Graphic credit: TEEB Europe

Ecosystem services are activities of natural systems that provide value to humans. Examples include providing materials (e.g., food and fiber), providing wildlife habitat, crop pollination, improving water quality, soil formation, temperature regulation, mitigating erosion and floods, buffering of pollutants, and supporting a wide variety of cultural benefits, aesthetic values and recreational opportunities. Development decisions taken without considering these benefits run the risk of inadvertently damaging the systems and to render impossible supply of value.