Ecosystem services are the benefits that people obtain from ecosystems, such as food, clean water, carbon storage and climate regulation. However, many ecosystems are being degraded or managed unsustainably, leading to the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Decision makers and other societal stakeholders need clear information on how ecosystems services function and ways to maintain and enhance them.
Exchange between science and practice
In recent years collaborations between different research groups at Utrecht University and societal partners have led to concrete and successful cooperation in the field of ecosystem services. The Academy of Ecosystem Services has been established as a platform to stimulate this type of exchange between science and practice. The Academy uses its fundamental research to help answers questions arising from practice. Our research comprise four main themes: greening value chains, optimizing land use, understanding ecosystem dynamics and conserving biodiversity.