ecosystem service

“Bee Urban”

What a great initiative! Aiming to spread awareness, knowledge about pollination and bees, and their impact globally and locally, Bee Urban offers sponsorship of beehives to companies and organisations in the urban environment in Stockholm. Pollination by bees and other organisms is essential for our food production and is an ecosystem service in decline. In China and the US, among others, this is a service that increasing numbers of farmers have to pay for. To enhance our ability to produce food locally, even in the cities, this project is a great way of making bee-keeping every man’s business.

I want to know more about Bee Urban!
UNEP about polllination (pdf)


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Biomimicry

Monday, November 16th, 2009 | Nature @ Your Service | No Comments

One ecosystem services is when nature is used for education. The best way of understanding ecology is to explore it outdoors. To have a personal relation to nature is essential to environment friendly behavior. Biomimicry is another angel of nature education, where nature is used as a source of solutions to human problems. The idea is to look how the same problem is solved in nature and try to mimic that by using technology. One classic example is how airplanes are designed similar to birds. More recently biomimicry has moved to a smaller scale, investigating molecules and microscopic surface structures that could be used to create water resistant paints.

Check out more examples at the Biomimicry Institute

Tropical butterfly

Tropical butterfly

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Remember the green water

Thursday, August 20th, 2009 | Nature @ Your Service | No Comments

You need approximately 20-50 liters (5-13 gallons) of water per day to drink and for hygiene. For this you use blue water that is found in lakes, rivers and ground water aquifers. But this is not the whole story. To produce the food you eat during one single day you need another 3500 liters (925 gallons) of water. This water is necessary for plants to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbohydrates, meaning the oxygen we breathe and the sugar we and our cattle live on. Today 70 per cent of the blue water that we use is needed for irrigation, causing water stress for both humans and nature. At the same time increasing numbers of people will need this water for their basic needs. Meanwhile there is an untapped potential of green water. This green water is rainwater that is absorbed by herbs, grasses, shrubs, trees and crops. The resource provided by green water is seldom recognized when water issues are discussed. Its potential can be tapped by using less water intensive crops and by sheltering plant roots during dry periods. Including green water in both water management systems as well as in agriculture is one main approach to hunger alleviation and adapting for the future.

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