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Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 339; doi:10.3390/su9030339

Equity and the Conservation of Global Ecosystem Services

Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, Sciencepark 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Research group Philosophy and Public Affairs, University of Amsterdam, Oude Turfmarkt 145, 1012 GC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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This article provides a first rough sketch of how to conceptualize countries’ present and historical contributions to the loss of global ecosystem services, i.e., ecosystem services of which the delivery is global and omnidirectional, and discusses the implications of questions concerning the international distribution of responsibilities. On the basis of limited empirical data about past and present land conversion, some first calculations suggest that keeping converted land in a converted state, thus preventing ecosystems recovery, may contribute more to current loss of global ecosystem services than new conversion of ecosystems. Moreover, many developing countries in the tropics may contribute more to the loss of global ecosystem services, in both absolute terms and per capita, than many developed countries in temperate zones. This would make finding an equitable arrangement for international allocation of responsibilities for biological conservation far more complex than for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, raising new and challenging questions for normative theorists. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem services; common but differentiated responsibilities; equity; indicators; economic instruments; global commons ecosystem services; common but differentiated responsibilities; equity; indicators; economic instruments; global commons

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Davidson, M.D. Equity and the Conservation of Global Ecosystem Services. Sustainability 2017, 9, 339.

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