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

Water security: Lessons from Nepal on sustainable management and adapting to climate change

25 March, 2015
By Hemant Ojha, ESPA Project: The Political Economy of Water Security, Ecosystem Services and Livelihoods in the Western Himalayas
The Himalayan mountain range has abundant natural resources. There is plenty of land for agriculture and it supplies water to around 1 billion people downstream. In theory all this natural capital can harvested and then converted into manmade capital and wealth but this only sustainable through conservation and proper management. Despite its location Nepal has not witnessed significant economic development, poverty is increasing and environmental degradation is a growing problem. Hemant Ojha from ESPA’s The Political Economy of Water Security, Ecosystem Services and Livelihoods in the Western Himalayas project which is exploring the water security issues common to many of the small towns in the mountains of Nepal explains why ecosystem management,  infrastructure development and economic development need to be one package and how this could help the country tackle its regional issues and adapt to global problems such as climate change.
Securing water for its 15,000...
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Capturing wellbeing – using a different approach to go beyond the preconceptions

24 March, 2015
By Nicole Gross-Camp, ESPA Fellow in the PIMA team
‘Land is everything. Everything follows the land – whether livestock or infrastructure, they all require the land.’ - Participatory video participant from Kilambo Village, Tanzania
Many of the world’s poorest communities depend on the land for their livelihoods but understanding exactly how the environment influences their wellbeing goes beyond simplistic notions of income and material wellbeing. ESPA Fellow Nicole Gross Camp explains how a new approach could be used to explore this complex relationship and tests out a new tool with community-based forest management schemes in Tanzania.
Understanding the contribution of the environment to a community’s wellbeing is not a straightforward question. Traditionally wellbeing has been characterised using questionnaires with preconceived categories focusing largely on material or economic wellbeing - an important but not all encompassing indicator. The limitations of this emphasis are notable and perhaps exemplified in the case of...
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