How DO coastal ecosystems support human wellbeing? New SPACES publication on the many mechanisms

A new paper based on SPACES research reports the diverse ways people reported that ecosystem services support different aspects of wellbeing.

The paper discusses these using the capability approach and theory of human needs.  The the diverse mechanisms to contribute to wellbeing can be categorised as money, use or experience. Considering all of these mechanisms can inform the development of interventions that aim to protect or improve flows of benefits to people.

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

http://katrinabrown.org/complex-social-factors-mediate-the-links-between-ecosystem-services-wellbeing-and-resilience/

Complete citation:

Chaigneau T, Brown K, Coulthard S, Daw TM, Szaboova L. 2019. Money, use and experience: Identifying the mechanisms through which ecosystem services contribute to wellbeing in coastal Kenya and Mozambique. Ecosystem Services 38:100957.

Link to the paper (open access): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2019.100957

Abstract:

Despite extensive recent research elucidating the complex relationship between ecosystem services and human wellbeing, little work has sought to understand how ecosystem services […]

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SPACES publication: Men and women use, experience and value coastal ecosystem services differently

In this latest publication, Matt Fortnam and coauthors from the SPACES team compiled evidence from across the SPACES datasets to illustrate how people’s engagement with ecosystem services are fundamentally gendered…

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800918301836

See this Stockholm Resilience Centre news item for a summary of the paper:

https://stockholmresilience.org/research/research-news/2019-03-17-ecosystem-services-for-men-ecosystem-services-for-women.html

and in the blog below Kate Brown discusses the paper in the context of the emerging literature on the structures that determine who can benefit from ecosystem services, and how:

http://katrinabrown.org/inequality-and-ecosystem-services-social-structures-and-processes-determining-who-benefits-from-ecosystems-and-how/

Abstract:

This article assesses the extent to which our conceptualisation, understanding and empirical analysis of ecosystem services are inherently gendered; in other words, how they might be biased and unbalanced in terms of their […]

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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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Understanding the disaggregated nature of ecosystem services wellbeing relationship in northern Mozambique

About

Dominique Goncalves’ picturesque presentation on the disaggregated nature of ecosystem services wellbeing relationship. She points out that fish and octopus are linked with most basic needs, but people are less satisfied with octopus, and that satisfaction levels vary between the communities. The levels can have to do with gender, tradition, conservation, migration, and/or development.

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