The ecosystem approach emerged in the international environmental realm to promote equity and justice for both people and nature. It provides a set of mechanisms, including equitable benefit sharing; conservation and sustainable use; adaptive management; and participatory practices. This article explores how the ecosystem approach that is used in natural resource management shares synergies with notions of environmental justice, including distributional justice, procedural justice and justice-as-recognition. It also explores how the ecosystem approach responds to two additional principles of environmental justice that are specific to environmental disciplines, namely, intergenerational equity and the precautionary principle. The article illustrates the complementarity between the ecosystem approach and environmental justice through practical examples and argues that environmental justice can be promoted by utilizing the ecosystem approach as a vehicle for policy-makers.