WorkPackage 2 (WP2) of the RECARE project is organising a session at the coming EGU General Assembly in Vienna, 12-17 April 2015. The session (SSS9.4 - Soil threats & Ecosystem ServicesSoil threats & Ecosystem Services) is convened by WP2 leader Dr. Jannes Stolte and by co-convener Dr. Jan Jacob Keizer.
The ecosystem services (ESS) concept is considered to be a useful communication tool to highlight the dependence of human well-being on ecosystems. It has the potential to bridge the gaps between ecology, economics and society in order to achieve sustainable resource management (Braat and de Groot, 2012). The term "ecosystem services" was first proposed in early 1980s to increase public awareness about the negative consequences of biodiversity loss on the human welfare (Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 1981; Mooney and Ehrlich, 1997). The release of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2003, 2005) led to the widespread integration of ESS in policy decision-making (Gómez-Baggethun et al., 2010). Soils are part of the biophysical structure, and provide, through its processes, ESS for human wellbeing. Recently, soil science has recognised the importance of the ESS concept for prevention and mitigation of soil degradation. There are many efforts to incorporate the ESS concept in soil policy making (Breure et al., 2012; Robinson et al., 2012), as it legitimates soil conservation practices by illustrating the broad value of healthy soils and it helps to evaluate them regarding trade-offs.