Deakin University
Browse

File(s) under permanent embargo

Linking future ecosystem services and future human well-being

journal contribution
posted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by C Butler, W Olouch-Kosura
Ecosystem services are necessary, yet not sufficient for human well-being (however defined). Insufficient access to the ecosystem provisioning service of food is a particularly important factor in the loss of human well-being, but all ecosystem services contribute in some way to well-being. Although perhaps long obvious to ecologists, the links between ecosystems and aspects of human well-being, including health, have been less well understood among the social science community. This situation may now be starting to change, thanks in part to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA). Causality between ecosystem services and well-being is bidirectional; it is increasingly clear that functioning societies can protect or enhance ecosystem services, and accordingly, that societies with impaired well-being (best documented in the case of chronic diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS) can also experience a related decline in ecosystem services.

The future state of human well-being and of ecosystem services is more than the co-evolution of these two fundamental elements. Human well-being also depends, critically, upon the human institutions that govern relationships between human individuals and groups, and also between humans and ecosystem services.

The scenarios working group of the MA found that human well-being is highest in the Global Orchestration scenario, which assumes the fastest evolution of beneficial institutions, and is lowest in the Order from Strength scenario. Human well-being was found to be intermediate in the other two scenarios (Adapting Mosaic and Techno-Garden) even though these scenarios share a much greater recognition of the importance of ecosystem services to human well-being.

History

Journal

Ecology and society

Volume

11

Issue

1

Pagination

1 - 16

Publisher

Resilience Alliance

Location

Ottawa, Ont.

ISSN

1708-3087

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2006, the authors

Usage metrics

    Research Publications

    Categories

    No categories selected

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC