Desertification is one of the most pressing issues facing the world's drylands. However, the term "desertification" is only vaguely defined, leading to complications in monitoring and management at all scales.
Species are going extinct 1,000 times faster than at any point in Earth's history, and even with protected areas, biodiversity preservation remains sub-optimal due to knowledge gaps and low representation of ecological habitats.
Ecosystem services are the tangible benefits natural systems provide to humans. Increasingly, the ecosystem services concept has been recognized for its value in the decision-making process. This is true at geographic scales ranging from small villages to entire continents. Defining the ecosystem services provided by a region necessarily involves both human values and the collection of scientific data.