This month, two of our amazing donors completed the bridge to bridge run in Arnhem, Netherlands, in aid of the BJF, find out more here! Both dedicated supporters, this is one of many ways Hadassa and Tomas have contributed to the BJF!
As a Biologist from Brasília, Hadassa is passionate about the potential for our project to help restore the ecosystems of the Cerrado Savanna and Amazon and bring back water security to these areas!
When in balance, the earth’s ecosystems provide mankind with suitable living conditions such as clean air, fresh water and soil. In many cases these conditions provided by nature are taken for granted. For instance, the value of clean air and drinking water might not be taken into account as important factors when developing our societies and economies. In such cases, decisions are made leaving natural systems out of consideration.
In order to make the benefits that we receive from ecosystems measurable and link them with human activities, the concept of Ecosystem Services was developed. Ecosystem Services is a concept where natural services are given economic value/worth in order to bring these services into consideration when making decisions. Ecosystems services include for example, provision of food and raw materials, nutrient recycling and soil formation.
Naturally, water is also one important service provided by ecosystems. Ecosystems provide fresh water that is directly consumable by living beings. That is of course, of extreme importance for us as well, especially when considering that most of the water on our planet is sea water. Other water related ecosystem services are climate regulation, through humidity and temperature control amongst other things, and the provision of fish stocks.
Water related ecosystems services are not only linked to aquatic ecosystems but also to terrestrial ecosystems. For example, vegetation plays a key role in water retention and groundwater recharge, two important aspects of the water cycle. From this perspective, restoration projects, such as the Araguaia Corridor project, do not only contribute to increase/maintain terrestrial ecosystems services such as biodiversity and carbon sequestration, but also contribute – and are essential – to water related ecosystems services.
By Hadassa Moreira and Simon Holsteijn, IMD