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

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Theservices of ecological systemsandthe natural capitalstocksthat producethemarecritical to the functioning ofthe 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 of17ecosystem 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 (1012) per year, with an average of US$33trillion peryear.Becauseofthe natureofthe uncertainties, thismustbeconsideredaminimumestimate. Global gross national product total is around US$18 trillion per year.




Costanza, R., D’Arge, R., De Groot, R., Farber, S., Grasso, M., Hannon, B., … Van Den Belt, M. (1997). The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature, 387(6630), 253–260.

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