Definition of ecosystem services

According to the definition of the  Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA, 2005), the ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment describes four categories of ecosystem services:

  • Life supporting services (such as the nutrient cycle, chlorophyll photosynthesis, soil formation and primary production);
  • Provisioning services (such as the production of food, drinking water, materials such as wood and combustibles);
  • Regulating services (such as climate regulation and regulation of the tides, hydrogeological order , purification of water, waste recycling, pollination and barrier for the diffusion of diseases);
  • Cultural values (among which aesthetical, spiritual, educational and recreational values).

Special reports

From the Multimedia section

  • air

    The polar bear will become extinct

  • life


  • ecosystems

    Forbidden Souvenirs