The natural environment provides a vast array of indispensable goods and services that support human beings and other life forms. Environmental goods and services are also important for economy, which uses natural resources as raw material, and environment as sink. However, due to rampant exploitation of natural resources and huge discharge of pollutants, the sustainable supply of environmental goods and services is highly threatened. At the same time, mankind is confronted with various types of environmental problems, which adversely affect the quality of life, social and cultural fabric and economic development. To address these problems and move down the path of sustainable development, environmental protection must constitute an integral part of the development process and care should be taken to maintain a proper balance between the ecology and the economy.
In an attempt to enhance our scientific understanding of the environment and natural resources in ecological and economic perspectives, a number of contemporary environmental topics are discussed in this book. The readers, ranging from students and researchers to officials and policy makers, interested in improving the environmental quality will find this book informative.