Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications

RMRS Online Publication - Journal Articles, External Publications, and Special Reports
Defining, valuing and providing ecosystem goods and services

Brown, Thomas C.; Bergstrom, John C.; Loomis, John B. 2007. Defining, valuing and providing ecosystem goods and services. Natural Resources Journal. 47(2): 329-376.

Ecosystem services are the specific results of ecosystem processes that either directly sustain or enhance human life (as does natural protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays) or maintain the qualify of ecosystem goods (as water purification maintains the quality of streamflow). "Ecosystem service" has come to represent several related topics ranging from the measurement to the marketing of ecosystem service flows. In this article we exmine several of these topics by first clarifying the meaning of "ecosystem service" and then (1) placing ecosystem goods and services within an economic framework, emphasizing the role and limitations of substitutes; (2) summarizing the methods for valuation of ecosystem goods and services; and (3) reviewing the various approaches for their provision and financing.

Many ecosystem services and some ecosystem goods are received without monetary payment. The "marketing" of ecosystem goods and services is basically an effort to turn such recipients - those who benefit without ownership - into buyers, thereby providing market signals that serve to help protect valuable goods and services. We review various formal arrangements for making this happen.

Keywords: ecosystem goods and services, processes, ecosystem service, marketing

About PDFs: For best results, do not open the PDF in your Web browser. Right-click on the PDF link to download the PDF file directly to your computer. Click here for more PDF help.

The PDF below was scanned and converted to text. Some errors may occur.

Download Article

PDF File Size: 2.8 MB

Title: RMRS Other Publications: Defining, valuing and providing ecosystem goods and services
Electronic Publish Date: March 13, 2008
Last Update:
March 18, 2013

RMRS Publications | Order a publication | Contact Us