Policy and Practice Briefs

Find out how our research led to new insights on the complex connections between poverty and the environment…

March 2018

Academic research is increasingly called upon to provide actionable evidence for sustainable development. As the demands for ‘impact’ grow, the limits of single-discipline investigation become apparent. Most funders see interdisciplinary research as an avenue to tackle complex global challenges.Yet this emphasis clashes with an academic culture that remains, to a large extent, within the boundaries of individual disciplines.

PDF icon Interdisciplinary research for development impact: How can funders walk the talk?
March 2018

A sophisticated model now being trialled in coastal Bangladesh can help decisionmakers in some of the world’s most challenging regions meet development and environmental policy targets, benefiting the many millions of poor people whose livelihoods are threatened by climate change.

The Delta Dynamic Integrated Emulator Model (ΔDIEM) incorporates biophysical, socioeconomic and governance processes and data, and tracks change over time to consider a range of plausible futures.

Featured image courtesy of Worldfish

PDF icon ΔDIEM: Using scenarios to inform pro-poor policy-making
March 2018

The Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme is a global, interdisciplinary research programme that aims to give decision-makers and natural resource users the evidence they need for more sustainable ecosystem management and effective poverty reduction. Ecosystem services support human society: covering everything from freshwater flows and soil quality to fisheries productivity and climate regulation – and including cultural and spiritual values.

PDF icon An Environment for Wellbeing, Pathways out of poverty: Policy messages from the ESPA programme
March 2018

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) approaches will be necessary to secure food production across Africa as the effects of climate change are increasingly felt.

Can these approaches also help lift the poorest farmers out of poverty?

Key messages of this policy brief include:

PDF icon Ensuring climate-smart agriculture ‘leaves no one behind’
March 2018

There are knowledge gaps on the flows of ecosystem goods and services in the seas and oceans – and these gaps hamper equitable and sustainable fisheries management. Methods for measuring and monitoring ecosystem services can help conserve biodiversity in the fisheries sector as a way to alleviate poverty and support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The key messages of this policy brief from the ESPA programme and Strathclyde University are:

PDF icon How can ecosystem services support equitable and sustainable fisheries?
March 2018

The governance of natural resources – such as fisheries, forests and grazing land – often fails to deliver adequately on sustainable use, justice and improved livelihoods. Decision-making structures and processes determine the management of resources and who benefits from them. How can governance approaches become more effective and fair to enable improved sustainability and livelihoods over time? ​

This policy brief explores these questions through a review of the ESPA programme's and broader literature, and concludes:

Improving effectiveness

PDF icon Governing natural resources for effectiveness, equity and sustainability: what matters?
March 2018

Environment-related policies and programmes are often assumed to generate ‘win-wins’ for communities and the environment. In reality, they can work against people who are already disadvantaged.

PDF icon Wellbeing: for whom and how?
March 2018

Research partnerships between institutions in the global North and global South are widely seen as critical in supporting evidence-based action to address the global issues of sustainable development. Academia is grappling with the challenge of ensuring that partnerships are non-hierarchical, are built on mutual understanding and trust, and reflect the different partners’ values and priorities.

PDF icon Research for development impact: The role of equitable partnerships
February 2018

Protected areas remain a cornerstone of efforts to conserve biodiversity and ecosystems globally. They are rapidly increasing in size and number. Aichi biodiversity target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity calls for 17% of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10% of coastal and marine areas to be protected by 2020.

​Key messages of this policy brief are:

PDF icon Challenging common myths in protected area management