Policy ForumENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS

Entertainment Value: Should the Media Pay for Nature Conservation?

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Science  09 Dec 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6061, pp. 1351-1352
DOI: 10.1126/science.1213189

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Summary

The notion of ecosystem services (i.e., human-valued benefits provided by ecosystems such as pollination and clean water provisioning; ES) has been transformed from a metaphor to a mainstream scientific and policy framework (1). It is the central pillar of the global Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) (2) and the United Nation's Millennium Project (3), which frame nature as a stock of capital that can sustain a flow of ES that underpin and support human well-being (2, 3). From these logics derive the idea of payments for ES (PES) (4): Firms and economies pay for the ES that they use or compromise and may be rewarded for the ES they produce, protect, or restore.