Tuesday, July 27, 2010

US national atlas of eocsystem services

" The categories of ecosystem services to be included in the Atlas are:

  • Clean water for drinking
  • Clean water for recreation and aquatic habitat
  • Adequate water supply
  • Food, fuel and fiber
  • Recreation, cultural and aesthetic amenities
  • Climate regulation
  • Protection from hazardous weather
  • Habitat and the maintenance of biodiversity
  • Clean air
The Atlas will provide users with a visual method for interpreting the benefits of nature (ecosystem services) and understanding how they can be conserved and enhanced for a sustainable future. The maps will provide users with an ability to assess choices in a spatially explicit context. Where possible, the Atlas will identify the beneficiaries of services who may reside locally, downstream, or in an area remote from the production site of the services.

The data will help guide newly formulated methods for valuation of, and payment for, ecosystem services. The data presented in the Atlas can also help to guide where best to preserve or restore ecosystems. In some cases, this may be the restoration of natural systems or it could also be relevant constructed ecosystems, such as wetlands (link). "

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