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A social vulnerability index to changes in ecosystem services provision at local scale: A methodological approach.

Understanding the influence of social variables on a beneficiary´s vulnerability to environmental change might improves the design of policies of mitigation and adaptation to global, regional and local environmental change. In the context of socio-ecological systems, there is a wide variety of conceptual and methodological approaches for the assessment of social vulnerability in face of environmental change. However, there is a need for making these approaches more operational.


Social perception of risk in socio-ecological systems. A qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Literature in the vulnerability of socio-ecological systems has highlighted the need for considering Social Perception of Risk (SPR) as a determinant of social vulnerability. This paper combines quantitative and qualitative approaches for analyzing SPR in the context of a socio-ecological system. We analyze the SPR of loss or degradation of water provision and erosion control in the Northern Andes (Riogrande basin, Antioquia-Colombia).


Payments for ecosystem services and motivational crowding in Colombia's Amazon Piedmont.

Globally, there is an increasing level of funding targeted to pay farmers and rural communities for the provision of ecosystem services, for example through Payments for Ecosystem or Environmental Services (PES) schemes and pilots for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, and maintaining or enhancing forest carbon stocks (REDD +). Therefore, there is growing interest in understanding the effects of economic incentives on participants' behavior and motivations.


Pragmatic conservation: Discourses of payments for ecosystem services in Colombia

Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes incentivise landowners to maintain, restore or enhance ecosystem services. Currently, there are more than 550 active PES programmes worldwide, expected to support conservation efforts and, ideally, to also reduce rural poverty. In this article we explore the discourses that underpin PES debates and practice in Colombia, a late-comer to the PES agenda in Latin-America. Informed by interviews with PES actors and Q-methodology (n = 41), we identify three PES discourses: conservation conduit, contextual conservation, and inconvenient conservation.


Does exclusion matter in conservation agreements? A case of mangrove users in the Ecuadorian coast using participatory choice experiments.

Payments for environmental services (PES) constitute a growing approach to achieve the sustainability of ecosystems and the benefits they provide to people. However, informal tenure and lack of capacity to enforce property rights impede implementation of PES initiatives. Such challenges are common for local communities in coastal and marine areas who overexploit Common-Pool Resources (CPR) under open access. Assigning property rights to organized users has been implemented as a solution, transforming a public good into a club good.


A more dynamic understanding of human behaviour for the Anthropocene

Human behaviour is of profound significance in shaping pathways towards sustainability. Yet, the approach to understanding human behaviour in many fields remains reliant on overly simplistic models. For a better understanding of the interface between human behaviour and sustainability, we take work in behavioural economics and cognitive psychology as a starting point, but argue for an expansion of this work by adopting a more dynamic and systemic understanding of human behaviour, that is, as part of complex adaptive systems.


Gender differences in poaching attitudes: Insights from communities in Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe living near the great Limpopo

To what extent and how do men and women differ in their attitudes about poaching? Although research suggests that women can be more concerned about environmental degradation than men, inquiries about communities in protected areas are ambiguous: women are disproportionately affected by anti-poaching laws and can have greater motivations to violate rules.We conducted a large-scale survey in communities within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park in Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe


Technical Efficiency in Agriculture and Its Implication on Forest Conservation in Tanzania: The Case Study of Kilosa District (Morogoro)

This paper examines technical efficiency in farming activities and its implication on forest conservation in Kilosa District. The empirical analysis is based on data collected from 301 households selected randomly from five villages in Kilosa district, of which three villages were under the REDD+ project. Two empirical models were estimated: stochastic frontier Translog production function, and forest resources extraction model.


Habitat Fragmentation and Systematic Conservation Planning in Low-income Countries

Parks and nature reserves created for conservation often become forest islands in a matrix of other land uses. Their species populations often decline due to this forest fragmentation. There is increasing evidence that conservation outside of reserves is required to slow biodiversity loss. This evidence, coupled with the species decline due to fragmentation, implies that conservation policies require a landscape perspective that includes the land in between protected areas. In low-income countries, however, these “matrix” areas often support rural people’s livelihoods.


    Creating Protected Areas on Public Lands: Is There Room for Additional Conservation?

    Most evaluations of the effectiveness of PAs have relied on indirect estimates based on comparisons between protected and unprotected areas. Such methods can be biased when protection is not randomly assigned. We add to the growing literature on the impact of PAs by answering the following research questions: What is the impact of Chilean PAs on deforestation which occurred between 1986 and 2011? How do estimates of the impact of PAs vary when using only public land as control units?


    A synthesis of three decades of socio-ecological change in False Bay, South Africa: setting the scene for multidisciplinary research and management

    Over the past three decades, marine resource management has shifted conceptually from top-down sectoral approaches towards the more systems-oriented multi-stakeholder frameworks of integrated coastal management and ecosystem-based conservation. However, the successful implementation of such frameworks is commonly hindered by a lack of cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer, especially between natural and social sciences. This review represents a holistic synthesis of three decades of change in the oceanography, biology and human dimension of False Bay, South Africa.


      Sanctioned Quotas vs. Information Provisioning for Community Wildlife Conservation in Zimbabwe: A Framed Field Experiment Approach

      We investigate the behavioural responses of resource users to two policy interventions: sanctioned quotas and information provisioning. We do so in a context in which multiple resources (pastures and wild animal stocks) are connected and could substantially and drastically deteriorate as a result of management. We perform an experimental study among communities that are managing common pool wildlife in Zimbabwe.


      Factors Influencing People’s Perceptions Towards Conservation of Transboundary Wildlife Resources

      Local people’s perceptions about protected areas are important determinants of the success of conservation efforts in Southern Africa, as their perceptions affect their attitude and behaviour towards conservation. As a result, the involvement of local communities in transboundary wildlife conservation is now viewed as an integral part of regional development initiatives involving several countries.


      Visualizations in Economics

      Visual artists and graphic designers have rarely communicated with economists. Yet much of applied economics involves comparisons of states of the world that ought to be imagined. Through a simple case study, we discuss methods used in economics to value individual preferences over the environment, and the use of visualizations in these exercises. We pinpoint that it is time for economists to start a constructive dialogue with artists in general and visual artists in particular.


      Peace is much more than doves: The economic benefits of bird-based tourism as a result of the peace treaty in Colombia

      Colombia has the greatest bird diversity of any country in the world, with approximately 1900 recorded species, equivalent to 20% of all bird species worldwide. Advances made by the Colombian government to achieve greater security within the country – putting an end to the long-standing armed conflict – and to promote ecotourism can help position Colombia as one of the most important bird watching destinations worldwide. This study estimates the economic benefits from bird-based tourism in post-war Colombia.


      Identifying Drivers and Spatial Patterns of Deforestation in the Rio Grande Basin, Colombia

      Identifying the spatial patterns and drivers of deforestation is a critical task in geographic research. In addition to mapping deforestation, it’s important to determine the statistical effects of the spatial configuration of tropical landscapes on current deforestation trends. In order to model drivers of deforestation is important to take into account the spatial structure of data (i.e., whether observed deforestation is spatially clustered or not).


      Linking inequalities and ecosystem services in Latin America

      Latin America exhibits one of the highest rates of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) loss worldwide along with a remarkable asymmetry in the access to ES benefits (ecosystem services inequality, ESI hereafter). The objective of this manuscript is to propose and validate a conceptual model to understand the links between ESI and ecosystem services supply. First, previous ES frameworks were expanded to acknowledge the role of the unequal access to ES on socio-ecological system dynamics.


      Vulnerability of socio –ecological systems: A conceptual framework

      The analysis of vulnerability of socio-ecological systems to threats of different types such as extreme climate events or change in land use draws attention to the factors and processes that determine whether the ecological, social and integrated socio-ecological systems are likely to experience harm due to exposure to the threat. During the last years there has been an increasing attention to the analysis of the vulnerability of socio-ecological systems when facing the lost or degradation of ecosystem services.


      Valuing Cultural Services of the Kailash Sacred Landscape for Sustainable Management

      Hindu Kush Himalaya is home to many cultural and religious sites. The literature on the valuation of cultural sites in the mountain terrains is thin. Hence, their development and sustainability are often ignored. Using primary survey data from three different sites in the Kailash Sacred Landscape of India and Nepal, the cultural value of religious sites to the visitors and households living in the surrounding areas was estimated using a modified travel cost method.


      Local Community Characteristics and Cooperation for Shared Green Reputation

      This article examines how basic socioeconomic and political factors are associated with higher levels of cooperation to garner a local community's shared green reputation. We analyze panel data on participation efforts in a collective voluntary environmental program, the Ecological Blue Flag Program, by the entire population of beach communities in Costa Rica between 2001 and 2009.


      The impact of protected area governance and management capacity on ecosystem function in Central America

      Protected areas (PAs) are a prominent approach to maintaining and enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services. A critical question for safeguarding these resources is how PA governance processes and management structures influence their effectiveness. We conduct an impact evaluation of 12 PAs in three Central American countries to assess how processes in management restrictions, management capacity, and decentralization affect the annual change in the satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).


      Are government incentives effective for avoided deforestation in the tropical Andean forest?

      In order to ensure the provision of goods and services from forests, many governments have promoted less-traditional conservation initiatives such as programs of payments for ecosystem services called, more broadly, direct payments for conservation. The Socio Bosque Program (SBP) is a governmental program in Ecuador that directly provides economic incentives to rural families and local and indigenous communities who have voluntarily agreed to comply with some conservation activities. An impact evaluation method (matching) was used to assess the impact of the SBP between 2008 and 2014.


      Can Local Communities Afford Full Control Over Wildlife Conservation? The Case of CAMPFIRE in Zimbabwe

      Wildlife is widely becoming an important vehicle for rural development in most third-world countries across the globe. With wildlife, as with other conservation and development policies, policymakers are usually not informed about the needs and wants of poor rural households and roll out programmes that are not tailor made to suit their desires, which often results in policy failure. We use a survey-based choice experiment in this paper to investigate household preferences for various attributes of a wildlife management scheme.


      Valuing Residents’ Preferences for Improved Urban Green Space Ecosystem Services in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

      The loss of ecosystems in cities may involve high long-term economic costs and severe impacts on social, cultural, and economic values. However, it is difficult to put a number on the benefits of urban green spaces. Limited research has been conducted on people’s preference for urban green spaces in developing countries and how much they are willing to pay for these benefits. Thus, this research contributes to sustainable urbanization by considering preferences and the value that residents place on potential improvements to urban green spaces in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


      Using Data on Social Influence and Collective Action for Parameterizing a Geographically-Explicit Agent-Based Model for the Diffusion of Soil Conservation Efforts

      Social influence affects individual decision-making on soil conservation. Understanding the emergent diffusion of collective conservation effort is relevant to natural resource management at the river basin level. This study focuses on the effect of subjective norms and collective action on the diffusion of Soil Conservation Effort (SCE) in the Lake Naivasha basin (Kenya) for the period 1965–2010. A geographically-explicit Agent-Based Model (ABM) version of the CONSUMAT model was developed: the CONSERVAT model.


      Recreational value and optimal pricing of national parks: lessons from Maasai Mara in Kenya

      This paper estimates the recreational value and optimal pricing for recreation services in the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya. To achieve this objective, data from 323 Park visitors were collected. Single-site individual travel cost method (ITCM) using count data models [zero truncated Poisson (ZTP), zero truncated negative binomial (ZTNB), negative binomial with endogenous stratification (NBSTRAT), and Poisson with endogenous stratification (PSTRAT)] was applied.


      Context Matters: Exploring the Cost-effectiveness of Fixed Payments and Procurement Auctions for PES

      Successfully implemented payment for ecosystem services (PES) programs can provide both conservation of nature and financial support to rural communities. In this paper, we explore how PES programs can be designed so as to maximize the amount of additional ecosystem services provided for a given budget. We also provide a brief summary of the use of auction mechanisms in real world PES programs.


      Vulnerability of socio –ecological systems: A conceptual framework

      The analysis of vulnerability of socio-ecological systems to threats of different types such as extreme climate events or change in land use draws attention to the factors and processes that determine whether the ecological, social and integrated socio-ecological systems are likely to experience harm due to exposure to the threat.


      Peace is much more than doves: The economic benefits of bird-based tourism as a result of the peace treaty in Colombia

      Colombia has the greatest bird diversity of any country in the world, with approximately 1900 recorded species, equivalent to 20% of all bird species worldwide. Advances made by the Colombian government to achieve greater security within the country – putting an end to the long-standing armed conflict – and to promote ecotourism can help position Colombia as one of the most important bird watching destinations worldwide. This study estimates the economic benefits from bird-based tourism in post-war Colombia.


      Conservation versus Equity: Can payments for environmental services achieve both?

      Based on a framed field experiment, we investigate the trade-off between conservation and equity in the use of payments for environmental services (PES). We compare the effects of two PES schemes that implicitly incorporate different distributive justice principles: a flat-rate payment per biophysical unit conserved and a redistributive payment based on the Rawls maxi-min distributional principle. The main findings indicate that the introduction of a redistributive scheme can function as a multipurpose instrument.


      Collective Property Leads to Household Investments: Lessons from Land Titling in Afro-Colombian Communities

      In the developing world, collective land titling has become an important tool for recognizing the historical presence of ethnic communities and safeguarding their rights to occupy and manage their territories. However, little is known about the average impact of these titling processes on the well-being of these communities. In this paper we attempt to estimate the impact of collective land titling in territories inhabited by Afro-descendent communities in Colombia.


      Behavioural economics: Cash incentives avert deforestation

      There is tension in developing countries between financial incentives to clear forests and climate regulation benefits of preserving trees. Now research shows that paying private forest owners in Uganda reduced deforestation, adding to the debate on the use of monetary incentives in forest conservation.


      Smallholder Agricultural Production Efficiency of Adopters and Nonadopters of Land Conservation Technologies in Tanzania

      Promotion and supporting the adoption of land management and conservation technologies (LMCTs) among poor farming households has been considered to improve crop yields as well as production technical efficiency (TE). This article compares production efficiency between adopters and nonadopters of LMCTs in Tanzania. Using national panel data, the study applied stochastic frontier model to estimate the TE of adopters and nonadopters. The findings show that adopters of LMCTs had a relatively significantly higher TE (0.73) than their nonadopter counterparts (0.69).


      Ecological Restoration and Livelihood: Contribution of Planted Mangroves as Nursery and Habitat for Artisanal and Commercial Fishery

      Restoration of degraded and depleted mangrove habitats and planting of mangroves over coastal mudflats is happening at many places, but there are few studies that evaluate the flow of ecosystem services from these regenerated ecosystems. The state of Gujarat in Western India has planted thousands of hectares of mangroves over the coastal mudflats and, today, the state’s mangrove cover is nearly double that in the 1930s. However, these mangroves have limiting features: for example, these are mostly single-species, Avicenna marina, and are sparse, and lack freshwater supply.


      Environment & Forests Book Chapter-India- Three Year Action Plan Agenda, 2017-18 to 2019-20

      The Three Year Action Agenda, a NITI Aayog document, is based on extensive discussions with and inputs from the central ministries and State governments. The Governing Council of the NITI Aayog, consisting of the Prime Minister as its Chairperson and several Union Ministers and State Chief Ministers as Members, extensively deliberated on the document in its draft form at its meeting on 23rd April 2017. 


        The role of institutions in community wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe

        Institutions play a significant role in stabilising large-scale cooperation in common pool resource management. Without restrictions to govern human behaviour, most natural resources are vulnerable to overexploitation. This study used a sample size of 336 households and community-level data from 30 communities around Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, to analyse the relationship between institutions and biodiversity outcomes in community-based wildlife conservation. Our results suggest a much stronger effect of institutions on biodiversity


        In Search of Urban Recreational Ecosystem Services in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

        In sub-Saharan Africa, urban recreational ecosystem services are browning and disappearing despite the global recognition of their importance. We study the availability, preference, and determinants of visitations to urban recreational ecosystem services in Dar es Salaam. The results show that, amongst the functioning and publicly owned recreational ecosystem services, there are botanical gardens and other open green spaces with greenery (e.g., trees, grass, or gardens) and sometimes with basic facilities such as benches.


        Transferencias condicionadas y pagos por servicios ecosistémicos

        Los programas de transferencias condicionadas (PTC) para promover objetivos de salud y educación, así como los pagos por servicios ecosistémicos (PSE) en el caso de los objetivos ambientales, son dos instrumentos importantes de política pública. Ambos buscan alinear los intereses de la sociedad como un todo con los intereses de los individuos, familias y propietarios de la tierra.


        Carbon stocks, net cash flow and family benefits from four small coffee plantation types in Nicaragua

        This study sought to identify agroforestry systems with coffee that simultaneously generate financial profits, provide goods for family consumption, and store significant amounts of carbon in aboveground biomass. We studied 27 coffee plantations in Nicaragua, grouped in four typologies defined a priori: C1, full-sun coffee; C2, coffee, bananas and service trees; C3, coffee, bananas, service and timber trees; C4, coffee, bananas, service, timber and fruit trees.


        Conservation Payments, Off-Farm Labor, and Ethnic Minorities: Participation and Impact of the Grain for Green Program in China

        The Grain for Green program in China, a nationwide cropland set-aside program aimed at soil erosion prevention and poverty alleviation, was begun in 1999 and quickly expanded to 25 provinces, covering 32 million households. Its effects on participating households are well studied, but the role of ethnic characteristics is less well investigated. Given the overlap of areas covered by Grain for Green and areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, where development is a long-unresolved problem, it is important to determine how ethnic minorities react to, and benefit from, the Grain for Green program. This study investigates participation in the program by ethnic minorities and


        Meta-analysis of livelihood impacts of payments for environmental services programmes in developing countries

        Payments for environmental services (PES) programmes have been widely promoted over the last few decades in many developing countries. Improving the livelihoods of environmental services (ES) suppliers is not only seen as a side benefit but is often considered a prerequisite for the viability of PES. Yet, the ability to draw ‘overview lessons’ over the impacts of PES on livelihoods from literature review studies remains limited.


          Construyendo acuerdos ambientales desde las asimetrías:¿Qué condiciones favorecen la formación de acuerdos?

          El manejo de recursos naturales y los servicios ecosistémicos frecuentemente involucran agentes que son afectados asimétricamente por las decisiones que se toman. Por ejemplo, los usuarios de un sistema de riego que están en la parte alta pueden tener acceso a más agua que los usuarios que están en la parte baja, porque la ubicación les da una ventaja. Lo mismo puede pasar con recursos pesqueros que cruzan fronteras entre países, de manera que un país puede tener una ventaja en la pesca.


          Mapping and valuation of South Africa's ecosystem services: A local perspective

          We used locally-sourced and other relevant information to value ecosystem services provided by South Africa's terrestrial, freshwater and estuarine habitats. Our preliminary estimates suggest that these are worth at least R275 billion per annum to South Africans. Notwithstanding benefits to the rest of the world, natural systems provide a major source of direct income to poor households, and generate significant value in the economy through tourism and property markets, as well as providing considerable non-market benefits. Higher values