ESPA Blog

Opinion pieces and features from our team, ESPA researchers and others working on science and practice relevant to ESPA…

What has wellbeing got to do with the price of fish: a focus on fishers’ income might miss opportunities for sustainable poverty alleviation

12 June, 2017
By Tim Daw and Ida Gabrielsson

 

Spaces research informs a call to consider fisheries benefits to wellbeing beyond income. An income focus can miss non-monetary dimensions of poverty, unequal distributions and whether it is spent and saved to improve people’s quality of life.

For the past four years, SPACES has conducted research in coastal communities in Kenya and Mozambique. In the south coastal community of Vanga in Kenya, fishermen are less likely to be income poor than their non-fishing neighbours. However, they and their families are as likely as non-fishers to lack basic food, water and sanitation needs. This contradiction begs us to better understand how the wellbeing of poor coastal communities are supported by fisheries and how interventions can improve wellbeing while balancing the pressure on threatened coastal ecosystems.

Delegates discussing the global goal on ocean health...

Read more

Healthy ecosystems essential for human rights

12 June, 2017
By Professor Elisa Morgera, Professor of Global Environment Law at the University of Strathclyde
 

The first United Nations report on biodiversity, ecosystems and human rights has been published. It can be a game-changer for ESPA research.

 
In March 2017, the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, John Knox, published a report on human rights and biodiversity that marks a first for the UN. The report makes clear that ecosystem services are essential for the full enjoyment of human rights. As a result, states must add biodiversity action to the actions they already consider for human rights protection. 
 
What are the key messages from Knox’s report?
What the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment described as the components of human well-being are recognised in international law as human rights. 
Healthy ecosystems are necessary to enjoy the rights to life, health,...
Read more