Ecosystem services

Ecosystem services are those that benefit humans and are necessary for planetary health including oxygen production, water purification, pollination, soil formation and nutrient recycling. Ecosystem Services were categorised by the United Nations 2004 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a four-year study involving more than 1,300 scientists worldwide.

Their categories were:

  • Provisioning -  e.g., the production of food and water
  • Regulating - e.g., the control of climate and disease 
  • Supporting - e.g., nutrient cycles and crop pollination 
  • Cultural - e.g.,  spiritual and recreational benefits

A tussock-clad reserve provides water for Dunedin City and recreational opportunities. Photo: Jesse Bythell

For more information about ecosystem services see:

This page last updated on 24 Jul 2013