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We focus on large, charismatic animals at the expense of these crucial 'lowly creatures'.
It's time for governments to think long-term about the kind of places they want to create.
Fish caught just outside the Marine Protected Area (MPA) area in Tikina Wai, Fiji.
© Brent Stirton / Getty Images
Melanesia's oceans are worth at least US$5.4 billion, but are under increasing threat.
Clean water and access to food are two of the most priceless ecosystem services.
Current land-use patterns could see the value of 'ecosystem services' – the natural processes that sustain life – plummet by mid-century. But with the right policies we can turn this trend around.
We need other species to survive for the services they provide and the knowledge they can share.
Global Environment Facility
The presidential candidates should be talking about exploring and cataloguing our biosphere, which holds vital clues for how humanity should navigate the future.
Mining is the biggest activity on Cape York - but is it the best way to use the land?
Weipa image from www.shutterstock.com
Cape York's ecosystems are worth as much as the Queensland economy.
Spiny water flea (
Jake R. Walsh
Invasive species cause some $120 billion in damages across North America yearly -- and that's just direct costs. A study of one species in one Wisconsin lake indicates the real toll is much higher.
Mangrove patch in the arid landscape of Baja California Peninsula, Mexico.
Octavio Aburto / iLCP
Study shows mangrove forests along desert coasts have potential to lock up large amounts of carbon and buffer against rising seas.
A tree house used to observe the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador which has made a point of developing ecotourism to boost economic growth.
The world must embrace an economy where people and the planet are what matters the most.
We should value even the tiniest insects that have no impact on our lives.
Silver Lake, Wasatch watershed, Utah.
With a future of droughts looming for the US West, Utah’s Wasatch watershed offers a good model that combines conservation with nature-based recreation.
There’s more to it than this.
The notions of "natural capital" and "ecosystem services" try to highlight the value of nature. But but by putting dollar figures on nature do we actually devalue it?
Just doing their bit for the ecosystem.
They might keep the environment clean and healthy but most species are in steep decline.
Dam useful: what have beavers done for you lately?
Listing the value of bees, beavers and others on the pages of the world's financial press helps to show that ecosystems deliver benefits worth staggering amounts of money - yet we scarcely keep track of it.
John A. Vucetich
Should conservationists 'sell' the value of nature by focusing on the ecosystem services nature provides people? Surveys show this may be the wrong tack.
Free pollination services: a bee at an almond orchard in California.
Forests, wetlands, wildlife, waterways all provide valuable services to society. Would we take better conserve natural resources if we paid for these ecosystem services?
TERN operates a number of flux towers that measure energy, water and carbon dioxide fluxes and their drivers in the vast expanse of northern Australia.
The NCRIS-funded Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) benefits pastoralists, business, tourism and Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. Cutting it will hurt them all.
We bailed out the banks – our food is worth even more, but working out exactly how much more is tricky.
Louise Docker/Wikimedia Commons
Is it worth trying to put a price on the natural world, when things like water and food are priceless? Yes, says Paul Sutton - without knowing the value of the environment, we might not value it at all.
Humanity is already existing well outside of its safe ecological space.
The Conversation organised a public question-and-answer session on Reddit in which James Dyke, a lecturer in Complex System Simulation, discussed planetary boundaries and whether global industrialised…
Putting a price on things you can’t even put words to.
Journalist and environmentalist George Monbiot recently wrote a powerful polemic against the concepts of ecosystem services and natural capital, arguing that they were leading us on a neoliberal “road…