Should we only look at plants for their medicinal benefits? Or put a price on the migration of butterflies?
Many say not. We should be driven to protect wildlife because it exists and is increasingly threatened by human actions.
But realistically, this year’s IPBES report highlights that appreciating and understanding the role of ecosystem services is how many people will be inspired to take environmental action.
It’s important to not only value nature for the sake of nature, but also to appreciate the economic, social and cultural benefits that the natural world provides.
“This is quite controversial among the environmentalists, the extent to which we talk about the economic contribution of intact natural systems, compared with their beauty and their intrinsic worth.
For me, it’s not a choice. It’s both. These systems are incredibly important from the point of view they should be kept because they’re beautiful and interesting and unique, but they’re also underpinning global food, water and energy security.”
– Tony Juniper, speaking in conversation with Cool Earth Director Matthew Owen.
From the pollination of our food crops to essential natural medicines and renewable energy sources, there are many services that the natural world provides society.