Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Ecosystem Services and Sustainable Development

  • Petra SchneiderEmail author
  • Anna Belousova
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_423


The paper aims on the characterization of the role of ecosystem services (ES) in the frame of sustainable development. ES are services produced by ecosystems through the function of the compartments of the respective ecosystem that provide essential benefits to human (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Ecosystems and human well-being: synthesis. Island Press, Washington, DC, ISBN 1-59726-040-1, 2005). They include purification of drinking water and air, climate regulation, pest and disease control, pollination, and other mechanisms of supporting food production, medicinal resources, flood regulation, and the recreational value. The paper presents the current status on ES assessment frameworks and their classification as well as typology and provides insights into the intrinsic value and the approaches for economic valorisation of ES. Sustainable development is a driving force for the effectiveness of ES which aims particularly also to defragmentation of environment as well as social and economic aspects. Nature conservation provides lessons on reintegration. These strategies go beyond conventional spatial and conservation planning as the focus is a holistic reintegration. In terms of ES, the lessons to be learned lead to nature-based planning solutions, for instance, for climate change adaptation or flood protection. But the role of ES goes much beyond this, having in view also the future role of cultural ecosystem services.

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The current contribution was prepared in the context of the project “Water Management and Climate Change in the Focus of International Master Programs WATERMAS” funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union. In this regard, this manuscript reflects only the views of the authors; as such, the European Union cannot be held responsible for these views or any future use of them.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Water, Environment, Civil Engineering and SafetyUniversity of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-StendalMagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.C&E Consulting und Engineering GmbHChemnitzGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Markus Will
  • Isabel Novo-Corti
    • 1
  • Bernd Delakowitz
    • 2
  1. 1.University of A Coruna Constantin Brancusi UniversityA CoruñaTargu-JiuRomania
  2. 2.University of Applied Sciences Zittau-GörlitzZittau-GörlitzGermany