Three concepts are almost completely foreign to people who are not ecologists: (1) natural ecosystems provide services on which our economic, social, cultural, and political systems depend; (2) when these processes are altered our quality of life declines; and (3) when the processes fail life becomes very difficult or impossible. As a result of this ignorance, conservation is seen by many as a minor amenity benefiting a small cadre of birdwatchers or backpackers that stands in the way of "progress" that benefits all.Statements (1), (2) and (3) are false or uninteresting, although a version of the basic idea - a reduced supply of some ecosystem functions is bad for some of us - is true and interesting. Perhaps because I am ignorant, I see much of conservation as an "amenity benefiting a small cadre of birdwatchers or backpackers," although, perhaps because I am a birdwatcher and a backpacker, I would not call it "minor."
February 12, 2007
Advocacy for ecosystem services
In defending policy advocacy by conservation biologists, Peter F. Brussard and John C. Tull write (in Conservation Biology):