ESPA Blog

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

Understanding environmental change and disaster risk in the Himalayas

14 July, 2015
By Sina K Frank, ESPA Fellow, Ecosystem Services and Disaster Risks in the Western Himalayas
Recent heavy rains in Nainital, Northern India, have focused attention on issues that are being addressed by two ESPA projects. The ESPA project “The Political Economy of Water Security, Ecosystem Services and Livelihoods in the Western Himalayas” has been studying the importance of land use planning and zoning to ensure the maintenance of areas that are ecologically sensitive and critical to the region’s water security. The ESPA Fellowship “Ecosystem Services and Disaster Risks in the Western Himalayas” is particularly timely in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake and recent landslides in the case study town of Nainital have raised awareness of local disaster management needs in the entire Himalayan region. 
 
Photo Credit: Rajiv Dubey
 
Every year, by the beginning of July, the monsoon starts pouring down on the hill...
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ESPA Blue Skies Research and Building ESPA’s Impact in Africa

06 July, 2015
By Paul van Gardingen, ESPA Director
This month I have the pleasure of welcoming the staff of five new ESPA projects to the programme.  At the same time my team in the Directorate is seeking to expand our team by the appointment of a Regional Evidence Advisor for East and Southern Africa to be based in Nairobi, Kenya.
 
The new ESPA-2014 “Blue Skies” projects bring the number of projects funded by ESPA to 104, with over 800 researchers now contributing to the programme.  The new projects are also important at this stage of the programme in that they were designed to help set the agenda for the next decade of research linking ecosystem services to human well-being, environmental and economic sustainability.  The five ESPA-2014 projects will help to position ESPA’s science to lead the next generation of science linking environment and society, a theme central to the UN’s proposed Sustainable Development Goals.
 
Our five new projects include three working on expanding and challenging our understanding of how ecosystem services contribute (or do not contribute) to poverty alleviation...
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