This book highlights the latest advances in the science and practice of using ecosystem services to inform decisions for economic development in the context of the developing countries.
The development of the ecosystem services paradigm has enhanced our understanding of natural capital as an indispensable form of capital asset along with produced and human capital. This book addresses what could be the possible pathways to mainstream natural capital assets into development policies and what is currently known about the economic values of ecosystem services. A series of innovative tools to help policy makers and planners account for natural capital and ecosystem services in sectoral and macroeconomic policies have been explored and their application at the national and regional scale has been demonstrated. Several detailed case studies are presented in which the understanding of ecosystem services values has successfully informed decisions, including examples from Chile, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam and the Aral Sea in Central Asia. These provide the critically important insights, lessons learned and means and mechanisms for policy makers to incentivize protection and discourage degradation of ecosystems and the services they provide.
Mainstreaming Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services into Development Policy is designed to help decision makers at all levels, including governments, businesses, multilevel development banks and individuals to integrate ecosystems and their services into their decision making.