The World in 2022: What Would Success Look Like After ESPA?

The ESPA Directorate has suggested how the success of ESPA’s research and impact activities might be seen in 2022, five years after the scheduled end of the programme...

In 2022, when the world’s leaders gather for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Developmen (UNCSD) Rio+30 conference they will see evidence of:

  • Enhanced understanding of ecosystem processes and the integration of this knowledge into environmental management which has significantly enhanced the well-being of the world’s poor people and set them on a path to sustained development.
  • The full value of the environment, ecosystems and ecosystem services is recognised by political and business leaders as well as by non-governmental organisations, who speak and act with a common voice in achieving an equitable and sustainable flow of benefits from ecosystems to all people.
  • The Rio+30 meeting reviews the demonstrable success of a number of schemes and markets for ecosystem services which are well-established, robust and operational.  These schemes would be characterised by good environmental governance and low transaction costs and would be able to operate in different regions and ecosystem types as well as over political borders.
  • Global political and business leaders quote evidence derived from ESPA research when they present their vision for global sustainable development for the next 20 years.
  • The role of ecosystem services in supporting poverty alleviation and green economic growth is recognised by governments and development agencies and is seen as an important development intervention for the next 20 years.
  • ESPA’s research is recognised globally for its contribution to changing the way in which people interact with the environment.
  • The scientific contribution of a developing country scientist who had played a major role in the ESPA programme is recognised for providing vision for the next 20 years of global sustainable development.
  • ESPA’s innovative approach to designing and implementing development research, and then to turning research into results, is recognised by being adopted by other agencies and becoming standard practice for global environmental research projects.
  • Members of the ESPA community of researchers have gone on to develop further innovative research programmes and have supported a new generation of thinkers actively responding to solutions for poverty alleviation.