How Have Ecosystem Changes Affected Humans

by daniel_leneveu on March 13, 2018 - 10:53pm

Human well-being depends notably on material welfare, health, good social relations, security, and freedom. All of these are affected by changes in ecosystem services, but also by the supply and quality of, for example, social capital and technology. In the article it explains, when the supply of ecosystem services exceeds the demand, an increase in supply tends to enhance human well-being only marginally. In contrast, when the service is in short supply, a small decrease can substantially reduce well-being. Humans are fully dependent on Earth’s ecosystem and the services that they provide, such as food, clean water, disease regulation, climate regulation, spiritual fulfillment, and aesthetic enjoyment. He further explains that the relationship between ecosystem services and human well-being is mediated by access to manufactured, human, and social capital. Human well-being depends on ecosystem services but also on the supply and quality of social capital, technology, and institutions. 

I would have to agree with this article due to the fact that these factors mediate the relationship between ecosystem services and human well-being in ways that remain contested and incompletely understood. When an ecosystem service is abundant relative to the demand, a marginal increase in ecosystem services generally contributes only slightly to human well-being. 

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