Ecosystem products and services D 2.5 51 Box D 2.5-1 A taxonomy of ecosystem services and products and associated value categories Functional value 1. Regulatory services: climate and water – Maintaining composition of gases in the atmosphere, – Protection against ultra-violet rays through oxygen production and subsequent formation of ozone in the stratosphere, – Partial stabilisation ofthe climate, – Reduction of temperature extremes and strong winds, – Maintenance of biologically necessary humidity conditions, – Controlling the hydrological cycle. 2. Global biogeochemical cycles – Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur. 3. Formation and protection of structure (soil, slopes, coasts) – Formation and maintenance of soils, – Erosion of original rock, transformation of nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur into compounds available to plants, – Protection against erosion, – Flood protection (alluvial forests, flood meadows, etc), – Coastal protection through formation of coral reefs and dune systems, – Slope protection: landslides, etc. Transition from functional to use value 1. Sink services – Breakdown and transformation of poisons and nutrients, biodegradation. 2. Pest control and pollination – Pest and disease control, – Pollination of important crops and wild plants. Use value 1. Biomass production – Fisheries, agricultural and forest products, harvesting of natural substances. 2. Technology and research – Nature as a model for technology: error-tolerant systems, bionics, ideas for engineers: building materials, fibres and industrial products, nature as a model for medical research. 3. Tourism and leisure/recreation – Nature as a destination for those seeking recreation, ecotourism, zoos, botanical gardens, parks. Symbolic value 1. Ecosystems as cultural vehicles – Close connection between ecosystems and particular cultural types (Section E 3.5). 2. Biological diversity as the source of quality of life – Experience and stimulation: aesthetics, art, – Experience ofthe wilderness as elemental experience, – Leisure pursuits from mountain climbing to diving (partly also use value), – Recreation and recuperation, rest and meditation – Education, transmission of knowledge. Option value 1. Informational services – In-situ maintenance of genetic heritage of evolution: maintenance of a universal ‘genetic library’, from which humankind derives the basis of its existence in the form of crops and livestock, medical substances, etc. Sources: Myers, 1996a; Costanza et al, 1997; Daily, 1997b (Schulze and Gerstberger, 1993). Furthermore, the desired services and products from ecosystems cannot be achieved with uniform landscapes. Therefore, it is important to look at the landscape level in order not to lose sight of important ecosystem services (eg slope protection, erosion protection, drinking water, recreation; Box D 2.5-1; Section E 3.9 and Chapter H). • Efforts in the context of restoration ecology demonstrate that in many instances intervention into the biosphere is irreversible (Box D 2.4-2). This applies not only at the species level (an extinct species is lost irretrievably), but also for populations (that have adapted genetically through evolution to a particular region) and for certain types of ecosystem. Management decisions that cannot be reversed must be taken with particular care. In case of doubt, the precautionary principle should always be applied. Biodiversity needs to be conserved not only for its own sake, but also to safeguard future economic and cultural development. Therefore it must be in the interests of all countries to maintain a certain portion oftheir terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems in its natural state (Section I 1). Such core zones incorporated into regional use strategies should remain free of any commercial use (Section E 3.3.2). They can also act as monitoring and control sites with the help of which we can appraise the impacts of human intervention.
D 3 Focal issues D 3.1 Trade in endangered species In addition to the threat to ecosystems as a result of increasing conversion and fragmentation, economic use is also a considerable cause ofthe decline and even the extinction of species. For example, trade is estimated to account for approx 40 per cent ofthe threat to vertebrates (Hunter et al, 1998). Demand for products from rare animals or plants, such as ivory, rhinoceros horn, tiger bone, leather goods, furs or tropical timber, but also the demand for living species such as rare tropical ornamental plants, cacti, orchids, exotic birds or humphead wrasse (Section E 2.4) is considerable. They are used for the fashion or food industries, for medical and pharmaceutical research purposes, exhibitions and collections in the industrialized countries (Sand, 1997). To protect animal and plant species living in the wild from excessive exploitation through global trade, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was adopted in 1973 (Box D 3.1-1) and has so far been ratified by 144 states. D 3.1.1 Gaps and weaknesses in the CITES provisions By the sectoral focus on trade, only a segment ofthe international system of species conservation can be covered since other threat factors, such as degradation and fragmentation of natural habitats, are not Box D 3.1-1 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) The provisions of CITES allow international trade in endangered species to be regulated via a worldwide system of import and export controls and permit requirements.The condition is inclusion of a given species in one ofthe three appendices to the Convention that, depending on the degree of threat to the species, provide for various restrictions on international trade (through to a complete trade ban).The Appendices currently include approx 34,000 plant and animal species. The decision on including a species in a list or moving it from one list to another is made at the Conferences ofthe Parties that take place every two to three years and requires a two-thirds majority ofthe member states. The 11th Conference ofthe Parties is scheduled for April 2000 in Nairobi. Appendix I lists the species acutely in danger of extinction that may be damaged by trade. Import or export of an animal or plant of such species is only admissible under the strictest conditions so that essentially inclusion in Appendix I means a ban on trade in that species.Appendix II contains species whose stock is potentially endangered if trade is not regulated. Appendix III includes species for which one member state wishes to prevent or restrict exploitation on its territory, and it requires the cooperation of other contracting parties to control trade. Implementation of CITES requires a number of measures on the part ofthe member states at legislative and administrative levels. For example, the minimum requirements for an effective protective system are the establishment of relevant authorities, a national ban on all trade that is in violation ofthe Convention, provision of suitable punishments for illegal trade or possession of one ofthe endangered species andthe possibility of seizure for illegally acquired animals or plants. The CITES secretariat in Geneva monitors and supports implementation at international level; in addition to organizational tasks it assumes an important role in collecting and disseminating information, working on scientific and technical investigations, standards and means of implementing the agreement. It can draw on the support of qualified NGOs in this role. One example of valuable collaboration with an NGO is TRAFFIC (Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce), a joint initiative by WWF and IUCN which plays a key role in research, monitoring, initiatives, training and enforcement at national, regional and international levels. At the 1987 Conference ofthe Parties furthermore permanent committees were established that take on the regular monitoring and evaluation ofthe biological and trade-related status ofthe species in the appendices for their particular areas and are assist in closing data gaps. They work in cooperation with external scientific bodies and have an advisory function (Sand, 1997).