The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital

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Nature Publishing Group


The services of ecological systems and the natural capital stocks that produce them are critical to the functioning of the Earth''s life-support system. They contribute to human welfare, both directly and indirectly, and therefore represent part of the total economic value of the planet. We have estimated the current economic value of 17 ecosystem services for 16 biomes, based on published studies and a few original calculations. For the entire biosphere, the value (most of which is outside the market) is estimated to be in the range of US$16-54 trillion per year, with an average of US$33 trillion per year. Because of the nature of the uncertainties, this must be considered a minimum estimate. Global gross national product total is around US $18 trillion per year.


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Ecosystem, Economic analyses, Payments for environmental services, Environmental impacts, Environmental services, Modeling, Economic modeling and analysis, Economic impacts, PES, Life-support systems, Human welfare, Ecosystem functions, Natural capital stocks, Willingness to pay, Partial equilibrium model, Ecosystem


Nature 387(6630): 253-260