Ecosystem Services


Southern African Ecosystems and Society (SAPECS). Southern African Program on Ecosystem Change and Society (SAPECS) is an international, transdisciplinary research program that aims to advance stewardship of social-ecological systems and ecosystem services in southern Africa. RA member researchers include: Christo Fabricius, Tally Palmer, Graeme Cumming, Harry Biggs, Oonsie Biggs and Georgina Cundill.

Assessing Health, Livelihoods, Ecosystem Services And Poverty Alleviation In Populous Deltas. This project aims to provide policy makers with the knowledge and tools to enable them to evaluate the effects of policy decisions on people's livelihoods. This will be done by a multidisciplinary and multi-national team of policy analysts, social and natural scientists and engineers. Collectively they will use a participatory approach to create a holistic approach to formally evaluating ecosystem services and poverty in the context of the wide range of changes that are occurring. These changes include subsidence and sea level rise, land degradation and population pressure in delta regions. The approach will be developed, tested and applied in coastal Bangladesh and also tested conceptually in two other populous deltas in India. Led by Neil Adger

Principles for Building Resilience: Sustaining Ecosystem Services in Social-Ecological Systems. Initiated by a group of RA young scholars in 2011, the Principles for Building Resilience project reviews current knowledge around how resilience can be applied in the management of social-ecological systems and the ecosystem services they provide. The publication of initial findings in ARER has been followed up with an edited volume that provides more in depth treatment assessing and evaluating the evidence in support of propositions that have been put forward as underlying principles for building resilience, then discusses the practical application of these principles and lays out further research needs. The seven principles include: maintain diversity and redundancy; manage connectivity; manage slow variables and feedbacks; foster complex adaptive systems thinking; encourage learning; broaden participation; and promote polycentric governance. Written for researchers, lecturers, practitioners and graduate students, the book is of interest to all those working at the core of resilience science as well as those working in the broader fields of sustainability science, environmental management and governance. Led by Oonsie Biggs, Maja Schluter and Michael Schoon.

Arctic Resilience Report. An analysis of thresholds affecting Arctic ecosystem services and the ability of ecosystems and society to adapt or transform. Led by the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. The Resilience Alliance is a collaborating partner.

Sustainable poverty alleviation from coastal ecosystem services (SPACES). This project aims to better understand the links between ecosystem services (ES) and wellbeing in order to design and implement more effective interventions for poverty alleviation. We do this in the context of coastal, social-ecological systems in two poor African countries; Kenya and Mozambique. It is a collaboration between researchers from Stockholm Resilience Centre and the University of Exeter. Led by Tim Daw and Katrina Brown.

Yahara 2070. Yahara 2070 is an exploration of potential futures for ecosystems and human well-being in Wisconsin's Yahara Watershed. It is a research effort of the Water Sustainability and Climate Project at UW-Madison to better understand the long-term impacts of social and environmental change in the region. Led by Stephen Carpenter.

Participatory Modelling Frameworks to Understand Well-being Trade-offs in Coastal Ecosystem Services. The aim is to understand trade-offs in the well-being of poor coastal stakeholders in Kenya under different development and governance scenarios. The project applies a novel combination of ecosystem modelling, well-being analysis, stakeholder analysis, scenario planning and participatory approaches. Tim Daw leads this project with Kate Brown and Garry Peterson.

Selected Publications

Arctic Council. 2013. Arctic Resilience Interim Report 2013. Stockholm Environment Institute and Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm.

Biggs, O., M. Schluter and M. Schoon (eds.). 2014. Principles for Building Resilience: Sustaining Ecosystem Services in Social-Ecological Systems, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Daw. T. 2014. Ecosystem Services and development. In: The Companion to Development Studies, Third Edition (V. Desai, and R. Potter (eds.)), Routledge, 356-361 p, ISBN: 978-1444167245.

Keywords: ecosystem services, human well-being, valuing nature, ecological goods, benefits