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Secure and Continuous Supply of Services

The capacity of a system to continue to provide the ecosystem services necessary for an acceptable level of human well-being now and into the future - includes quantity, quality and sustainability. This relates to the resilience of an ecosystem to ecological and anthropocentric shocks or stresses such as drought, floods, pests, nutrient loads, harvesting etc.


Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Well-being Category



How do ecosystem services contribute to this constituent of well-being?


A secure and continuous supply of ecosystem services is dependent on the resilience of an ecosystem to shocks and stresses such as drought.

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Natural pest control benefits humans in numerous ways, such as through reduced pesticide use and reducing production costs. This service can benefit primary producers by lowering input costs, reducing mortality to non-target organisms (e.g. insect predators which provide pest control services) and minimising the development of insecticide resistance. This can benefit consumers by keeping food costs lower, keeping food safe and maintaining food security. A reduction in pesticide use or other pest control techniques can benefit the environment by reducing harm or mortality to non-target organisms (e.g. other native species), in turn maintaining biodiversity.

In these days of material secularism, where human and ecological systems are under increasing pressure, where they are reaching their limits to growth and/or exploitation, and tipping points are becoming visible to the naked eye, human connection and re-connection to nature, to land, to sea, to our own sources of creativity is essential, to our very survival as a civilisation ... as a species.

In recent years we have been influenced by the growing interest in sustainability as a new focus for education (Henderson & Tilbury, 2004). Environmental education has been a powerful forerunner in this journey towards sustainability, and continues to function as a transformative form of pedagogy that promotes sustainable living (Sterling, 2001, 2003). Knowledge systems are important for learning from our mistakes and improving our adaptive capacity to change.

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Table 1:The relative magnitude (to other ecosystem services) each ecosystem service contributes to Secure and Continuous Supply of Services.

Ecosystem Service Category Ecosystem Service 0
Provisioning Services
Food products            
Water for Consumption            
Building and Fibre Resources            
Fuel Resources            
Genetic Resources for Cultivated Products            
Biochemical, medicinal and pharmaceutical resources            
Ornamental Resources            
Transport Infrastructure            
Regulating Services
Air Quality            
Habitable Climate            
Water Quality            
Arable Land            
Buffering Against Extremes            
Reduce Pests and Diseases            
Productive Soils            
Noise Abatement            
Cultural Services
Iconic Species            
Cultural Diversity            
Spiritual and Religious Values            
Knowledge Systems            
Aesthetic Values            
Effect on Social Interactions            
Sense of Place            
Iconic Landscapes            
Recreational Opportunities            
Therapeutic Landscapes