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The state of the application of ecosystems services in Australia


  • Pittock, J.
  • Cork, S.
  • Maynard, S.


We review the environmental challenges, cultures and institutions in Australia that have allowed the concept of ecosystem services to be tested and adapted. In some instance the nation has embraced the opportunities offered with ecosystem services forming the core of several large-scale reforms and collaborations that have considered dependence of humans on ecosystems. In other ways, however, the opportunities have been overlooked as Australia lacks effective institutions to consider human–environment interactions holistically and strategically. The term “ecosystem services†appears widely but it is mostly used superficially: often with reference to only a few services. The full suite of services, benefits and beneficiaries if humans and the natural environment are to coexist in the long-term have not been systematically included in decision making and management. Insights are distilled that may be useful in the application of ecosystem services in other parts of the world. Stable and well-funded regional natural resource and river basin management institutions have vital roles. Governance reforms at the national and state (provincial scales) are also needed to apply ecosystem service frameworks and improve accountability for implementation of policy agreements.

Suggested Citation

  • Pittock, J. & Cork, S. & Maynard, S., 2012. "The state of the application of ecosystems services in Australia," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 111-120.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:1:y:2012:i:1:p:111-120
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2012.07.010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Johnston, Robert J. & Russell, Marc, 2011. "An operational structure for clarity in ecosystem service values," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2243-2249.
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    Cited by:

    1. Crossman, Neville D. & Burkhard, Benjamin & Nedkov, Stoyan & Willemen, Louise & Petz, Katalin & Palomo, Ignacio & Drakou, Evangelia G. & Martín-Lopez, Berta & McPhearson, Timon & Boyanova, Kremena & , 2013. "A blueprint for mapping and modelling ecosystem services," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 4(C), pages 4-14.
    2. Stępniewska, Małgorzata & Lupa, Piotr & Mizgajski, Andrzej, 2018. "Drivers of the ecosystem services approach in Poland and perception by practitioners," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 33(PA), pages 59-67.
    3. Hooper, Tara & Cooper, Philip & Hunt, Alistair & Austen, Melanie, 2014. "A methodology for the assessment of local-scale changes in marine environmental benefits and its application," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 8(C), pages 65-74.
    4. Martin, Lawrence, 2014. "The use of ecosystem services information by the U.S. national estuary programs," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 9(C), pages 139-154.
    5. Acharya, Ram Prasad & Maraseni, Tek & Cockfield, Geoff, 2019. "Global trend of forest ecosystem services valuation – An analysis of publications," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    6. Kambo, Amrita & Drogemuller, Robin & Yarlagadda, Prasad K.D.V., 2019. "Assessing Biophilic Design Elements for ecosystem service attributes – A sub-tropical Australian case," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    7. Maczka, Krzysztof & Chmielewski, Piotr & Jeran, Agnieszka & Matczak, Piotr & van Riper, Carena J., 2019. "The ecosystem services concept as a tool for public participation in management of Poland’s Natura 2000 network," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 173-183.
    8. Johnson, Michael Kotutwa & Lien, Aaron M. & Sherman, Natalya Robbins & López-Hoffman, Laura, 2018. "Barriers to PES programs in Indigenous communities: A lesson in land tenure insecurity from the Hopi Indian reservation," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 32(PA), pages 62-69.
    9. Loc, Ho Huu & Irvine, Kim N. & Thi Hong Diep, Nguyen & Thi Kim Quyen, Nguyen & Tue, Nguyen Ngoc & Shimizu, Yoshihisa, 2018. "The legal aspects of Ecosystem Services in agricultural land pricing, some implications from a case study in Vietnam's Mekong Delta," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 29(PB), pages 360-369.
    10. Vardon, Michael & May, Steve & Keith, Heather & Burnett, Peter & Lindenmayer, David, 2019. "Accounting for ecosystem services – Lessons from Australia for its application and use in Oceania to achieve sustainable development," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    11. Jiang, Wei, 2017. "Ecosystem services research in China: A critical review," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 26(PA), pages 10-16.
    12. Delgado, Luisa E. & Sepúlveda, Ma. Belén & Marín, Víctor H., 2013. "Provision of ecosystem services by the Aysén watershed, Chilean Patagonia, to rural households," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 5(C), pages 102-109.
    13. Meijaard, Erik & Wunder, Sven & Guariguata, Manuel R. & Sheil, Douglas, 2014. "What scope for certifying forest ecosystem services?," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 7(C), pages 160-166.
    14. Keenan, Rodney J. & Pozza, Greg & Fitzsimons, James A., 2019. "Ecosystem services in environmental policy: Barriers and opportunities for increased adoption," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-1.
    15. Marcos-Martinez, Raymundo & Bryan, Brett A. & Schwabe, Kurt A. & Connor, Jeffery D. & Law, Elizabeth A. & Nolan, Martin & Sánchez, José J., 2019. "Projected social costs of CO2 emissions from forest losses far exceed the sequestration benefits of forest gains under global change," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 1-1.
    16. Kragt, Marit E. & Robertson, Michael J., 2014. "Quantifying ecosystem services trade-offs from agricultural practices," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 147-157.
    17. Kubiszewski, Ida & Costanza, Robert & Anderson, Sharolyn & Sutton, Paul, 2017. "The future value of ecosystem services: Global scenarios and national implications," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 26(PA), pages 289-301.
    18. Fan, Fan & Henriksen, Christian Bugge & Porter, John, 2016. "Valuation of ecosystem services in organic cereal crop production systems with different management practices in relation to organic matter input," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 22(PA), pages 117-127.


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