“Nature’s contributions to people” (NCP) is designed to provide space for the recognition of diverse and evolving culturally mediated ideas about what people derive from, and co-produce with, nature. Its origins, along with the IPBES conceptual framework in which it is embedded, is transdisciplinary, action-oriented, and inclusive and also embraces pluralism. NCP provides both generalizing and context-specific perspectives and analytical tools that can be interwoven and enables diverse actors to represent nature-people interactions for different scales, audiences, and decision-makers. NCP therefore can be used to understand and communicate the ways in which ongoing biodiversity decline may affect the complex relationships between people and nature. This Primer presents NCP in accessible language, highlights its unique contribution as a tool for plural valuation of nature in conservation assessments, clarifies common misconceptions, and provides examples of the innovative ways NCP has already been applied around the world.