Natural Assets

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Future Earth liaison: Jean-Patrick Toussaint

Almost everything we eat, drink and breathe is a product of ecosystems and the life forms that inhabit them. Food, safe water, health, the climate system and a meaningful, enjoyable human life are inextricably linked to them. Yet, ecosystems are being altered and degraded faster than in any period in history, and the variety of life on Earth is declining.

How will changes to ecosystems and their biota alter the benefits that human societies need to have a fulfilling life?

The challenge lies in achieving a scientifically-based, sustainable and fair stewardship of terrestrial, freshwater and marine natural assets underpinning human well-being by (a) understanding relationships between biodiversity, ecosystems and their benefits to societies and (b) developing effective management and governance approaches.