Uncovering the amazing behind the scenes achievements by Tzunza community to build on SPACES knowledge and dialogues.

Chris Cheupe, April 2018

SPACES spent lots of effort in order to disseminate information with the hope of improving the wellbeing of the people in the study communities.  Impact activities which aim at bringing change at the community have been done using both top down (high level workshops) and bottom up (community feedback meeting and dialogue) approaches.

With regard to these impact activities the communities have seemingly done a lot which have remained undocumented. Due to this, it is difficult to gauge the progress and challenges faced by the community members in their effort to apply the knowledge generated from the impact activities.

SPACES project has collected data in the Kenyan coastal sites including Kongowea, Vanga, Shimoni areas and Tsunza. The project has also conducted feedback meeting with these communities with an aim of disseminating its key findings. Apart from generously sharing data with the team members, the community continued with the […]

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SPACES Data Explorer

In May 2017, SPACES researchers received additional impact funding from ESPA to share the project’s knowledge assets. The funding was used to develop SPACES Data Explorer. The idea springs from suggestions that the stakeholders gave in pilot interviews, about sharing findings with graphs and making it more user friendly. The Data Explorer democratizes SPACES data on basic needs, ecosystem services, and wellbeing and makes it accessible for a wider audience beyond academia. The methods used to collect the basic needs data is described in  the publication by Chaigneau et al (2018), see here for more information.

The Data Explorer was presented during Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) Symposium in November, where SPACES co-hosted a full day special session with ESPA. It was then shared in 1-1 follow-up meetings with key stakeholders in Kenya and in Mozambique.

Click here to view the Data Explorer.

On the first page of the Data Explorer, you can read about the different datasets and what information is displayed. This is also where you will choose the site or sites you wish to explore on the left handside of the screen. Remember to click Go To Charts!

The first chart that you will come to displays the basic needs that are not met in the site or sites that you have chosen. You can hover over the bars to see the definitions of the basic needs.

Next you can choose to view what impact ecosystem services have on the basic needs. The bar heights will not change, but the colours will. Here it is important to focus on the colours rather than height. Dark green represents an ecosystem service that has high impact on the basic need. In the example below, we see that Mangrove Poles have a high impact on education (females), physical security (males & females), shelter (males & females), food (males), sanitation (males), relationship (males & females). Mangrove poles are used to build house therefore they have an impact on shelter, but they are also sold for money which is used to pay for school fees (education), food, and soap (sanitation). The practice of collecting and harvesting mangrove poles builds relationships. For more information on the connections between the ecosystem services and the impact on basic needs refer to the bottom of the information page on the Data Explorer.

Below the chart, text information on who has access to the mangrove poles appears along with the state of the ecosystem.

This chart shows how males and females perceive an ecosystem service to contribute to their wellbeing. This example shows how octopus is perceived to benefit males and females in Vamizi, Mozambique. 

Happy Exploring! Please email spaces.communication@gmail.com if you have any questions or feedback.

References

Chaigneau, T., Coulthard, S., Brown, K., Daw, T.M. and Schulte‐Herbrüggen, B., 2018. Incorporating basic needs to reconcile poverty and ecosystem services. Conservation Biology https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cobi.13209

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Video: Ecosystems are important for people beyond a dollar amount

People obtain benefits from nature. Sustainable poverty alleviation should support ecosystem services, the benefits that people obtain from nature, that are less extractive and non-monetary. Rather than focusing on the monetary aspects of ecosystem services, which may fuel resource extraction. Ecosystems are important for people beyond monetary benefits. For instance, cooking fish for instance fosters relationships.

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A short video clip about SPACES

Over the past four years, researchers within the Sustainable Poverty Alleviation from Coastal Ecosystems (SPACES) project have been exploring how different forms of poverty are connected to ecosystems. They studied environmental contributions to wellbeing and poverty alleviation in poor coastal communities in Kenya and Mozambique.

The project was an ongoing interaction between 39 academic researchers and 28 research staff, interns, and master’s students. SPACES engaged with tens of stakeholders in both countries. SPACES had a focus on impact throughout the project. This has made the project less abstract and allowed it become more embedded in society, which has been one of its strengths. The team visited 16 organizations in Kenya and 6 in Mozambique in 1-1 meetings with stakeholders.

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Redefining poverty in Kenya’s fishing villages

Redefining poverty in Kenya’s fishing villages

SPACES findings on the different dimensions of poverty have been highlighted in a recent article on Rethink.Earth. Fishers in Kenya occupy one of the more lucrative jobs along the coast, but many of them still miss meals and live in basic house made with mud walls and mangrove poles. To find out why, read the full story! 

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