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Ecosystem Services and Poverty Reduction: How Do Development Practitioners Conceptualize the Linkages?


  • Martin Sjöstedt

    () (University of Gothenburg, Goteborg.)


While there is an impressive amount of research – theoretical propositions as well as empirical results – focusing on how ecosystem services can contribute to poverty reduction and resilience, it is less clear how this knowledge is operationalized and applied among development agencies and development practitioners. This article investigates this by using the Swedish International Development Agency, Sida, as an illustrative case study comparing how the link between ecosystem services and poverty reduction is conceptualized at different levels within the organization, and also the extent to which those conceptualizations correspond to an ‘ideal’ conceptualization, that is, using the global Millennium Ecosystem Assessment as a baseline. The results indicate that ecosystem services first and foremost are perceived as a crucial input for economic development, but linkages between ecosystems and issues of security, health and empowerment are to some extent also recognised.Bien qu’une quantité impressionnante de recherches – apportant des propositions théoriques ainsi que des résultats empiriques – aient été menées sur la manière dont les services écosystémiques peuvent contribuer à réduire la pauvreté et renforcer la résilience des populations, la manière dont ces connaissances sont rendues opérationnelles et sont appliquées par les agences et praticiens du développement est moins claire. Nous examinons cette question sur la base du cas de l′Agence Suédoise du Développement International (SIDA) qui illustre comment est conceptualisé, aux différents niveaux de l′organisation, le lien entre les services écosystémiques et la réduction de la pauvreté. Nous évaluons dans quelle mesure ces conceptualisations correspondent à une conceptualisation ‘idéale’, en référence au programme mondial d′ Évaluation des Écosystèmes pour le Millénaire. Les résultats indiquent que les services écosystémiques sont d′abord et avant tout perçus comme un facteur essentiel au développement économique, mais les liens entre les écosystèmes et la sécurité, la santé, et l′autonomisation sont dans une certaine mesure également reconnus.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Sjöstedt, 2012. "Ecosystem Services and Poverty Reduction: How Do Development Practitioners Conceptualize the Linkages?," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 24(5), pages 777-787, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:24:y:2012:i:5:p:777-787

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