Does the ecosystem services concept cause the undesirable commodification of nature?

Yes…. and no. GREAT post by Joern Fischer.

Ideas for Sustainability

By Joern Fischer

In a recent paper in Conservation Letters, Turnhout et al. have implied that the ecosystem services concept appears to exacerbate a narrow, market-oriented view of nature, causing the commodification of nature – and running the risk of many important aspects of living with nature being overshadowed. They argue that we should perhaps refocus our thinking away from a narrow version of ecosystem services towards a more encompassing notion of “living with nature”. This, they argue, should be considered (for example) in the new IPBES platform.

Two of my close collaborators have now written a response to Turnhout et al. (see end of this blog entry). Dave Abson and Jan Hanspach argue that Turnhout et al., in a way, got it wrong: their definition of “ecosystem services” is a narrow one that indeed implies commodification, but much literature on ecosystem services is far broader, and very open to…

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