The challenges of incorporating cultural ecosystem services into environmental assessment.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The ecosystem services concept is used to make explicit the diverse benefits ecosystems provide to people, with the goal of improving assessment and, ultimately, decision-making. Alongside material benefits such as natural resources (e.g., clean water, timber), this concept includes-through the 'cultural' category of ecosystem services-diverse non-material benefits that people obtain through interactions with ecosystems (e.g., spiritual inspiration, cultural identity, recreation). Despite the longstanding focus of ecosystem services research on measurement, most cultural ecosystem services have defined measurement and inclusion alongside other more 'material' services. This gap in measurement of cultural ecosystem services is a product of several perceived problems, some of which are not real problems and some of which can be mitigated or even solved without undue difficulty. Because of the fractured nature of the literature, these problems continue to plague the discussion of cultural services. In this paper we discuss several such problems, which although they have been addressed singly, have not been brought together in a single discussion. There is a need for a single, accessible treatment of the importance and feasibility of integrating cultural ecosystem services alongside others.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Satz, D; Gould, RK; Chan, KMA; Guerry, A; Norton, B; Satterfield, T; Halpern, BS; Levine, J; Woodside, U; Hannahs, N; Basurto, X; Klain, S

Published Date

  • October 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 42 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 675 - 684

PubMed ID

  • 23436145

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3758817

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1654-7209

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0044-7447

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s13280-013-0386-6


  • eng