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Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology ›› 1999, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (5): 635-640.

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Ecosystem services and their economic valuation

Ouyang Zhiyun, Wang Rusong, Zhao Jingzhu   

  1. Research Center for Eco Environmental Sciences, Academia Sinica, Beijing 100080
  • Received:1999-01-20 Revised:1999-05-07 Online:1999-09-25 Published:1999-09-25

Abstract: Ecosystem services imply the natural environmental conditions and their effectiveness formed and sustained by ecosystems and ecological processes, on which, human life relies for existence. They not only supply human with the production of ecosystem goods, such as food, forage, timber, fuel, natural fiber and pharmaceuticals, but also perform fundamental life support services, which include the purification of air and water, detoxification and decomposition of wastes, regulation of climate, regeneration of soil fertility, production and maintenance of biodiversity, and mitigation of floods, droughts, and wind and water erosions. It is recognized that ecosystem services are essential to civilization. In recent years, people pay more and more attentions on the research of ecosystem services, and ecologists and economists discuss in succession the connotations and the valuation methods of ecosystem services, which have become the frontier's topics in ecology and ecological economics. In this paper, the research advances and tendencies in ecosystem services, their economic valuation and their relations to sustainable development are literaturally surveyed and discussed.

Key words: Ecosystem services, Economic valuation, Sustainable development