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

The Paris Climate Agreement: how ESPA research is making a contribution

11 January, 2016

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Paris Conference (also referred to as COP21) made December an energising time for anyone involved in science, policy or development related to the environment and climate change. The subsequent Climate Agreement brings hope that the knowledge being generated by researchers in this field can begin to be adopted into policy and action.

COP21 not only delivered a welcome opportunity for the international community to reach agreement on how to resolve climate-related challenges but also broadened the spectrum of how we define and consider these challenges. Co-relating environmental factors and impacts, such as inequity, sustainable ecosystem management, biodiversity and poverty, were placed firmly on the agenda, signalling widespread acceptance of the need to address the threat of climate change in the wider context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

This was reinforced in the Climate Agreement, which stated “the intrinsic relationship that climate change actions, responses and impacts have with equitable access to sustainable development and eradication of poverty” and also highlighted “the...

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Key lessons on using social surveys within interdisciplinary research

22 December, 2015

Earlier this year, ESPA hosted an event to share best practice on social surveys.

Research carried out under the ESPA programme regularly combines the natural and social sciences and can quite often be data intensive, with many projects requiring substantive new field campaigns. The new data for much of ESPA’s social research is underpinned by social or household surveys.

A significant number of ESPA projects have designed and implemented surveys. The ESPA Social Surveys event, which took place in London in October, provided an opportunity to bring together those researchers involved in designing and using social surveys to share and discuss their experiences and findings.

Here, we’ve summarised the main learnings and tips shared at the event for anyone interested in using social surveys.

  • Consider ways to supplement ecosystem services surveys with additional metrics in order to provide a more complete picture and understanding of concepts such as wellbeing and poverty.

Ecosystem services are important for mediating the effects of human actions on wellbeing and considering the larger ecosystem, but it is...

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