Ecosystem Services & Social Science

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An overview of Ecosystem Services and how it is integrated into wider social science

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Ecosystem Services & Social Science

  1. 1. Ecosystem Services and Social Science Chris Short CCRI, University of Gloucestershire 27th March 2014
  2. 2. Outline of Session • Ecosystem Services: – Development and current position • Social science: its impact – Where can you find it (some examples) – How it might benefit – Wider connections and challenges • Why bother? (some examples) • What next?
  3. 3. Early Origins • Progressive thinkers (Daily 1997) – Dangerous path but fate not sealed • Poorly equipped to resolve trade-offs • Protect earth’s life support systems • Knowledge not presented properly • Not recognised in economic decisions
  4. 4. Background to Ecosystem Services • Not a UK or EU development –Roots in 1992 Rio (known for CBD & SusD) • Global decline (as shown by MEA) • Started as Ecosystem Approach • National decline (outlined in 2010 WP & NEA) • Warnings for many years (‘Silent Spring’ 1962) • Increasingly aware of interconnectedness Do we undervalue our environment?
  5. 5. How do we value it at present? • EIA and SEA – Closer to SEA but wider and different perspective • AES and ES – some overlap – But AES narrower in focus, mainly biodiversity • Policy - land management policy has a link • ES central to new policy agendas (Fish 2011) – But social sciences ‘sceptically engaged’ • ES is a new (better?) way of seeing things
  6. 6. What are Ecosystem Services? • What has nature done for us? – The things we take for granted? – Do we undervalue our environment? • Failure – to incorporate the value of Nature in our decisions – to heed the warnings (Silent Spring) – to think in systems rather than issues – to fully grasp the benefits and connectedness
  7. 7. Types of Ecosystem Services Provisioning services The products obtained from ecosystems such as food, fibre, fuel and fresh water, also genetic resources Regulating services The benefits obtained from the regulation of ecosystem processes including carbon capture, air quality, pest control, pollination, water purification and regulation. Cultural services The non-material benefits that people obtain through recreation, reflection, relaxation and aesthetic experiences, sense of place and spiritual enrichment. Supporting services such as nutrient cycling, oxygen production and soil formation. These underpin the ‘provision’ of all the other service categories. (LUC 2009) Biodiversity itself? The capital that drives these services
  8. 8. MEA characterisation: Consequences of Ecosystem Change for Human Well-being Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: http://www.maweb.org/en/
  9. 9. Human – Environmental System Burkhard et al 2012
  10. 10. Why sceptically engaged? • Focus is elsewhere – ‘pure’ and ‘impure’ Payment for ES schemes – ecosystem services is a natural science paradigm – arrows only what ‘nature gives society’ – assumption others ‘won’t understand’ • CES concentrates on ‘measurable’ options – heavy focus on tourism, visitor payback etc. – little effort on stakeholder engagement • Key advances in SocSci (& A&H) absent
  11. 11. New advances in SocSci and A&H • Society interactions with nature are complex – Articulated through emotion and practice – Hard to measure quant and qualitatively (RELU) • No one view of how nature engages society – multiple, fragmented, incoherent and contested – ‘hard to reach’ just as valid, moving target • Dynamic situation – Social structures change (values, economy etc) • Strong sense of ‘local’ amongst users
  12. 12. Opportunities for SocSci and A&H • SocSci impacts all ES – develop these links • Through ‘lived’ engagement – How to capture richness and complexity? • Mapping cultural value networks & ES – Use to reveal social-ecological systems • Participatory approaches & techniques – Digital story telling, deep mapping, art, poetry – Incorporate into governance & decision making
  13. 13. Institutional approach? • Are our institutions ‘fit for purpose’? – If the purpose is about thinking in systems • A different way of seeing things …
  14. 14. Ecosystem & Social system • Gonzalez et al 2008
  15. 15. The Reconnection Agenda Selman 2012
  16. 16. Evaluating an integrated project • Assessing the benefit of delivering WFD – Through engagement and collaboration – At a sub-catchment scale – GRCC, CWPT and FWAG SW • Selected SES framework
  17. 17. Biggs et al 2012
  18. 18. The PES concept
  19. 19. Cotswold PES partnership • Sellers – farmers involved at start, data input • Beneficiaries/Buyers – Private sector (Thames Water, Ecotricity) – Local communities (develop and benefit from) – Public Sector (EA and NE) • Facilitators – making links and contacts • Researchers – gather evidence & framework
  20. 20. Social Learning Approach Collins & Ison 2009
  21. 21. Triggers • WFD failings & CSF • Loss of ESA arable reversion • Metaldehyde levels 1
  22. 22. Data collection • By farmer on farm – Nitrate, Phosphate and Ammonia + field diary • By TW/UWE – Metaldehyde, pesticides • By CSF – soils • Joint discussion of data • Agree way forward – management options – knowledge gaps 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 1 1 12 13
  23. 23. Summary of PES Approach • Partnership approach (Phase 1) – Part of the solution, in at the start • Multiple services under one (layered) PES • Sellers and Buyers involved in developing • Demonstration events & knowledge exchange • Co-production of options • Development of PES framework (Phase 2) • Phase 3 onwards to deal with implementation
  24. 24. Embedding Ecosystem Services • Current area of thinking … requiring? • Rethinking of existing mechanisms – Embed ES with EIA/SEA – Link with other initiatives - connectivity • Green Infrastructure Planning & Well-being – Ecosystems or Social-ecological systems? – Land use is more than economics (soc & env) • Innovation and system-based solutions
  25. 25. Implications for management and policies • Resilience rather than efficiency (Biggs et al 2011) • Adaptive management: adjusting on the basis of what is being learnt • Co-management: engaging stakeholders in management process (Carlsson & Berkes 05) • Cross-scale & scope: linking across levels of governance • Polycentric policy (Biggs et al 2011, Ostrom 2010)
  26. 26. Concluding thoughts • Increase discussion on EcA (cp ES) • Need to mainstream soc sci and EcA – Examples from outside UK/Europe – Literature around social-ecological systems – Policy on ICCA and CBA – largely absent in UK • Signs of hope? – River Severn, National Parks, Biospheres
  27. 27. SocSci-led ES projects for 2014/15?

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