SPACES is a new ESPA funded project aiming to empirically test and understand the complex relationship between ecosystem services and the wellbeing of the poor in coastal Kenya and Mozambique.

SPACES is funded by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation programme for £1.9M over three years. It is a collaboration between Stockholm Resilience Centre, Exeter University, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Eduardo Mondlane University, Wildlife Conservation Society and a number of other institutions in Kenya, Mozambique, UK and North America.

Key features

SPACES will study how the condition of coral reefs and mangroves and how ecological dynamics affects the ‘flow’ of potentially useful services, how human inputs turn these into benefits and how social processes distribute these benefits to different members of society. The programme will work with poor communities to understand how these benefits actually contribute to people’s wellbeing.

The project will comparatively analyse these ‘ecosystem-wellbeing’ chains for different kinds of ecosystem services in different contexts to understand ‘elasticities’ between ecosystems and wellbeing and policy levers that can enhance how poor people benefit from ecosystem services. SPACES will then use participatory models and scenarios with stakeholders to understand the local social ecological systems in terms of feedback dynamics, tradeoffs and opportunities for sustainable poverty alleviation

Led by

Tim Daw (Stockholm Resilience Centre)

Photo: Oskar Henriksson/Azote




WaterSES Water scarcity and governance across Social-Ecological Systems (WaterSES). WaterSES is an endorsed project [...]

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