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Social The environment is not cared for; healthy open spaces and natural areas are not available for recreation to everyone, only to the few who can afford it.

Economic Natural goods and services provided by functional natural areas are lost; increased water and air pollution lead to associated health problems; water shortages occur.

Political People dissatisfied with politicians; may vote for a different party.

Biophysical Natural areas are degraded, fragmented and destroyed; species become threatened or extinct.

THE DEGRADATION OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

Social Lack of awareness of the benefits provided by functioning ecosystems; people not looking after their own land; people don’t care.

Political Lack of interest in the natural environment; few environmental activists.

Economic Little investment in natural areas apart from ecotourism (often exclusive); developers and businesses expanding and destroying natural areas; lack of understanding of the value of environmental goods and services provided by properly functioning ecosystems.

Biological and physical The natural environment provides natural goods and services and performs essential ecosystem functions that are useful and valuable to society. Examples include medicinal plants that provide remedies for diseases and wetlands that act as sponges, reducing flood risks and purifying water. If the environment is degraded, these benefits cannot occur.

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