Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation workshop report (ESPA)
Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation / May 2012
The Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) research programme was set up in 2010. Its goal is to “ensure that, in developing countries, ecosystems are being sustainably managed in a way that contributes to poverty reduction as well as inclusive and sustainable growth”.
The report of this workshop held in the United Kingdom includes summaries of presentations and questions raised by participants.
Key issues raised in the presentations:
Increasing the value of ecosystem services does not necessarily reduce poverty and greater equity.
How do ecosystem services produce human wellbeing in developing countries?
What are the trade-offs? Which stakeholders are the winners and losers? Which ecosystems are given priority? (biophysical trade-offs between services)
Are there environmental policies that reduce poverty but also reduce people’s access to ecosystem services?
How do ecosystem service interactions vary across time, space, and people?
Definitions of poverty will influence poverty reduction measures in relation to ecosystem services.
Issues of power are central to the analysis of both vulnerability and equity. See the ESPA poverty framework.
Should we be also thinking about poverty alleviation leading to improved management of ecosystem services?
More income can improve non-income dimensions of poverty and enhance environmental outcomes. What are the feedbacks into other dimensions of poverty and from people back to ecosystem services?
There are different development paths to reduce poverty. Which development path do ecosystem services contribute to?
It is important to put people at the centre of policy frameworks because other studies mainly focus on ecosystem services.
Access and control are crucial when considering who uses ecosystem services.
What is the safe and just operating space for sustainable development within planetary boundaries?
What differences are there between rural and urban contexts?
This summary was prepared by Why Green Economy?. The views expressed have been paraphrased. See the original source for more information.