This document introduces, defines, and describes a classification system2 for ecosystem services. By using the concept of Final Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS) to define a specific group of ecosystem services, the authors standardize ecosystem services and provide a solid foundation for their further use and development. The concepts and specifics presented in this document represent the first comprehensive FEGS-CS in existence; therefore, we fully acknowledge that as more people use the FEGS-CS, some of the concepts may be clarified and specifics may be modified (see “Questions and Comments” in the Index for details).
The audience for this document is potentially large and includes individuals, communities, or firms in the public sector, private sector, and non-profit organizations that wish to measure, quantify, map, model, and/or value a standard, but complete, set of ecosystem services anywhere on earth. Technical practitioners (e.g., social scientists, economists, natural scientists, decision-makers, etc.) of ecosystem services will likely appreciate the relatively fine separation of ecosystem services achieved in this classification system and the common language established in this document to efficiently communicate across disciplines and to the public.
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