- Our work
Three organisations - NERC (Natural Environment Research Council), the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development (DfID) - have joined forces for a multi-disciplinary £40·5m research programme on Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA). The ESPA programme was launched as part of the Living With Environmental Change partnership.
ESPA aims to deliver high quality and cutting-edge research that will deliver improved understanding of how ecosystems function, the services they provide, the full value of these services, and their potential role in achieving sustainable poverty reduction. ESPA research will provide the evidence and tools to enable decision makers and end users to manage ecosystems sustainably and in a way that contributes to poverty reduction.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment showed that the loss of services from ecosystems (for example deforestation, soil degradation, water purification) is a significant barrier to reducing poverty, hunger and disease. Tackling this set of problems requires a combination of environmental science, ecological economics and political economy. NERC, the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development (DfID) have joined forces in the Ecosystems Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) initiative to deliver high quality and cutting-edge research that will improve our understanding of ecosystems in terms of the services they provide for poverty reduction and inclusive growth processes. The Ecosystems Services for Poverty Alleviation programme aims to:
A number of research themes were identified that represented common findings of the situation analyses. These themes describe some of the key components of the ESPA research landscape: