Module 2 Summary

In this module, we have reviewed some key definitions of ecosystem services that help us to understand the link between ecosystem services and human well-being. The focus of the discussion was on forest ecosystem services. It is very important to understand that humans have made unprecedented changes to forest ecosystem in recent decades to meet growing demands for food, timber, fresh water, fiber, medicinal plants, coastal protection, ecotourism, and other services. The changes to forest ecosystems have helped improve the lives of humans, particularly in developing countries, but at the same time they have reduced the capacity of forest ecosystems to provide other important services. Therefore, valuation of various forest ecosystem services is important to provide useful information to policy makers for long term planning that will meet the sustainable development goals of the country. Acknowledging, demonstrating, and capturing the economic value of forest ecosystem services is one of the key elements in sustainable forest management. By understanding the importance of forest ecosystem services and their contribution to human well-being at the local, national, regional, and global levels, you have a good basis for managing forest resources sustainably. There are currently a few initiatives that implement the concept of ecosystem services, such as The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Services (TEEB) (, Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) (, The Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES) (, Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) (, and others. You can refer to their web pages for further information.