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Ecosystem Services and Poverty Reduction: How Do Development Practitioners Conceptualize the Linkages?

Journal article
Authors Martin Sjöstedt
Published in European Journal of Development Research
Volume 24
Issue 5
Pages 777-787
ISSN 0957-8811
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 777-787
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1057/ejdr.2012.16
Keywords ecosystem services, poverty, mainstreaming, development aid, environment, vulnerability, nexus
Subject categories Political Science

Abstract

While there is an impressive amount of research - theoretical propositions as well as empirical results - focusing on how ecosystem services can contribute to poverty reduction and resilience, it is less clear how this knowledge is operationalized and applied among development agencies and development practitioners. This article investigates this by using the Swedish International Development Agency, Sida, as an illustrative case study comparing how the link between ecosystem services and poverty reduction is conceptualized at different levels within the organization, and also the extent to which those conceptualizations correspond to an 'ideal' conceptualization, that is, using the global Millennium Ecosystem Assessment as a baseline. The results indicate that ecosystem services first and foremost are perceived as a crucial input for economic development, but linkages between ecosystems and issues of security, health and empowerment are to some extent also recognised.

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