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i4n The Earthshot Prize 2023

Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity:
A Comprehensive Guide

Biodiversity provides us with many goods and services. Most resources coming from nature are easily recognised such as wood and food, but the full concept of ecosystem services is not so obvious.  
Ecosystem services are the various benefits that humans obtain from ecosystems. These services are essential for human well-being and are categorised into four main types:

Types of Ecosystem Services

Provisioning Services

The tangible products that ecosystems provide, such as food, water, and raw materials.

Regulating Services

Involve the control of natural processes and the regulation of environmental conditions. Examples include: climate regulation, water and air purification, disease control, and the pollination of crops.

Supporting Services

Necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services as they maintain basic ecological processes, such as nutrient cycling, soil formation, and photosynthesis.

Cultural Services

The non-material benefits that people obtain from the use of ecosystems, including recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual experiences. Cultural services encompass the enjoyment of natural landscapes, opportunities for tourism and recreation, and the positive impact on human well-being.

Importance of Recognizing Ecosystem Services

Recognising and understanding these ecosystem services is crucial for sustainable resource management and human well-being. They highlight the interconnectedness of nature and human societies, emphasising the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems to ensure the continued provision of these vital services. Businesses and policymakers increasingly consider ecosystem services in decision-making processes to promote sustainability and the responsible use of natural resources. 

Businesses and Biodiversity

Businesses that incorporate biodiversity considerations into their operations can secure long-term success. By ensuring the health and resilience of ecosystems and the services they provide, these businesses contribute to both environmental conservation and their own prosperity. The first step in this journey involves identifying your company’s impact on biodiversity.

Take the first step in identifying your company´s impact on biodiversity here.

Further Reading

Relevant I4N Ventures

Explore ventures such as Vatorex, BeeHelpful, Vlinder, Brainforest, and Macun, which are actively engaged in I4N.

Embrace the interconnectedness of ecosystems and human societies, and join the movement towards a sustainable future. Your commitment to biodiversity not only safeguards the environment but also ensures the prosperity of generations to come.

Coralie Delacoste