These are the services provided for by ecosystems, which we can use to improve our life quality, such as the offer of sufficient quality water, improved air quality, genetic resources or attractive landscapes. The protection offered by forests, which sequestrate greenhouse gases, help preserve the quality of the air that we breathe and fix water in the aquifers; by mangroves against the rise of sea level, storms, sea waves and hurricanes, the retention of sediments and pollution that are washed down watersheds and allows for the production of food in the sea and the protection of our reefs by acting as carbon sinks, a source of entertainment and good fishing, are also some of the environmental services offered by ecosystems, among others.
The environment is the result of human interventions in nature. Those interventions can positively or negatively affect the capacity of natural ecosystems to provide environmental services. When those interventions result from actions destined to ensure the availability of those services for society, we can then speak about a business that provides environmental services.
Like in any other business, the value of those services is determined by the amount of capital and work devoted to its production and their social demand. From the point of view of the market, the commercial management of environmental services is part of the creation of natural conditions without which the production of goods and services of any sort would be impossible.
They are economic activities that provide products, goods or services that generate direct environmental benefits with added value. These businesses also incorporate good environmental, social and economic practices, with a life cycle approach, thus contributing to the preservation of the environment as a natural capital that supports the development of any given territory.
They can be classified into the following categories: