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To What Extent Have the Links Between Ecosystem Services & Human Well-Being Been Researched in Africa, Asia, & Latin America?

August 29, 2017 |

This paper was originally published in: Ecosystem Services


  • The links between ecosystem services and human wellbeing have been understudied.
  • These links have been understudied for cultural and supporting services.
  • Within this intersection it is necessary to better understand trade-offs and synergies.
  • Social differentiation, including gender, should be included in the analysis of the links.

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 well-being 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…”

Read on and access the full paper at: Ecosystem Services.

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