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Constituents of Well-being

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Social and Economic Freedom

The ability of society and the individual to meet their physical and psychological desires, extending beyond those of simply existing.


Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Well-being Category

Freedom of Choice and Action


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


Having the freedom of time and choice of employment and recreational activities is an important component of well-being.

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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.

The recreational opportunity concept helps us understand recreation diversity and is often used in outdoor recreation research, policy, planning and management. The region’s lifestyle, culture and economy are shaped, in part, by how and where we engage with the landscape through outdoor recreation. The importance of this service is evident in many recreational and tourism markets.


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Table 1:The relative magnitude (to other ecosystem services) each ecosystem service contributes to Social and Economic Freedom.

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