Impact Stories

Find impact stories by theme.

Jan 2014

‘Carbon credits’ often reward industry or large landowners for reducing the global greenhouse gas load. Could such programmes be designed to help the rural poor preserve the ecosystems they rely on? This ESPA project has established Mikoko Pamoja (‘mangroves together’), the first community-based carbon credit project for mangrove forest conservation. 

Featured image courtesy of Romy Chevalier

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Jan 2014

Jatropha curcas is an ‘underutilised species’ – a useful plant already known to farmers, but not as a cash crop - surrounded by ecological and economic controversy. Following the collapse of the hype around Jatropha as a sustainable biofuel crop, various different end-uses of Jatropha trees have been explored. This project uncovered what helps and what hinders the adoption and spread of activities such as local oil extraction and soap making.

Feature image courtesy of Andrea Athanas ©

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Jan 2014

Despite the billions spent on programmes to conserve ecosystems and help poor communities, there is rarely good evidence that these projects have their intended impacts. This project looked at how NGOs and donors can measure the impact of work on forest conservation and poverty.

Featured image courtesy of Fundacion Natura Bolivia

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Jan 2014

In remote mountainous regions such as the Andes, poverty and threats to ecosystems are often exacerbated by an insufficient knowledge of the state of the environment. This project explored how new environmental monitoring technologies, data processing, and interactive visualisation might support adaptive governance of ecosystem services. In the Pacaipampa community in the Peruvian Andes, stream-flow was monitored by local farmers and an interactive hydrological model developed to support land-use planning and safeguard water supplies.

Featured image courtesy of Carlos Palacios Núñez © / Mountain Partnership

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Jan 2014

This project developed scientific and simulation tools that are contributing to the process of developing an effective, efficient and equitable alternative to the REDD+ mechanism, which had previously been repeatedly rejected by the Bolivian government. It shows that it is indeed possible to create a mechanism that takes advantage of the positive aspects of REDD+ while minimizing the negative aspects.

Featured image courtesy of IICD

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Jan 2014

ESPA’s research in East Africa focuses on the complex interplay between nature and livelihoods. ESPA projects have modelled wellbeing and decision-making, developed monitoring for the Great Lakes, investigated incentives for pastoralists, and mapped carbon densities and values in mangrove forests. Find out more here.

Featured image courtesy of Fintrac Inc / USAID

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