts on the society as a whole (environmental awareness of ecosystem service users and other stakeholders).To test the usefulness of this framework, the article uses the case study of birdwatching, which demonstrates all of the above categories of impacts.The article justifies the need for a broader consideration of environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of International Economics, University of Lodz, POW 3/5, 90-255, Lodz, Poland, kronenbe@uni.lodz.pl.

ABSTRACT
The main reason for promoting the concept of ecosystem services lies in its potential to contribute to environmental conservation. Highlighting the benefits derived from ecosystems fosters an understanding of humans' dependence on nature, as users of ecosystem services. However, the act of using ecosystem services may not be environmentally neutral. As with the use of products and services generated within an economy, the use of ecosystem services may lead to unintended environmental consequences throughout the 'ecosystem services supply chain.' This article puts forward a framework for analyzing environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services, indicating five categories of impact: (1) direct impacts (directly limiting the service's future availability); and four categories of indirect impacts, i.e., on broader ecosystem structures and processes, which can ultimately also affect the initial service: (2) impacts related to managing ecosystems to maximize the delivery of selected services (affecting ecosystems' capacity to provide other services); (3) impacts associated with accessing ecosystems to use their services (affecting other ecosystem components); (4) additional consumption of products, infrastructure or services required to use a selected ecosystem service, and their life-cycle environmental impacts; and (5) broader impacts on the society as a whole (environmental awareness of ecosystem service users and other stakeholders). To test the usefulness of this framework, the article uses the case study of birdwatching, which demonstrates all of the above categories of impacts. The article justifies the need for a broader consideration of environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus