Ecosystem goods and services | BCHydro Power Smart for Schools

Ecosystem goods and services

Learn more about the value of the goods and services provided by our ecosystems.

  • Grades 11, 12
  • 3 activities
  • 1.5 hours
Lesson Image

Big idea

This set of activities explores ideas and methods that can be used to understand and value the goods and services provided by our ecosystems.

Learning objectives

  • Students learn how to identify the different types of ecosystem goods and services (EGS).
  • Students explore how the value of EGS might be estimated using different methods of valuation.
  • Students evaluate the impacts that human actions can have on the value of EGS.


BC curriculum fit

Environmental Science 11

Big Idea

  • Complex roles and relationships contribute to diversity of ecosystems.
  • Human practices affect the sustainability of ecosystems.
  • Humans can play a role in stewardship and restoration of ecosystems.


  • Benefits of ecosystem services
  • Human actions and their impact on ecosystem integrity
  • Resource stewardship
  • Restoration practices

Curricular competencies

Questioning and predicting
  • Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal, local, or global interest
  • Formulate multiple hypotheses and predict multiple outcomes
Processing and analyzing data and information
  • Experience and interpret the local environment
  • Construct, analyze, and interpret graphs, models, and/or diagrams
  • Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence
  • Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
  • Consider social, ethical, and environmental implications of the findings from their own and others’ investigations
Applying and innovating
  • Contribute to finding solutions to problems at a local and/or global level through inquiry
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information, and perhaps a suggested course of action, for a specific purpose and audience, constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions, and representations
  • Express and reflect on a variety of experiences, perspectives, and worldviews through place

Environmental Science 12

Big Idea

  • Human actions affect the quality of water and its ability to sustain life.
  • Sustainable land use is essential to meet the needs of a growing population.


  • Soil characteristics and ecosystem services
  • Land management

Background info

These activities draws upon ideas and research presented by Statistics Canada and Environment Canada in the report “Measuring ecosystem goods and services in Canada - Human Activity and the Environment 2013.” More information about the types of ecosystem goods and services can be found in the report.


Assess your students’ ability to:

  • Use scientific concepts and terminology in discussions.
  • Accurately categorize ecosystem goods and services.
  • Effectively use monetary and non-monetary measures to describe the value of EGS.
  • Effectively use monetary and non-monetary measures to describe the impacts of human actions on the value of EGS.


  • The three activities can be adapted for use during outdoor field trips and nature walks in local ecosystems.

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