The mutual benefits of promoting rural-urban interdependence through linked ecosystem services
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Rural and urban areas are economically, socially, and environmentally interlinked spaces. Ecosystem services are among the major areas of rural-urban linkages in which their interdependence is highly manifested. This paper is based on the systematic review of diversified theoretical and empirical literature. The different mutual benefits that rural and urban areas gain from their linkage are analyzed from the ecosystem services perspective. The main aim was to explain how rural area ecosystem services can be used to strengthen rural-urban linkages. Urban development is generally unthinkable in the absence of rural development, particularly for areas where agriculture is the mainstay of the economy. Rural areas are absolutely necessary for urban areas to function. Almost all ecosystem services of urban areas are imported from rural areas. Urban areas rely on rural areas to meet their demands for food, water, wood, raw materials, etc., which are basically products of rural ecosystem services. Nevertheless, the benefit that rural areas gain from urban development, such as market, farm inputs, employment opportunities, etc. should not be overlooked. Thus, well managed rural-urban linkage is imperative based on a principle that urban development should not affect the supply of rural ecosystem services and rural life at all. Furthermore, the rural population should be given policy attention to the ecosystem services the rural areas are providing and the rural area's ecosystem should be protected for its sustainable service delivery. (c) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
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