Ecosystems provide goods and services that underpin all life on Earth. The term ‘ecosystem services’ is used to describe the direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to human well-being. They support directly or indirectly our survival and quality of life by providing things such as clean air, food and water, regulation of floods, soil erosion and disease outbreaks, and non-material benefits such as recreational and aesthetic benefits in natural areas.
The health, or condition, of ecosystems can impact their ability to provide these vital services. As an ecosystem degrades, so may its ability to provide the goods and services that we rely on. Equally, as ecosystems are enhanced, so may their ability to provide these services. As changes in the quality of ecosystems lead to changes in the goods and services they provide and ultimately, human well-being, how they are managed is an important component in determining the type and amount of ecosystem services provided. Information regarding the economic and non-economic values of the goods and services provided by ecosystems can help to make more informed land management decisions in regional, national and sub-national contexts.
Don’t Mow Let it Grow aims to develop management options that support and enhance biodiversity. Biodiversity performs many functional roles in ecosystems, underpinning ecosystem service provision, where both the level and the stability of ecosystem services tend to improve with increasing biodiversity. As part of this work, an economic analysis will measure and communicate the value of ecosystem services provided by the management options developed.