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Biodiversity Online J

The Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services: A Path Leading to a Synthesis between Anthropocentrism and Ecocentrism

  • Open or CloseGiovanni Barozzi Reggiani*

    Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Italy

    *Corresponding author:Giovanni Barozzi Reggiani, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Italy

Submission: April 24, 2021; Published: April 30, 2021


A lot has been written about the economic valuation of natural resources and of the socalled ecosystem services: from the works of [1-4] to nowadays, a large number of papers and books have been published on that specific topic. As it is well known, ecosystem services are defined as the benefits people obtain, directly or indirectly, from ecosystems (and, more specifically, from ecosystem functions) (see the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, MEA, 2005). That concept refers to an anthropocentric vision of the world: the environment is considered as an element which can contribute to human well-being [5]; at the same time, I believe that it is hard to deny that an ecosystem-based approach to the definition of public policies-concerning the protection of the environment-represents a way by which the environment itself receive a central consideration: this follows from the need to identify a limit beyond which an ecosystem lose its capacity to regenerate itself and to provide a regular flux of ecosystem services. If there is a limit concerning how much a specific ecosystem (and, in a larger scale, the whole biosphere) can be exploited by humans, as a consequence can be stated that some components of the environment are in a way untouchable. It’s a statement that can be usefully used in order to support an ecocentric approach (no matters that support come, in its origin, from an anthropocentric scheme!), according to which the environment has to be considered for its intrinsic value (that has to be recognized and protected by mankind).

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