Ecosystems can provide output values, which are the benefits that the current state of ecosystem (i.e., ecosystem services and natural capital) provides, and insurance value, which is ecosystem resilience. The output values link to the insurance values of ecosystems, which relate closely to its resilience and self-organizing capacity and are able to maintain the provision of ecosystem services. The valuation of ecosystem resilience could be as analogous to the valuation of a portfolio of assets in a given state, where the value of the asset mix – the portfolio – depends on the covariance in the returns on the individual assets it contains. Two examples better analyze the practical implications related to these concepts. The first regards the drylands salinization in Australia useful to illustrate how the quantification of thresholds can be useful to explain the relation between management, ecosystem services, and resilience. The second concerns the widespread promotion of market-based instruments for conservation such as the so-called Payments for Ecosystem Services schemes, which are voluntary and conditional transactions over well-defined ecosystem services between at least one supplier and one user. The conclusions report some final considerations.
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