• A personal note on IGBP and the social sciences

    Humans are an integral component of the Earth system as conceptualised by IGBP. João Morais recalls key milestones in IGBP’s engagement with the social sciences and offers some words of advice for Future Earth.
  • IGBP and Earth observation:
    a co-evolution

    The iconic images of Earth beamed back by the earliest spacecraft helped to galvanise interest in our planet’s environment. The subsequent evolution and development of satellites for Earth observation has been intricately linked with that of IGBP and other global-change research programmes, write Jack Kaye and Cat Downy .

Paying for ecosystem services - promise and peril

Science (2011)
Kinzig A P, Perrings C, Chapin III F S, Polasky S, Smith V K, Tilman D and Turner II B L
DOI: 10.1126/science.1210297
Vol 334; No. 6056:  pp. 603-604
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment concluded that over the past 50 years, 60% of all ecosystem services (ES) had declined as a direct result of the growth of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, industries, and urban areas (1). This is not surprising: We get what we pay for. Markets exist for the products of agriculture, aquaculture, and forestry. But the benefits of watershed protection (2), habitat provision (3), pest and disease regulation (4), climatic regulation (5), and hazard protection (6) are largely unpriced. Because existing markets seldom reflect the full social cost of production, we have incorrect measures of the scarcity of some ES and no measures for the rest.
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