The environment

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2. Why is the environment important? (1 of 2)



Ecosystems provide goods and services
The goods and services (functions) (see Overview) that are provided by the ecosystems benefit people and their livelihoods. These benefits are often not fully recognised in planning and managing water resources. The total benefits are estimated to be USD 8.8 billion per year (IUCN).

Destruction of ecosystems penalises the poor most
They are the ones who benefit from the “free” common resources (fuel wood, water, fisheries, fruits). They can also contribute to ecosystem degradation through over-exploitation. That is why it is important that user communities are involved in water management decisions.

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