New Publication: Assessing Basic Human Needs to prevent serious harm

The methodology used to explore whether people meet their basic human needs is presented and discussed in this new paper. The paper proposes this as a way to monitor the impact of conservation actions on people to prevent serious harm.

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

See this news item on the Stockholm Resilience Centre website:

https://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/research-news/2019-01-24-biodiversity-vs.-poverty-alleviation-or-can-we-have-both.html

And Kate Brown’s reflections on the paper on her blog:

http://katrinabrown.org/a-basic-needs-approach-to-understanding-conservation-impacts-on-multidimensional-poverty/

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Ecosystem services: The past, the pitfalls and the potential for supporting wellbeing of people in the Western Indian Ocean

About

Tim Daw’s keynote presentation at the 10th WIOMSA symposium.

What has the science of ecosystems services got to offer the people and policymakers of the WIO region? And what are the opportunities to use this now widespread concept to sustainably support human wellbeing through these turbulent times. I outline key insights, challenges and opportunities from ecosystem services and wellbeing research.

First, Daw reviews where the term ‘ecosystem services’ comes from. He outlines the different usages and some pitfalls and critiques. Then draws on examples from WIO and around the world to illustrate three key insights from research using the concepts of ecosystem services and human wellbeing: 1. The importance of trade-offs 2. The ‘co-production’ of ecosystem services by people and nature, and 3. The complexity of the relationship between humans’ wellbeing and their environment. This leads to two key challenges and research frontiers: How can we interpret and understand change? And how can we navigate hard choices and tradeoffs?

Finally, Daw focuses on two opportunities for this research to contribute in WIO. The first opportunity is to use greater understanding of how ecosystems are linked to wellbeing to generate interventions for sustainably improving people’s lives. The second is for scientists to leap out of our comfort zone into transdisciplinary research with coastal people, policy makers and other disciplines. The insights from research shows that management of ecosystem services is messy, political and uncertain. As, scientists we cannot be expected to provide simple solutions, but we have a responsibility to engage, inform and provoke decision makers at all
levels as they navigate through uncertain futures.

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Challenges of measuring place attachment in Kenya and Mozambique

Abstract

This working paper investigates place attachment in Kenya and Mozambique. Place attachment can be defined as “the emotional bonds between people and a particular place or environment” (Seamon, 2014, p.11). The SPACES project survey included questions on place attachment in 7 different coastal communities in Kenya and Mozambique. The 2280 surveys that had valid records were used to produce a single quantitative measure of place attachment. We analyzed both countries together and each country as a separate sample (Kenya, n=1638; Mozambique, n=642) because the questions were asked differently for each country. Two methods for generating a place attachment score were applied, one In general, the place attachment value was lower in Mozambique than in Kenya although this could be due to methodological differences in each country. We also explored the distribution of responses across the place attachment index. The majority of the respondents are strongly place attached–i.e. strongly agree with many or all of the statements. Thirty percent of respondents considering the whole data set gave the maximum score to all the scale items. We have tried to operationalize the concept of place attachment as an affective bond, acknowledging that this measurement reflects only one aspect of relationships to place (William, 2014). Two different methods for constructing a numerical score of place attachment were tried and the results were highly correlated. Although the data were highly skewed towards maximum place attachment scores, some evidence exists for differences between the sites. In particular, the most urban Kenyan site (Kongowea) had the least positive median scores.

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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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Perceptions of degradation of Ecosystem services in a estuarine zone, center of Mozambique – Eunice Ribeiro et al.(1.0 MB)

About

Coastal habitats such as mangroves and estuaries provide important ecosystem services for human communities. These habitats are also some of the most heavily exploited by humans and therefore threaten natural systems. Nova Mambone village, established in 1957, is adjacent to an estuary, forming extensive mangrove forests, and the livelihood of the villagers are linked with the non-agricultural sources. Fishing and allied activities from the rivers and estuary are carried out without restrictions. Male fishers are engaged in exploiting fish, prawns and crabs in large scale for commercial purposes, female adults are either unemployed or are engaged in informal businesses, while children collect shells, fish, crabs, honey, and firewood to satisfy their daily needs.

This study revealed that there are four estuary centers on site and they are operated by 8100 fishermen. There is no restriction for the products collected in the mangrove forest area. Nova Mambone village has experienced rates of mangrove loss in the last 10 years due to extreme events such as flooding, cyclones, and consequently reduced fish production, which is their main source of income. Such mangrove deforestation has had significant, albeit varying, impacts on the livelihoods of villagers. The livelihoods of inhabitants in Nova Mambone were studied to understand the implication of extreme events on their livelihood. The reduction of fish production has been the main constraint.

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