The Cultural Ecosystem Services From ASEAN Region Perspectives

The Cultural Ecosystem Services From ASEAN Region Perspectives

Azlan Abas
DOI: 10.4018/IJSESD.328518
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This study shows how socio-cultural diversity of countries gives benefits to human well-being from ASEAN region perspectives. The relevance of CES to indicate human well-being is based on a few indicators such as emotions, stress, health, and happiness. Previous studies show that there was a significant relationship between the existence of CES and human well-being. However, those studies only provide the knowledge quantitatively. The authors also found that to discuss CES only from quantitative approach is absurd because CES cannot be separated from spiritual and religious services.
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Cultural Ecosystem Services: An Introduction

The concept of ecosystem services has a long history, dating to at least the time of Plato. It has since gained attention in economics and ecology research and conservation applications. Recently, it has gained an increased attention beyond ecology and economics, and becoming increasingly influential in environmental research and decision-making. The advantages and benefits the organisms derive from ecosystem are generally known as ecosystem services. In fact, the process of natural ecosystem and ecosystem services are two sides of the coin, ecosystem. From an anthropological angle, ecosystem services help for successful survival of mankind on this Earth by maintaining biodiversity of micro and macro utilitarian goods and values. Accordingly, “Ecosystem goods (such as food) and services (such as waste assimilation) represent the benefits human populations derive, directly or indirectly, from ecosystem function”. Valuing natural resources is a complex, spatial and institutional cross-scale problem. Cultural ecosystem service (CES) are generally described as the “non-material benefits people obtain from ecosystems through spiritual enrichment, cognitive development, reflection, recreation, and aesthetic experiences”. CES are among the most highly recognized and directly perceived by people, and they may have the most direct links with wellbeing). A significant proportion of CES research has been focused on tourism and recreation in industrialized economies, where the importance of CES is expected to grow. But research has also shown that CES are essential for cultural identity and even survival among many traditional communities, where comparatively little research is focused. Table 1 shows the division, group, class and examples for CES (Ecosystem and human well-being, 2005).

So many studies have been conducted using the CES framework prepared by The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, but the problem is epistemologically the framework only touch on the objectivity and abandons the subjective parts of the CES. This study utterly try to investigate whether the measurement for CES that been used from the beginning till now is sufficient with bringing the idea how CES helped the society forming a resilient generation for ASEAN region.

Table 1.
Cultural ecosystem services division, group, class, and examples
Physical and intellectual interactionsPhysical and experiential interactionsExperiential use of plants, animals, and land-/seascapes in different environmental settingsSnorkeling, diving
Physical use of land-/seascapes in different environmental settingsWalking, hiking, kayaking, boating, recreational fishing, using urban green spaces
Intellectual and representative interactionsScientificSubject matter for scientific research, e.g., pollen record, genetic patterns
EducationalSubject matter of educational value, e.g., for school trips; books
Heritage, culturalHistoric records of a place; cultural heritage preserved in water bodies or soils, e.g., pottery remains, relics
AestheticArtistic representations of nature
EntertainmentEx situ viewing of the natural world through different media, e.g., wildlife television programs
Spiritual and symbolicSpiritual and/or emblematicSymbolicEmblematic plants and animals; national symbols, e.g., Hibiscus rosa-senensis, Thai elephant, Singa the Lion
Sacred and/or religiousHoly or spiritual places important to spiritual or ritual identity, e.g.,
Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Dragon Cave in Thailand, sacred forest groves, sacred plants or animals
Other cultural outputsExistenceEnjoyment and philosophical perspective provided by the knowledge of, and reflections on, the existence of wild species, wilderness, or land-/seascapes, e.g., presence of the Malaysia’s rainforest
BequestWillingness to preserve plants, animals, ecosystems, and land-/seascapes for the experience and use of future generations, e.g., long-term conservation

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