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What Makes People Aware of Ecosystem Services? Lessons from a Survey of Nigerian Rural Communities

April 26, 2017 |

This article was originally published on: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

“There is a laborer among us that is quietly contributing $18 trillion a year to the global economy, yet has gone unnoticed by the majority of its beneficiaries. Services provided by ecosystems, such as natural water filtration by roots and rocks, the air cleaned by trees, the habitats that nurture the fish we eat or the insects that pollinate our crops, receive little notice for their support to human civilization. This often leads to poor management. In a new study published in the journal Ecosystem Services, our team documented some important trends in perceptions of ecosystem services across Nigeria.

Sustainable natural resource management and land use policies increasingly look to localized perceptions of ecosystem services for inspiration. Considering context and landscape is not merely beneficial, but should be a core component of policy development moving forward to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Our assessment highlights the diverse ways land is used by small-scale farmers to maximize a wide range of ecosystem services, built on their traditional knowledge of land use and shaped by social norms that govern land use rights. We explored potentially influential factors and applied socio-economic methods, from in-depth interviews with rural residents to multiple regression equations, to understand local people’s awareness and perceptions of ecosystem services across rural communities in Nigeria…”

Read on at: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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