Ecosystem Services

  • On 5th October, 2020, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)released an assessment according to which the annual economic value of ecosystem services provided by the Delhi Zoo works out to be Rs 426 crore.
  • The study was commissioned by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA).

Key Points

  • The ecosystem services constitute heads such as biodiversity conservation, employment generation, education and research, carbon sequestration and recreational and cultural contributions.
  • When one-time ecosystem services are considered, such as carbon storage, the surrogate value of land and land value of Delhi Zoo, their contribution climbs to nearly Rs55,209 crore.


  • The study is ‘first-of-its-kind’ in India which gave a “powerful baseline assessment” of the important ecosystem services provided by the zoo.
  • These estimates could be used to compute value provided by zoos across India.

Ecosystem Services

  • These are the benefits provided by ecosystems that contribute to making human life both possible and worth living.
  • Examples of ecosystem services include products such as food and water, regulation of floods, soil erosion and disease outbreaks, and non-material benefits such as recreational and spiritual benefits in natural areas.
  • As per the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), 2005,ecosystem services are "the benefits people obtain from ecosystems".


MEA categorizes ecosystem services in four main types-

  • Provisioning Services: These are the products obtained from ecosystems such as food, fresh water, wood, fiber, genetic resources and medicines.
  • Regulating Services: These are defined as the benefits obtained from the regulation of ecosystem processes such as climate regulation, natural hazard regulation, water purification and waste management, pollination or pest control.
  • Habitat Services: These highlight the importance of ecosystems to provide habitat for migratory species and to maintain the viability of gene-pools.
  • Cultural Services: Theseinclude non-material benefits that people obtain from ecosystems such as spiritual enrichment, intellectual development, recreation and aesthetic values.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA)

  • MEA is a major assessment of the human impact on the environment, called for by the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000.


  • To assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being.
  • To study the scientific basis for action needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of those systems and their contribution to human well-being.