What is ESPA?

The Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme aims to deliver high-quality, cutting-edge research that will improve understanding of the way ecosystems function, the services they provide and their relationship with the political economy and sustainable growth.

ESPA's research will provide the evidence and tools to enable decision-makers to manage ecosystems sustainably and in a way that contributes to poverty alleviation.

ESPA is a 7-year, £40.5 million interdisciplinary research programme funded by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), as part of the UK’s Living with Environmental Change partnership.  

The ESPA programme will issue a series of competitive calls for proposals. In addition to the main ESPA call in 2010 for consortium projects, there will be additional opportunities in 2013 for smaller projects designed to complement ESPA’s initial research investments. The ESPA Directorate will issue a series of calls for proposals covering activities including capacity building, research into use, knowledge synthesis and evaluation.

ESPA’s goal is to ensure that, in developing countries, ecosystems are being sustainably managed in a way that contributes to poverty alleviation as well as to inclusive and sustainable growth.


If you would like more information, the Programme Memorandum is available, as well as a diagram of ESPA's Governance Structure and its Terms of Reference. You can read more about the history of ESPA here.