Translator Disclaimer
1 December 2012 Ethical Considerations in On-Ground Applications of the Ecosystem Services Concept
Gary W. Luck, Kai M. A. Chan, Uta Eser, Erik Gómez-Baggethun, Bettina Matzdorf, Bryan Norton, Marion B. Potschin
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

The ecosystem services (ES) concept is one of the main avenues for conveying society's dependence on natural ecosystems. On-ground applications of the concept are now widespread and diverse and include its use as a communication tool, for policy guidance and priority setting, and for designing economic instruments for conservation. Each application raises ethical considerations beyond traditional controversies related to the monetary valuation of nature. We review ethical considerations across major on-ground applications and group them into the following categories: anthropocentric framing, economic metaphor, monetary valuation, commodification, sociocultural impact, changes in motivations, and equity implications. Different applications of the ES concept raise different suites of ethical issues, and we propose methods to address the issues most relevant to each application. We conclude that the ES concept should be considered as only one among various alternative approaches to valuing nature and that reliance on economic metaphors can exclude other motivations for protecting ecosystems.

© 2012 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Gary W. Luck, Kai M. A. Chan, Uta Eser, Erik Gómez-Baggethun, Bettina Matzdorf, Bryan Norton, and Marion B. Potschin "Ethical Considerations in On-Ground Applications of the Ecosystem Services Concept," BioScience 62(12), 1020-1029, (1 December 2012). https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2012.62.12.4
Published: 1 December 2012
JOURNAL ARTICLE
10 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

Share
SHARE
KEYWORDS
commodification
conservation policy
ecosystem management
environmental ethics
equity
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top