ESPA annual science conference 2017 - eight years of sustainability science for wellbeing

29 Nov 2017
Start Date/Time: 08:50, 29 November, 2017
End Date/Time: 17:30, 30 November, 2017
Venue: John McIntyre Conference Centre, Edinburgh, UK

Outputs from the ESPA annual science conference 2017

Held in the final year of the programme, this conference brought together the ESPA community, along with selected policy-makers, policy specialists and practitioners, to reflect on the results from 8 years of ESPA research and craft the headline findings.

These discussions provided the intellectual foundation for the ESPA book (due to be published in mid 2018) and other academic outputs, as well as for policy-focused communications.

Full conference agenda is available here (pdf).

Executive summaries of all presentations are available here (pdf).

You can find a full list of participants here.

To view and download conference photos, and graphics by Clare Mills, visit our flickr page.



Plenary 1 - How does ESPA research fit into the bigger picture?

Session 1 - Evolution in framing ecosystem services

  • Unai Pascual - Evolution of frameworks of ecosystem services for human wellbeing
  • Brendan Coolsaet (for Neil Dawson) - Justice and equity: emerging research and policy approaches to address ecosystem service trade-offs
  • Belinda Reyers - Advancing complex social-ecological systems perspectives and approaches in ecosystem services and poverty alleviation research and policy
  • John Dearing - Limits and thresholds: setting global, local and regional safe operating spaces

Session 2 - Ongoing and rapid system changes

  • Neil Adger - Interactions of migration and population dynamics with ecosystem services
  • Adrian Martin - Land use intensification
  • Fiona Marshall - ESPA trade-offs and synergies in urbanising context
  • Alison Cameron - Restoration of ecosystems (and services)
  • Bhaskar Vira - Reciprocal commitments for addressing forest-water relationships

Session 3 - Governance

  • Fiona Nunan - Governing for ecosystem health and human wellbeing
  • Wouter Buyaert - Co-generating knowledge on ecosystem services and the role of new technologies
  • Mary Menton - Payment for ecosystem services in principle
  • Ina Porras - Payment for ecosystem services in practice
  • Emily Woodhouse - Protected areas

Evening keynote presentation

  • Julia Jones - Can Paying 4 Global Ecosystem Services Reduce Poverty? Personal reflections on an ESPA project


Plenary 2 - ES for PA issues and opportunities in developing countries

Session 4 - Sustaining wellbeing and prosperity

  • Sarah Coulthard - Multiple dimensions of wellbeing in practice
  • Kate Brown - Gender and ecosystem services: a blid spot?
  • Tomas Chaigneau - Resilience and wellbeing for sustainability
  • Daniela Diz - Mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services into the fisheries sector for poverty alleviation
  • Yvonne Erasmus - Rapid evidence assessment on the impacts of protected areas and marine resources management on poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa

Breakout group summaries

Any questions? Please don't hesitate to get in contact with Dave Bell, ESPA Events Coordinator (


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