The Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) is a worldwide network, founded in 2008, to enhance the science and practical application of ecosystem services. To facilitate the needed dialogue between scientists, policy makers and practitioners ESP organises an annual international conference in different parts of the world. The 8th World ESP conference will be held in South Africa from 9-13 November 2015. The central theme is ‘Ecosystem Services for Nature, People and Prosperity’. The conference will pay special attention to the public and private sector dialogue on how the ecosystem services concept can be used to support conservation, improve livelihoods and engage the business community. ESP8 will provide an excellent platform to engage with experts who can generate solutions to these challenges and start making a difference in practice.