Provisioning services

Provisioning services are the tangible products that people obtain from ecosystems. These include food, water, raw materials, energy and genetic resources.

Provisioning services are vital in the human economy and have often well-developed markets and valuation systems. For example, wood is the economically most important provisioning service in Finland. The value added in the forest sector is nearly 7 billion euros annually, constituting 4% of Finland's gross domestic product (GDP). Similarly agricultural products such as cereals, meat and dairy products are a vital part of the economy.

The importance of some other provisioning services is more difficult to evaluate. Ordinary citizens collect some 55 million kilos of berries and 15 million kilos of mushrooms annually. Most of these are collected for domestic use. Besides a market value, a health and well-being value is connected both to the consumption and collection of wild berries and mushrooms.

Traditionally fish and game used to be important, sometimes even crucial, provisioning services. Although game and wild fish meat may still be an important supplement to the diet of many Finns, nowadays the social and recreational aspects of hunting and fishing are becoming more and more important.

Because of cold climate and abundant forest resources bioenergy has always been a central provisioning service in Finland. Due to climate change mitigation goals the role bioenergy is expected become even more pronounced in the future. Genetic material is another provisioning which importance can be expected increase in future.



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