Julio Machele, Marlino Mubai, Dominique Goncales, Tim Daw and Thomas Chagneau represented SPACES at this event, which brought together scientists and practitioners working on complex challenges of sustainable development in the context of complex social and ecological interconnections and change.

A session on SPACES results featured:
an introduction and overview of the political and historical context of development in Cabo Delgado by Marlino
discussion by Julio of the unequal distribution of ecosystem benefits according to gender, ethnicity and wealth,
– an analysis of how ecosystem service use is correlated to different dimensions of poverty in the SPACES household survey by Tim
– finally Dominique gave a rich picture of these issues in Cabo Delgado through stories, photographs and anecdotes drawn from her experience of conducting the SPACES social science fieldwork.

The discussion with the audience drew on the diversity of perspectives in these presentations to explore the role of ethnicity and migration and the impact of cultural attachments to place.  Ignoring such attachments during development interventions, for example if communities are relocated for infrastructure can lead to conflict and wellbeing impacts that might be overlooked by a conventional economic analysis.

Tom presented his analysis of the diverse processes by which ecosystems contribute to different dimensions of wellbeing to a special session convened by Maria Tengö and Vanessa Masterson from Stockholm Resilience Centre. This assembled researchers who have studied wellbeing and ecosystems in Africa and Asia using different approaches and methods.

The session then extended into a two day workshop in which Dominique,  Tom and Tim explored the commonalities between SPACES findings and approaches and other studies.  This led to a common view on the importance of considering the wide range of ecosystem-wellbeing links (not just contributions to income or economic valuations of ES) and their implications for stewardship sustainability and overall wellbeing.

We’re grateful for the Sida funded GRAID programme and Maria Tengö’s research project for facilitating this chance to bring some of the team together. It was exciting to reflect more deeply on SPACES wellbeing findings and to see how SPACES connects to colleagues working in other systems, disciplines and countries, and contributes to the latest thinking on wellbeing, ecosystem services and development.

Dr Tim Daw