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Assessing the relationship between human well-being and ecosystem services: a review of frameworks

Agarwala, Matthew and Atkinson, Giles and Fry, Benjamin Palmer and Homewood, Katherine and Mourato, Susana and Rowcliffe, J. Marcus and Wallace, Graham and Milner-Gulland, E. J. (2014) Assessing the relationship between human well-being and ecosystem services: a review of frameworks. Conservation and Society, 12 (4). pp. 437-449. ISSN 0972-4923

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Identification Number: 10.4103/0972-4923.155592

Abstract

Focusing on the most impoverished populations, we critically review and synthesise key themes from dominant frameworks for assessing the relationship between well-being and ecosystem services in developing countries. This requires a differentiated approach to conceptualising well-being that appropriately reflects the perspectives of the poorest-those most directly dependent on ecosystem services, and their vulnerability to external and policy-driven environmental change. The frameworks analysed draw upon environmental sciences, economics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology, and were selected on the basis of their demonstrated or potential ability to illustrate the relationship between environmental change and human well-being, as well as their prevalence in real world applications. Thus, the synthesis offered here is informed by the various theoretical, methodological, and hermeneutical contributions from each field to the notion of well-being. The review highlights several key dimensions that should be considered by those interested in understanding and assessing the impact of environmental change on the well-being of the world's poorest people: the importance of interdisciplinary consideration of well-being, the need for frameworks that integrate subjective and objective aspects of well-being, and the central importance of context and relational aspects of well-being. The review is of particular interest to those engaged in the post-2015 development agenda.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.conservationandsociety.org/
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors © CC BY 2.5
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2015 08:32
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2015 14:07
Projects: FP7-ENV-2012-308393-2 (OPERAs)
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, UK Department for International Development, European Commission Seventh Framework Programme
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/62168

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