Ecosystem

The necessity of such project is justified by the benefits of the ecosystem services (ES) for the public and the environment. At local level, the ES are often the basis for livelihood of the society, especially in the poorer areas. At global, national and regional level, the ES have indirect impacts on human welfare through the climate mitigation, air purification, water regimes, processes of a soil formation and the sustainable functioning of the ecosystems. The report “Assessment of the Ecosystem for the Millennium of 2005” has recorded a significant and irreversible loss of the biodiversity globally. The evaluation indicates that between 10 and 30% of the mammals, birds and amphibians are in danger of extinction as a result of human activity. Within the international initiative “Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity”, series of reports have been published, whereby many ecosystem services are so damaged that they have reached critical points. The same initiative highlights the growing costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.

What are the ecosystem services?

In general, ecosystem services represent the benefits we derive from these ecosystems. They vary greatly, and some are crucial for our existence and the ability to produce goods. The ecosystems provide food services such as food, fresh water and water for production needs, timber, fibers and genetic resources essential for the development of medicine. Also, ecosystems regulate the climate change, disasters, diseases, water quality, pests etc. They possess cultural functions and services such as a possibility for leisure, aesthetic enjoyment of nature, spiritual and cultural values, inspiration and knowledge. The most important services that have been provided to us by the live nature are its supporting functions such as formation of the soil and its nourishing, participation of the plant species in the oxygen and carbon cycle and others without which the life on the Earth would not be possible, at least not under its current form.