Cultural ecosystem services are those "benefits" that we get from nature that you cannot touch: recreation, experiences, spiritual sustenance, a sense of place an so on. At large, they refer to the significance of nature in our cultures and for our well-being.
Recreation is an overarching title for many types of ways of enjoying and being refreshed in nature. It can mean hiking or walking in nature, but also collecting mushrooms, fishing, wacthing birds, white water rafting etc. The well-being benefits of nature-based recreation are gaining increasing attention. Recreation creates many opportunities for nature tourism.
Like any culture with long historical roots, the Finnish culture is closely intertwined with nature. Beginning with, for example, the oral poetry collected in the Finnish epic Kalevala, the Finnish national heritage is full of reflections of the natural world. Nature continues to influence and inspire present-day Finnish artists and popular culture.
As a backgournd of our everyday lives the natural landscape gives us a sense of place and even shapes our identities. This is particularly true in Finland, which is still quite sprasely inhabited and where many people still spend much time in natural settings such as the popular summer cottages.
Nature's role in science and education can also be called an ecosystem service although this may be strcthing the word "service" quite far. In any case, studying and learning from nature is an essential part of he Finnish culture.
- Updated (16.01.2015)