ESPA is an international research programme designed to provide evidence of how ecosystem services can alleviate poverty and enhance well-being for the poorest people in developing countries around the world.
ESPA’s research is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and is accredited by the Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) programme.
Projects are collaborative and require the full and equitable participation of developing country scientists to address a set of critical research questions and evidence challenges. ESPA’s research adopts an interdisciplinary systems-based approach and works at a range of spatial and temporal scales to provide a step-change in our understanding of the links between ecosystems, the services they provide and the values that can be derived from them by poor people.
ESPA’s researchers work closely with policy-makers, non-governmental organisations, the private sector as well as community groups in developing countries to ensure that ESPA’s excellent research is turned into impact that results in significant improvements to the lives of poor people.
The Role of the ESPA Directorate
The ESPA Directorate supports projects to deliver excellent research in ways that will change lives. The Directorate’s Global Forum supports a number of events aimed at building capacity and strengthening the community of ESPA researchers.
The Directorate also provides scientific leadership for the programme by identifying gaps in knowledge, and bringing together results from individual projects and the wider literature to ensure that the programme provides the best possible evidence and advice to potential users of ESPA’s research. There is further support for projects to maximise impact through improved communication, evaluation and turning research into use.
ESPA will develop the vision using a set of activities outlined in the various programme strategies: