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Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation

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Presentation on theme: "Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation

2 Outline What are Ecosystem Services? About ESPA Examples from ESPA Projects. Lessons Learnt Changing Lives

3 Definitions Derived from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: –An ecosystem is a dynamic complex of plant, animal, and microorganism communities and the non-living environment interacting as a functional unit. –Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. –People are integral parts of ecosystems

4 About ESPA


6 Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation ESPA’s Vision ESPA is an international research programme providing evidence of how ecosystem services can support well-being and sustainable poverty alleviation among poor people in low- income countries. Our projects are interdisciplinary, linking the social, natural and political sciences to address a series of focused research questions and evidence challenges. They are delivered through collaborative partnerships involving the world’s best researchers from developing and developed countries. ESPA’s success will be measured by the way that its research can be turned into results that benefit the poor.

7 ESPA in Numbers (1 September 2014) 98 Projects working in 51 countries involving 766 ESPA researchers from 317 institutions 50 % of all ESPA researchers from developing countries 24 % of funds for recent projects allocated directly to developing countries 106 Academic publications 65 In ISI listed journals 813 Citations 22 Books and chapters 19 Models 11 Datasets 867 Outcomes reported ESPA’s most influential paper cited 283 times 26 % of ESPA researchers are women

8 485 twitter followers Over 3,100 web hits a month across the globe 8 instances of direct policy influence 15 ESPA researchers contributing to policy processes and panels Over 300 communication outcomes reported by ESPA researchers 4 PES schemes informed by ESPA research STIMULATING MORE FUNDING £32 million of development investment informed by ESPA research £29 million of new research projects informed by ESPA research 2,490 people in Kenya supported by an ESPA carbon credit project

9 Transformational Science! Conceptualising the links between ecosystem services and poverty alleviation A new global partnership for interdisciplinary science New frameworks and tools Methodological advances Evidence –Documenting the links between ES and PA Science informing policy and practice

10 Development Impact

11 Academic Impact

12 The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Major outcome from Rio+20 Being designed to “integrate economic, social, and environmental aspects and recognise the interlinkages in achieving sustainable development in all its dimensions” Part of the UN’s negotiations of the post-2015 / post-MDG development agenda

13 Where can ESPA’s Research Evidence Contribute to the SDGs? 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere 2. End hunger, achieve food security and adequate nutrition for all, and promote sustainable agriculture 3. Attain healthy life for all at all ages 6. Secure water and sanitation for all for a sustainable world 8. Promote strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all

14 Where can ESPA’s Research Evidence Contribute to the SDGs? 11. Build inclusive, safe and sustainable cities and human settlements 12. Promote sustainable consumption and production patterns 13. Promote actions at all levels to address climate change 14. Attain conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas 15. Protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems and halt all biodiversity loss

15 2. End hunger, achieve food security and adequate nutrition for all ESPA Assets project working in Colombia, Peru and Malawi aims to inform policy makers on how future land use and climate change will affect both food security and the ecosystem services associated with it

16 6. Secure water and sanitation for all for a sustainable world An ESPA project in Bolivia is exploring ways to encourage changes in behaviour to reduce water pollution, increase dry-season flows and enhance human welfare.





21 Telling the ESPA Story Describing when and how ecosystem services contribute to human well-being and poverty alleviation

22 How Scientists Communicate Environmental Issues … … and sometimes get it wrong!

23 Winning Hearts and Minds Mikoko Pamoja Kenya –2,490 community members are benefitting from an innovative carbon credit scheme supported by ESPA research. –A 20 year contract. worth US$ 17,000 this year. –The communities decided to invest in education for 2014.

24 Examples from ESPA Projects East Africa South Asia South America

25 ESPA in Africa Over half of ESPA’s projects have been funded to work in Africa. Most projects are in East and Southern Africa. Generating benefits from food security, coastal ecosystems, rangelands, forests and protected areas.

26 Food Security in Malawi The ESPA Assets project is investigating the impacts of converting land from forest to agriculture. Most systems need to be managed as a mosaic of land-uses and services. There may be an optimal level of ecosystem change or disturbance.

27 Understanding Costs and Benefits Better management of ecosystems for a range of services will help to reduce poverty.

28 Protected Areas in Madagascar How can local people benefit from global payments for ecosystem services? Working closely with the World Bank’s WAVES Partnership Very strong local research and development partners

29 P4GES: A Highly Interdisciplinary Project

30 Forests, Cities and Water in South Asia

31 Land-Use Change in The Himalayas

32 Informing Dialogue

33 Governance and Policy Challenges (Failures?) TestLocal people are often excluded from the decisions determining how the can benefit from ecosystems. Policy is often disjointed and its implementation limited by lack of resources and enforcements Justice and Equity lacking

34 Taking a Regional View in South Asia

35 Challenges Crossing Political Boundaries


37 Influencing People in Other Countries

38 … and their Poverty

39 Policy and Practice in South America

40 Environmental Change and Tipping Points Exceeding “tipping points” leads to significant losses of ecosystem services. –It is much more difficult to restore services. There are often early warning signs of the loss of ecosystem services

41 Policy and Practice: Bolivia Linking environmental and social objectives n Bolivia has increased the adoption of Ecosystem Services as a way to reduce poverty. Decision makers need better evidence and metrics –Quality evidence is valued. –Examples of success

42 Cross-Border Issues

43 Can Ecosystem Services Reduce Poverty?

44 Yes….. But! It’s often difficult to reach the poor. Households require access to key capitals –Land, water, natural resources, finance, social, education. Good governance, effective institutions and markets are often required Capacity strengthening needs to be addressed

45 Key Messages Become smarter about communicating positive messages on how the environment contributes to social and economic development. Treat environmental interventions in the same way as most other approaches to reducing poverty. –The enabling conditions are essentially the same

46 Enabling Conditions Access to key capitals: –Land, social, financial, infrastructure, markets. Community-based organisations can help facilitate change –Including social enterprises –Opportunities for multi-functional organisations Good governance is essential, but don’t just focus on policy!


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