Title: Safeguarding ecosystem services and livelihoods: Understanding the impact of conservation strategies on benefit flows to society
Citation: Ecosystem Services vol. 4 p. 95-103
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication Year: 2013
JRC N°: JRC71596
ISSN: 2212-0416
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041613000132
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2013.02.004
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Society has always benefited from ecosystems through the provision of ecosystem services. To ensure a continuous flow of these benefits, different conservation strategies aimed at safeguarding ecosystem services are being proposed. In this paper we explore how biodiversity conservation measures, particularly protected areas, influence the flow of ecosystem service benefits to society specifically to local people. In order to explore the contribution of ecosystem services to local livelihoods, insight is needed into which part of society is profiting from which ecosystem services. For the Democratic Republic of Congo we assessed the spatial distribution of five ecosystem services (food production, tourism, carbon, timber and fuel wood production), within and outside protected areas, and identified their direct beneficiaries. This illustration was used in a round-table discussion with ecosystem services professionals during a special session organized at the 4th ESP Conference in Wageningen, the Netherlands, in October 2011. The discussion highlighted the need for spatial methods to assess ecosystem service trade-offs, as well as the main obstacles for conservation measures to contribute to both livelihood development and conservation gains. Here, ecosystem services maps can play a crucial role in understanding and managing the trade-offs in ecosystem service flows resulting from conservation strategies.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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