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The environment is something you are very familiar with.

It's everything that

makes up our surroundings and affects our ability to live on the earth—the air we
breathe, the water that covers most of the earth's surface, the plants and animals
around us, and much more.

In recent years, scientists have been carefully examining the ways that people
affect the environment. They have found that we are causing ecosystem exploitation,
pollution, deforestation, global warming, and other problems that are dangerous both to
the earth and to ourselves. These days, when you hear people talk about “the
environment”, they are often referring to the overall condition of our planet, or how
healthy it is.

Human-environment research in the 21st century will need to change in major

ways. It will need to integrate the natural and the social sciences; it will need to engage
stakeholders and citizens in the design of research and in the delivery of science for the
benefit of society and environment; it will need to address ethical and democratic goals;
and it will need to address a myriad of important theoretical and methodological
challenges that continue to impede progress in the advance of sustainability science
(Lopez & Moran, 2016).

As a consequence of the global increase in economic and societal prosperity,

ecosystems and natural resources have been substantially exploited, degraded, or even
destroyed in the last century. To prevent further deprivation of the quality of
ecosystems, the ecosystem services concept has become a central issue in
environmental studies. A growing number of environmental agencies and organizations
worldwide are now embracing integrated approaches to plan and manage ecosystems,
sharing a goal to maintain the long-term provision of ecosystem services for
sustainability. A daunting challenge in this process is to move from general
pronouncements about the tremendous benefits that ecosystems provide to society to
defensible assessments of their services. In other words, we must move beyond the
scientific evidences of the ecosystem services concept to its practical applications. As
stated in the work of Lafortezza and Chen (2016), the discussion of the theoretical
foundations and applications of ecosystem services with a focus on the assessment of
ecosystem service trade-offs and synergies at various spatial and temporal scales. In
the study, they offer examples of the main factors related to land use management that
may affect the provision of ecosystem services and provide direction for future research
on ecosystem services and related nature-based solutions. They also provide a briefing
on the major topics covered in this Special Issue, which focuses on the provision of
ecosystem services in the context of global change.

Nowadays, one of the prevalent environmental problems is urbanization.

Changing forest or ecosystem sites into urbanized land causes ecological imbalance.
According to Zhou and Zhang (2016), urbanization causes urban flooding which leads
to health risks such as causing epidemic disease break out, polluting drinking water and
damaging the living environment. This problem results to greater environmental

In addition, the synthetic polymers, commonly known as plastics have been

entering the marine environment in quantities paralleling their level of production over
the last half century. However, in the last two decades of the 20th Century, the
deposition rate accelerated past the rate of production, and plastics are now one of the
most common and persistent pollutants in ocean waters and beaches worldwide. Thirty
years ago the prevailing attitude of the plastic industry was that “plastic litter is a very
small proportion of all litter and causes no harm to the environment except as an
eyesore” (Derraik, J.G.B., 2002).
Between 1960 and 2000, the world production of plastic resins increased 25-fold,
while recovery of the material remained below 5%. Between 1970 and 2003, plastics
became the fastest growing segment of the US municipal waste stream, increasing
nine-fold, and marine litter is now 60–80% plastic, reaching 90–95% in some areas.
While undoubtedly still an eyesore, plastic debris today is having significant harmful
effects on marine biota. Albatross, fulmars, shearwaters and petrels mistake floating
plastics for food, and many individuals of these species are affected; in fact, 44% of
all seabird species are known to ingest plastic. Sea turtles ingest plastic bags, fishing
line and other plastics, as do 26 species of cetaceans. In all, 267 species of marine
organisms worldwide are known to have been affected by plastic debris, a number that
will increase as smaller organisms are assessed. The number of fish, birds, and
mammals that succumb each year to derelict fishing nets and lines in which they
become entangled cannot be reliably known; but estimates are in the millions (Moore,
Currently, firms have been developing eco- friendly ways to alleviate the
environmental issues. They have recently discovered that it is not enough to optimize
internal processes and relationships with partners along the value chain to create a
sustainable competitive market position. A clear customer orientation, which
acknowledges that consumer buying behavior is complex and includes many elements
implied in the value chain, is required. As companies offering green products are no
exception to this rule, the “It’s Hard to be Green: Reverse Green Value Chain Study”
analyzes consumer behavior in Europe from a reserve green supply chain management
perspective, using descriptive analyses and a structural equation model, with data
collected by Flash Barometer comprising 26,573 responses from 28 European
countries. The results suggest that European consumers are conscious of the green
concept, but are not willing to buy or pay more for these products since the value is
unclear. Companies offering green products must therefore rethink their strategies,
especially in terms of value proposition, communication strategies, and eco-labeling.

Lopez, M. C. and Moran, E. F. (2016). Future Directions in Human- environment

Research. Retrieved from

Lafortezza, R. and Chen, J. (2016). The Provision of Ecosystem Services in Response

to Global Change: Evidences and applications. Retrieved from

Moore, C. J. (2008). Environmental Research. Retrieved from

Couto, J. and Tiago, T. (2016). It’s Hard to be Green: Reverse Green Value Chain.
Retrieved from