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Chorell, Joel, 2018. Conceptualising ecosystem services and implications for human nature relations. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



This thesis provides a trajectory over the concept of ecosystem services and discusses possible implications the concept of ecosystem services might entail for human-nature relations. Through a literature review, the thesis traces the concept’s historical origins and how it has developed since second half of the 1900´s and become mainstreamed into present day society. The thesis discerns two discursive themes; i) ecosystem services as an instrumental link between nature and society, and ii) commodification of nature within the concept of ecosystem services. Through the discursive themes, the thesis discusses how the concept provides a simplified view of the complexity inherent in nature, and argues that the current application of the concept poses a risk of excluding values that do not fit the economic setting. There are also indications of nature being viewed as a machine with substitutable parts, especially regarding commodification and substitutability within nature. Although still debated, the language of economics makes possible a translation of nature’s values to a wider audience than traditional conservation. The thesis also argues that the urban lifestyle of humans with a changing relation to nature creates a need to invent concepts like ecosystem services that better capture our “modern” instrumental relation towards nature. Ecosystem services can thus be seen as an instrumental link between humans and nature that is compatible with the economic language of society at large.

Main title:Conceptualising ecosystem services and implications for human nature relations
Authors:Chorell, Joel
Supervisor:Sandström, Emil
Examiner:Beckman, Malin
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2018
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NY007 Agriculture Programme - Rural Development 270 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:ecosystem services, human-nature relations, instrumentality, values, development
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agricultural economics and policies
Nature conservation and land resources
Deposited On:26 Sep 2018 14:06
Metadata Last Modified:20 May 2020 11:28

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