Valuation of ecosystem services and strategic environmental assessment: lessons from influential cases

The concept of ecosystem services has received significant attention since the appearance of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment(MA). Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. The MA has subdivided ecosystem services into four categories: provisioning such as the production of food and water; regulating, such as the control of climate and disease; supporting, such as nutrient cycles and crop pollination; and cultural, such as spiritual and recreational benefits. Although not described as such by the MA, other categories have been recognised in scientific literature such as