Linking biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human well-being: three challenges for designing research for sustainability

Elena M. Bennett, Wolfgang Cramer, Alpina Begossi, Georgina Cundill, Sandra Díaz, Benis N. Egoh, Ilse R. Geijzendorffer, Cornelia B. Krug, Sandra Lavorel, Elena Lazos, Louis Lebel, Berta Martín-López, Patrick Meyfroidt, Harold A. Mooney, Jeanne L. Nel, Unai Pascual, Karine Payet, Natalia Pérez Harguindeguy, Garry D. Peterson, Anne Hélène Prieur-RichardBelinda Reyers, Peter Roebeling, Ralf Seppelt, Martin Solan, Petra Tschakert, Teja Tscharntke, B. L. Turner, Peter H. Verburg, Ernesto F. Viglizzo, Piran C.L. White, Guy Woodward

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

558 Scopus citations


Ecosystem services research needs to become more transdisciplinary.•ecoSERVICES will advance co-designed, transdisciplinary ecosystem service research. Ecosystem services have become a mainstream concept for the expression of values assigned by people to various functions of ecosystems. Even though the introduction of the concept has initiated a vast amount of research, progress in using this knowledge for sustainable resource use remains insufficient. We see a need to broaden the scope of research to answer three key questions that we believe will improve incorporation of ecosystem service research into decision-making for the sustainable use of natural resources to improve human well-being: (i) how are ecosystem services co-produced by social-ecological systems, (ii) who benefits from the provision of ecosystem services, and (iii) what are the best practices for the governance of ecosystem services? Here, we present these key questions, the rationale behind them, and their related scientific challenges in a globally coordinated research programme aimed towards improving sustainable ecosystem management. These questions will frame the activities of ecoSERVICES, formerly a DIVERSITAS project and now a project of Future Earth, in its role as a platform to foster global coordination of multidisciplinary sustainability science through the lens of ecosystem services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


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