Participatory Modelling Frameworks to Understand Wellbeing Trade-offs in Coastal Ecosystem Services

This project was designed to develop a framework and associated tools to explicitly identify trade-offs between ecosystem services and between the wellbeing of different stakeholders resulting from policy and development scenarios and environmental change.

Further project information, videos and documents

This project provided a background and proof of concept for the larger ESPA SPACES project (2013-2016)

Project Summary

P-Mowtick combined modelling and participatory processes to represent interactions and responses of social-ecological systems, and applied the developed framework to the coastal environment of Kenya through a series of expert and stakeholder workshops.

Ecosystem services (ES) have become popular for understanding linkages between human needs and ecosystems, yet their use in practical application to problems of development and sustainability, and poverty alleviation in particular, have been limited by various challenges. These challenges often stem from the inability for ES frameworks to take account of the complexity and interactions inherent in social-ecological systems.

It limits our understanding on how ES will ultimately translate into poverty alleviation. Particularly, we know that ES benefits depends not only on institutions and markets, but also on capital, knowledge, expertise, technology and labour - something that poor groups often lack. Also, we know that it is important to understand the inter-linkages between different aspects of well-being. These have serious implications for the effectiveness of using ES approach for poverty alleviation in the face of trade-offs of ES benefits to different groups.

There is a need for ES frameworks that account for trade-offs under the complexity of social-ecological systems with explicitly representation of poor groups. This project developed a novel framework to combine modelling and participatory processes to understand, document and deliberate on trade-offs between ES benefits to the wellbeing of different user groups in complex social-ecological systems.

We tested the framework in a case study of coastal environment of Kenya. We developed quantitative and semi-quantitative models to explore the impacts of scenarios on ES and wellbeing of particular groups. Linkages in the social-ecological system were modelled based on quantitative and qualitative knowledge about the interactions and responses between the social and ecological components.

Interspersed with model development and data collation, we conducted five workshops in East Africa with scientists, managers and stakeholders to: develop conceptual and methodological tools, plan scenarios, obtain model parameters, conduct multi-criteria analysis, and reflect and disseminate results. Workshops were closely facilitated towards specific objectives. The methods, experiences and learning were disseminated amongst scientists, and policy makers to support the ESPA programme.

The project provided a framework to study trade-offs in ecosystem services and facilitate the discussion of sharing of costs and benefits between users groups and in designing policy options. Particularly, the approach helped to increase the recognition of the poor-group in policy discussion related to ecosystem services, and thus contribute to developing policies that alleviate poverty.

Project videos

'Fish production and social trade-offs in Mombasa'

'Exploring tradeoffs in wellbeing in coastal systems in Kenya'

Authors: Galafassi, D.; Daw, T.M.; Munyi, L.; Brown, K.; Barnaud, C.; Fazey, I.
Year: 2017
Authors: Daw, T.M.; Coulthard, S.; Cheung, W.W.L.; Brown, K.; Abunge, C.; Galafassi, D.; Peterson, G.D.; McClanahan, T.R.; Omukoto, J.O.; Munyi, L.
Year: 2015
Lead Principal Investigator
Organisation: Stockholm University
Country: Sweden
Co Investigator
Organisation: University of Exeter
Country: UK
Co Investigator
Organisation: University of British Columbia
Country: United Kingdom
Co Investigator
Organisation: Northumbria University
Country: United Kingdom
Co Investigator
Organisation: Wildlife Conservation Society
Country: Kenya
Co Investigator
Organisation: Stockholm University
Country: Sweden
Advisory
Organisation: Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD)
Country: France
Advisory
Organisation: Stockholm Resilience Centre
Country: Sweden
Advisory
Organisation: University of St. Andrews
Country: United Kingdom
Advisory
Organisation: Scottish Association for Marine Science
Country: United Kingdom
Advisory
Organisation: Institute of Development Studies
Country: United Kingdom
Advisory
Organisation: Kenyan Wildlife Service
Country: Kenya
Consultant
Organisation: Independent Consultant
Country:
Project Management
Organisation: Wildlife Conservation Society
Country: Kenya
Researcher
Organisation: Wildlife Conservation Society
Country: Kenya
Researcher
Organisation: University of East Anglia
Country: United Kingdom
Researcher
Organisation: Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development Subsequently Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute
Country: Kenya
Researcher
Organisation: Wildlife Conservation Society
Country: Kenya
Researcher
Organisation: National Museums of Kenya
Country: Kenya
Research Assistant
Organisation: University of East Anglia
Country: United Kingdom
Research Assistant
Organisation: University of East Anglia
Country: United Kingdom
Research Assistant
Organisation: Stockholm Resilience Centre
Country: Sweden
Research Assistant
Organisation: University of East Anglia
Country: United Kingdom
Research Assistant
Organisation: University of East Anglia
Country: United Kingdom
Research Assistant
Organisation: University of East Anglia
Country: United Kingdom
Intern
Organisation: Stockholm Resilience Centre
Country: Sweden
Government Partner
Organisation: Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development Subsequently Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute
Country: Kenya