Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (5): 21549.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021549

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Realization, development trend and enlightenment of Nature’s contributions to people

Yang Wu, Yu Tian(), Fengbin Dai, Ziyuan Li   

  1. State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Regional Eco-process and Function Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012
  • Received:2021-12-30 Accepted:2022-01-23 Online:2022-05-20 Published:2022-04-11
  • Contact: Yu Tian


Background: As an independent intergovernmental mechanism, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) aims to strengthen the impact of science policies on biodiversity and ecosystem services. In order to better understand and demonstrate the basic elements of IPBES’s goals and their interrelationships, based on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), IPBES has integrated multiple knowledge systems, and gradually formed a conceptual framework centered on “Nature’s contributions to people” (NCP).

Analysis: First, this paper introduced what NCP is and its relationship with ecosystem service (ES). NCP refers to all positive contributions and negative impacts that humanity obtains from nature, covering regulating contributions, material contributions, and non-material contributions. The classification of NCP is developed on the basis of ES under the MA framework, so both focus on human well-being. However, in contrast to ES, NCP presents nature’s negative impact to people, emphasizing the importance of social and cultural factors, traditional knowledge and the status of indigenous people. Second, this paper described the mechanism by which people and nature jointly realize NCP, that is, nature provides potential NCP, then potential NCP combines with human input to generate realized NCP, and outputs impact human good quality of life. Third, this paper analyzed the global status and trends of NCPs, the results of IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services showed 14 out of 18 categories of NCPs on a declining trend.

Discussion: This paper compared NCP and ES, which will provide new research vision for domestic ecosystem service research scholars, considering integrating the elements of NCP and ES to better reflect the soul of biodiversity. Since from the concept of NCP was proposed, it has been widely used in IPBES assessments and CBD negotiations. NCP has been accepted by all parties, probably because it also represents the sound of developing countries and stakeholders to some extent. Considering the trends of sharp decline for NCPs, it is proposed to achieve transformative change in economic, social, political and technical fields, and promote the mainstreaming of biodiversity continuously, strengthen international exchanges and cooperation, and strive to achieve the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity “Living in harmony with nature”.

Key words: biodiversity, ecosystem services, NCP, IPBES