Photo: O. Henriksson/Azote

Sustainable poverty alleviation from coastal ecosystem services (SPACES)

SPACES is an 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. 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.

How benefits contribute to wellbeing
Despite the growing interest in the concept of ecosystem services, there remain important knowledge gaps regarding how ecosystems actually contribute to wellbeing, and thus poverty alleviation. SPACES will launch a transdisciplinary programme of research to map out links between different coastal ecosystem services and poor people's wellbeing in different contexts.

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.

Models and scenarios with stakeholders
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. This part of the project will build on methods developed in a previous ESPA framework grant.

Our collaboration with a range of partners aims to have impacts on the wellbeing of poor inhabitants of the rapidly transforming coastal areas in Mozambique and Kenya.

Read more about the SPACES project here

Related info

The ESPA programme is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), as part of the UK's Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) programme

Read more about the SPACES programme here

SPACES project descriptionPDF (pdf, 208.1 kB)


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Stockholm Resilience Centre

Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B | Phone: +46 8 674 70 70 |
Organisation number: 202100-3062 | VAT No: SE202100306201