The concept of ecosystem services has become a useful tool in highlighting the value of healthy ecosystems for human well-being.

Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystem processes. These include water and air purification, flood control, erosion control, generation of fertile soils, detoxification of wastes, resistance to climate and other environmental changes, pollination, and aesthetic and cultural benefits that derive from nature.

In a seminar held in honour professor Gretchen Daily, the 2012 winner of the Volvo Environment Prize, Thomas Hahn critically assessed the advantages and disadvantages of implementing payments for ecosystem sercvices.