When considering social aspects associated with the environmental impacts of the extractive industry, it is useful to acknowledge the ecosystem services that nature supplies to humans. These services have been categorized by scientists under the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) as (i) supporting services, (ii) provisioning services, (iii) regulating services, and (iv) cultural services. And they all feed different aspects of human well-being. Defining these helps to unpack the meaning of the phrases “natural resource base” or “the land” that local communities refer to when debating the costs and benefits of extractive industry operations entering their world.
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