Ecosystems are multifunctional communities of living organisms interacting with each other and their environment.
Ecosystems provide a series of services for human well-being (ecosystem services) either directly (as food and fibre) or indirectly by providing clean air and water.
Biodiversity plays a key role in the functioning of ecosystems and their ability to provide ecosystem services. Biodiversity is highly threatened by human activities and continues to be lost.
The value of biodiversity and benefits from ecosystem services reach far beyond that which can be measured in financial terms. Many of interdependencies between biodiversity, ecosystems structures, functions and processes and benefits to humans are not yet fully understood or appreciated.
By assessing and valuing the known benefits of ecosystem services we can demonstrate how the loss of biodiversity affects our economy, society and future development opportunities and how the cost of conserving biodiversity and healthy ecosystems often outweighs the costs of neglect and restoration.
In June 2015 NPWS commissioned a short project for a National Ecosystem and Ecosystem Services map for a suite of prioritised services based on available data.
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