Revista Brasileira de Biologia
Print version ISSN 0034-7108
SANTOS, J. E. et al. The value of the Ecological Station of Jataí's ecosystem services and natural capital. Rev. Bras. Biol. [online]. 2001, vol.61, n.2, pp. 171-190. ISSN 0034-7108. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71082001000200002.
The capacity of a given natural ecosystem to provide certain goods and services that satisfy human needs depends on its environmental characteristics (natural processes and components). It was described the availability of these goods and services (environmental functions) controlled and sustained by ecological processes operating in Ecological Station of Jataí (Luiz Antônio, SP). The environmental functions identified were grouped in four main categories. To make environmental values an integrated factor in planning and decision making it was assessed their socio-economic importance in qualitative terms and, if possible their monetary value. The combined potential annual return from identified functions of Ecological Station of Jataí is at least US$ 708.83/ha/year. In comparison to calculations made for other natural ecosystems this is a rather moderate estimate. The Ecological Station of Jataí is poorly protected and managed, it too is still threatened by human activity (agriculture) and many development plans. Although present day market economics do not recognize the monetary value of most environmental functions, such calculations do provide a revealing insight into the great socio-economic importance of Ecological Station of Jataí. More awareness of these values may provide an important incentive for their preservation and sustainable use.
Keywords : ecosystem services; environmental functions; natural capital; natural conservation area.