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Ecosystem Services in the Mediterranean Sea: The Need for an Economic and Business Oriented Approach

June 10, 2013

The relationship of Mediterranean people with the sea still remains close after 4000 long years of history. Different empires and a large number of human generations have been using its environment in a granted way. All these uses have compromised the ability of the sea to operate correctly and put in danger some of its observed process, its structural units, and their functions and with them, the benefits that people get as ecosystem goods and services. Establishing connections between ecosystem change and people’s benefit can lead to develop much more proactive approaches for conservation. The ecosystem service concept can be also useful at that point because it emphasizes the real notion of both protecting nature and benefiting man at the same time. Understanding of provision of ecosystem services (quantification), understanding of the benefits to human well-being from ecosystem services (valuation), and creating incentives for the sustainable provision of such ecosystem services (policies, good governance, alliances,…) should be recognized as a precondition for a sustainable future of our seas and coasts. In this way Innovative schemes for linking public and private efforts to protect ecosystems by ensuring the provision of ecosystem services need to be raised because whoever benefits from those services should have a responsibility in its proper care. Ecosystems provide many critical life support functions and benefits for human wellbeing and it is time to find the best way to ensure its good environmental status.

 Sardá R, 2013, Ecosystem Services in the Mediterranean Sea: The Need for an Economic and Business Oriented  Approach, Mediterranean Sea, Chapter 1, 1-34, Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Chapter.

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