To what extent have the links between ecosystem services and human well-being been researched in Africa, Asia, and Latin America? uri icon

abstract

  • Most studies to date assume that there are multiple relationships between ecosystem services and human well-being, but there are few studies that quantify these relationships. Our objectives were: (1) to investigate the trends and understudied areas within ecosystem services and well-being research; and (2) within these general trends, to analyze to what extent the linkages between ecosystem services and well-being presented in empirical research in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were part of a tested hypothesis, and to assess which conceptual frameworks were used in understanding this interface. The results of this study highlighted that most publications assumed that ecosystem services and wellbeing were interlinked but did not analyze their relationship as part of the hypothesis to test. While different frameworks on well-being were adopted by empirical research, only one out of the 29 post-Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) conceptual frameworks that illustrate the linkages between ecosystem services and well-being was documented, and most case studies adopted the MEA. Finally, trade-offs and synergies between ecosystem services and disaggregated well-being were understudied. Considering these knowledge gaps in future studies will help empirical ecosystem services research to simultaneously contribute to improved well-being and environmental sustainability when applied at multiple policy or institutional levels. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017