Valuing tropical forests as eco-utilities
Please also download the project's final report, 'Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation in Amazonia'.
This is a capacity-building project funded by the UK government’s ESPA (Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation) fund and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (www.fpa2.com).
The GCP has been working with partners in South America for several years to improve our understanding of the value and importance of Amazonia as an ‘eco-utility’ that provides ecosystem services for people in the forest and far beyond. This project aims to ultimately provide the evidence-base needed to help create a new development paradigm in Amazonia.
During 2009 and 2010 the GCP has been building a research team in partnership with the following universities: Edinburgh, UNAL in Colombia, Oxford, Vermont, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, La Molina (UNALM) in Peru; as well as INPE (Brazil’s Space Research Institute) and the Met Office Hadley Centre. The goal is to design an interdisciplinary research project that could help provide the evidence base needed to help promote the wellbeing of poor people living in and around Amazonia.
These are critical times for Amazonia and the people who depend on the region for their livelihoods and their climate, food, water and energy security. Deforestation and climate change could over time alter the ecological functioning of large portions of the forest and even push the region over a tipping point into a drier climatic regime.
The capacity-building project has held meetings to bring together researchers in development, ecosystems and climate science, economics and public policy to provide a spectrum of perspectives on the question of ecosystem services for poverty alleviation in Amazonia. As a result of these discussions, a number of pilot studies and reviews have been conducted and are currently being written up for publication. The aim of these was to learn lessons from existing approaches to ecosystem services and poverty alleviation in the region and to collate datasets and trial analyses that would help to build a future full-scale research project. The ultimate aim of the research project would be to deliver new knowledge to policymakers and practitioners in order to support the creation of a new development paradigm in the region.
- A new network for research on Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation in Amazonia, including researchers from leading Southern and Northern institutions, Intermediary organisations and Community networks across Amazonia.
- A submitted proposal for a basin-scale research consortium project, comprising 13 major institutions from the UK, USA and the Congo Basin with leadership from South America.
- Key decision-makers are more aware and ready to engage in future work on Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation.