New paper: Ecosystem services as a boundary object for sustainability

Amazing piece of work by my friend Dave Abson and colleagues, with important messages to ecological researchers.

Ideas for Sustainability

D.J. Abson, H. von Wehrden, S. Baumgärtner, J. Fischer, J. Hanspach, W. Härdtle, H. Heinrichs, A.M. Klein, D.J. Lang, P. Martens, D. Walmsley, Ecosystem services as a boundary object for sustainability, Ecological Economics, 103, p29-37.

The ecosystem services concept is one of those rare beasts in sustainability science a ‘path breaking idea’. Some 30 years after the term was coined it is increasingly influential in how scientists, and crucially decisionmakers, think about human-environment interactions and interdependencies. While it is pretty obvious that the ecosystem services concept is ‘breaking’ traditional ideas about conservation and humanity relations with nature, it is not clear to what ‘path’ the concept is taking us on. Motivated by this question I and a number of colleagues at the FuturES research centre at Leuphana sought to assess how the ecosystems services concept has developed. In particular, we were interested in whether the concept’s original…

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