Human Well-being, Ecosystem Services and Watershed Management in the Credit River Valley: Web-distributed Mechanisms and Indicators for Communication and Awareness
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Human health and well-being is fundamentally dependent on services provided by ecosystems. However, the importance of ecosystem services to human well-being, and of managing ecosystem and watershed resources to maintain such services, is not commonly understood by the public, and not well-enough articulated by environmental management and governance organizations. Beneficiaries of such services are often unaware of the nature of their dependence upon supporting ecosystems. This is particularly true in urbanized watersheds. Watershed management organizations are aware of such benefits to watershed residents, but they very rarely track and report measures of human well-being to demonstrate the efficacy of their work. Relationships among environmental determinants of health and well-being are multiple, diffuse and interact in complex non-linear ways that are difficult to parse and isolate. This presents a problem for normal science, which reduces problems to smaller components in attempts to understand them. Without a way to demonstrate and communicate these relationships, the ecosystem services that underpin our health and well-being will continue to be ignored and undermined.
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