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Ecosystem services

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Ecosystem services:


Context:

According to a study by the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the annual economic value of ecosystem services provided by the Delhi zoo works out to be ₹426 crore.

  • The study was commissioned by the Central Zoo Authority.

Key findings:

  • These ‘ecosystem services’ constitute heads such as biodiversity conservation, employment generation, education and research, carbon sequestration and recreational and cultural contributions.
  • When one-time ecosystem services are considered, such as carbon storage, the surrogate value of land and land value of Delhi zoo, their contribution climbs to nearly ₹55,209 crore.

Significance of the study:

The ‘first-of-its-kind’ study in India gave a “powerful baseline assessment” of the important ecosystem services provided by the zoo.

These estimates could be used to compute value provided by zoos across India.

What are Ecosystem Services?

They are “the benefits people derive from ecosystems”. Besides provisioning services or goods like food, wood and other raw materials, plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms provide essential regulating services such as pollination of crops, prevention of soil erosion and water purification, and a vast array of cultural services, like recreation and a sense of place.

These services can further be classified into:

  • Provisioning services.
  • Regulating services.
  • Support services.
  • Cultural services.

Sources: the Hindu.