WISER: Which Ecosystem Service Models Best Capture the Needs of the Rural Poor?

Lead PI
Professor James Bullock
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Start Date
1 September, 2013
End Date
30 November, 2016
Project Code


It is widely acknowledged that poor rural communities are often highly dependent on ecosystem services (ES) for their livelihoods, especially as a safety net in times of hardship or crisis. However, a major challenge to the understanding and management of these benefit flows to the poor is a lack of data on the supply, demand and use of ecosystem services by the poor, particularly in the developing world where dependence on ES is often highest.

This project will evaluate the effectiveness of a range of modelling approaches for mapping at least six ecosystem services - crop production, stored carbon, water availability, non-timber forest products (NTFPs), grazing resources, and pollination - at multiple spatial scales across sub-Saharan Africa.

It will assess model performance based on two broad metrics - model data requirements and the usefulness to decision-making - to ascertain the degree of complexity of modelling that needs to be applied to map ES in a way useful for poverty alleviation.

WISER hopes to help improve the lives of the approximately 400 million people living in poverty in sub-Saharan Africa by ensuring policy makers in the region use the right tools.

Further information:

Project video

Authors Title Year Citations
Willcock, S.;Phillips, O.L.;Platts, P.J.;Swetnam, R.D.;Balmford, A.;Burgess, N.D.;Ahrends, A.;Bayliss, J.;Doggart, N.;Doody, K.;Fanning, E.;Green, J.M.H.;Hall, J.;Howell, K.L.;Lovett, J.C.;Marchant, R.;Marshall, A.R.;Mbilinyi, B.;Munishi, P.K.T.;Owen, N.;Topp-Jorgensen, E.J.;Lewis, S.L. Land cover change and carbon emissions over 100years in an African biodiversity hotspot 2016 4
Hamann, M.;Biggs, R.;Reyers, B. Mapping social-ecological systems: Identifying 'green-loop' and 'red-loop' dynamics based on characteristic bundles of ecosystem service use 2015 7
Díaz, S.;Demissew, S.;Carabias, J.;Joly, C.;Lonsdale, M.;Ash, N.;Larigauderie, A.;Adhikari, J.Ram;Arico, S.;Báldi, A.;Bartuska, A.;Baste, I.Andreas;Bilgin, A.;Brondizio, E.;Chan, K.M.A.;Figueroa, V.Elsa;Duraiappah, A.;Fischer, M.;Hill, R.;Koetz, T.;Leadley, P.;Lyver, P.;Mace, G.M.;Martin-Lopez, B.;Okumura, M.;Pacheco, D.;Pascual, U.;Pérez, E.Selvin;Reyers, B.;Roth, E.;Saito, O.;Scholes, R.John;Sharma, N.;Tallis, H.;Thaman, R.;Watson, R.;Yahara, T.;Hamid, Z.Abdul;Akosim, C.;Al-Hafedh, Y.;Allahverdiyev, R.;Amankwah, E.;Asah, S.T.;Asfaw, Z.;Bartus, G.;Brooks, A.;Caillaux, J.;Dalle, G.;Darnaedi, D.;Driver, A.;Erpul, G.;Escobar-Eyzaguirre, P.;Failler, P.;Fouda, A.Moustafa M.;Fu, B.;Gundimeda, H.;Hashimoto, S.;Homer, F.;Lavorel, S.;Lichtenstein, G.;Mala, W.Armand;Mandivenyi, W.;Matczak, P.;Mbizvo, C.;Mehrdadi, M.;Metzger, J.Paul;Mikissa, J.Bruno;Moller, H.;Mooney, H.A.;Mumby, P.;Nagendra, H.;Nesshover, C.;Oteng-Yeboah, A.Apau;Pataki, G.;Roué, M.;Rubis, J.;Schultz, M.;Smith, P.;Sumaila, R.;Takeuchi, K.;Thomas, S.;Verma, M.;Yeo-Chang, Y.;Zlatanova, D. The IPBES Conceptual Framework — connecting nature and people 2015 138
Willcock, S.;Hooftman, D.;Sitas, N.;O'Farrell, P.;Hudson, M.;Reyers, B.;Eigenbrod, F.;Bullock, J. Do Ecosystem Service Maps And Models Meet Stakeholders' Needs? A Preliminary Survey Across Sub-saharan Africa 2015 1
Name Role Organisation Country
Professor James Bullock Benin; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Equatorial Guinea; Ethiopia; Ghana; Kenya; Malawi; Namibia; Nigeria; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia
Professor James Bullock Lead Principal Investigator NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology United Kingdom
Dr Felix Eigenbrod Principal Investigator University of Southampton United Kingdom
Dr Belinda Reyers Principal Investigator Council for Sci and Industrial Res South Africa
Dr Ferdinando Villa Principal Investigator Basque Centre for Climate Change bc3 Spain
Professor Terry Dawson Co Investigator University of Dundee United Kingdom
Dr Malcolm David Hudson Co Investigator University of Southampton United Kingdom
Dr Jeanne Lindsay Nel Co Investigator Council for Sci and Ind Res CSIR SA South Africa
Dr Kate Schreckenberg Co Investigator University of Southampton United Kingdom
Dr Patrick O'Farrell Researcher Co Investigator Council for Sci and Industrial Res South Africa
Dr Simon pandey Researcher Co Investigator University of Southampton United Kingdom
Dr Danny Hooftman Researcher NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology United Kingdom
Dr Elena Pérez-Miñana Researcher Basque Centre for Climate Change bc3 Spain