Economics - specifically, monetary valuation - has been given a pivotal role in ecosystem conservation. This is a retrogressive step, undoing important sustainability principles and practices that should have been embedded in environmental policy and management action. The concept of ecosystem services is a useful framework for understanding the dependency of human society on its natural environment, but it needs to be part of a larger solution that recognizes the complexity of the socio-ecological system, and the issues of equity and justice that pertain to sustainable responses to global environmental change. There have been a few recent critical analyses of the ecosystem services concept and its global application that address these issues. This paper summarizes the perspectives and arguments made in those articles, and argues for more reflexive policy and research. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Cornell, S. (2011). The rise and rise of ecosystem services: Is “value” the best bridging concept between society and the natural world? In Procedia Environmental Sciences (Vol. 6, pp. 88–95). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proenv.2011.05.009