In case studies across China, India and Uganda, researchers have explored how issues of justice affect the ecological and socio-economic outcomes of policies intended to conserve ecosystem services. Questions such as what represents a fair trade-off, or who should receive benefits, participate in decisions and be recognised as a stakeholder, are ubiquitous in management decisions and conflicts over resources - but usually remain implicit. When stakeholders don’t address these questions directly, the social dividends from healthier natural resources may not reach those who need them most. And stakeholders may not lend the required support to investments in ecosystem services. To advance the concept of ‘just ecosystem management’, the researchers consulted with local and national policymakers and NGOs, and actively supported a watershed protection project funded by a German NGO in China.
ESPA. Impact Stories: Doing justice to poverty and ecology. Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA), UK (2013) 2 pp.