Just Ecosystem Management: Linking Ecosystem Services with Poverty Alleviation

2010 - 2013

Project status: Complete

Funded by: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Science of the Environment & Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (espa), ESRC, UK Aid

This research starts from the premise that scientists must tackle the relationship between ecosystem services and wellbeing with reference to environmental justice. Ecosystem services tend to benefit some stakeholders more than others. Decision making in ecosystem management is likely to involve some more than others. Can those winner and losers be identified and their responses anticipated? Can the involved social tradeoffs be mapped, just as ecological tradeoffs between competing environmental services, to support ecosystem conservation and poverty alleviation?

Recognition of ecological and social tradeoffs is a crucial precondition for just ecosystem management, i.e. ecosystem management that distributes ecosystem services fairly and includes all stakeholders in decision making.

The research serves the overarching goal to promote just ecosystem management as a new and innovative concept. The project will contribute to the overarching goal by developing a novel conceptual framework to guide research and practice.

– Incorporate attention to multiple stakeholders and socio-ecological tradeoffs into the ecosystem services approach
– Analyse the justice dimensions of critical changes in ecosystem services in the management of water, health, forests, biodiversity and coastal ecosystems
– Illustrate key justice dimensions in the management of selected coastal and terrestrial ecosystems in China, India and Central Africa

The project was featured in an impact story ‘Doing justice to poverty and ecology‘ commissioned by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) Programme.

A video ‘Why does justice matter for ecosystem management‘ has also been produced.

– University of East Anglia, UK
– Chinese Academy of Sciences, PR China
– Makerere University, Uganda
– TERI University, India
– University of British Columbia, Canada
– University of California, Berkeley

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