SRC leads the UK ESPA-funded project: Sustainable Poverty Alleviation from Coastal Ecosystem Services (SPACES) which aims to understand how coastal ecosystem services contribute to the wellbeing of poor people in coastal Kenya and Northern Mozambique. The project is a collaboration between from Mozambican, Kenyan, Swedish, British and Canadian research institutions.

During 2016 the project focused on completing field activities, analysing, writing up and disseminating results, and developing an impact strategy and activities

For example, Johnstone Omukoto from Kenya visited the University of British Columbia to work with William Cheung on Ecopath models of Kenyan fisheries. Meanwhile SRC interns Nicole Reid and Blanca Gonzalez used SPACES household survey data to investigate the relationships between subjective wellbeing, place attachment and readiness to exit fisheries.

SPACES team members presented research at four international conferences. Beatrice Crona presented value-chain research at the ‘International Institute of Fisheries and Economics and Trade’ conference. Celia Macamo presented the impacts of mangrove use on forest structure and sustainability at the Mangrove and Macrobenthos Meeting (MMM4) in Florida and.  Björn Schulte-Herbruggen showed how multidimensional wellbeing is linked to environmental income at the European Ecosystem Services Conference in Antwerp. Lastly, Tim Daw, Kate Brown and Caroline Abunge all presented aspects of SPACES at the ESPA 2016 Annual Science Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. The SPACES framework was published in the PECS special issue of Ecology and Society with the title ‘Elasticity in ecosystem services: exploring the variable relationship between ecosystem services and human well-being’.

SPACES has increasingly focused impact, with the employment of a full time communications assistant. Feedback meetings were held in the 8 different study communities in Kenya and Mozambique share findings and validate results. Additional funding from SwedBIO will allow deeper community dialogues in 2017. These will co-produce locally relevant interpretations and recommendations that will be shared at workshops with development-sector actors in 2017.

Additional funding extended SPACES research to identify how people and ecosystems in southern Kenya were affected by the recent El Nino event. SPACES team members also secured an ESPA grant to synthesis research on the relationship between wellbeing and resilience.