Participatory Modelling Frameworks to Understand Wellbeing Trade-offs in Coastal Ecosystem Services.

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: International Development

Abstract

This project is designed to develop a framework and associated tools to explicitly identify trade-offs between ecosystem services and between the wellbeing of different stakeholders resulting from policy and development scenarios and environmental change. We will achieve this by combining modelling and participatory processes to represent interactions and responses of social-ecological systems, and applying the developed framework to the coastal environment of Kenya through a series of expert and stakeholder workshops. Ecosystem services (ES) have become popular for understanding linkages between human needs and ecosystems, yet their use in practical application to problems of development and sustainability, and poverty alleviation in particular, have been limited by various challenges. These challenges often stem from the inability for ES frameworks to take account of the complexity and interactions inherent in social-ecological systems. It limits our understanding on how ES will ultimately translate into poverty alleviation. Particularly, we know that ES benefits depends not only on institutions and markets, but also on capital, knowledge, expertise, technology and labour - something that poor groups often lack. Also, we know that it is important to understand the inter-linkages between different aspects of well-being. These have serious implications for the effectiveness of using ES approach for poverty alleviation in the face of trade-offs of ES benefits to different groups. There is a need for ES frameworks that account for trade-offs under the complexity of social-ecological systems with explicitly representation of poor groups. This project will develop a novel framework to combine modelling and participatory processes to understand, document and deliberate on trade-offs between ES benefits to the wellbeing of different user groups in complex social-ecological systems. We will test the framework in a case study of coastal environment of Kenya. We will develop quantitative and semi-quantitative models to explore the impacts of scenarios on ES and wellbeing of particular groups. Linkages in the social-ecological system will be modelled based on quantitative and qualitative knowledge about the interactions and responses between the social and ecological components. Interspersed with model development and data collation, we propose to conduct five workshops in East Africa with scientists, managers and stakeholders to: develop conceptual and methodological tools, plan scenarios, obtain model parameters, conduct multi-criteria analysis, and reflect and disseminate results. Workshops will be closely facilitated towards specific objectives. The methods, experiences and learning will be disseminated amongst scientists, and policy makers to support the ESPA programme. The proposed project will provide a framework to study trade-offs in ecosystem services and facilitate the discussion of sharing of costs and benefits between users groups and in designing policy options. Particularly, the approach will help increase the recognition of the poor-group in policy discussion related to ecosystem services, and thus contribute to developing policies that alleviate poverty.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Film describing social-ecological tradeoffs in a fishery 
Description 3 minute video explaining social-ecological tradeoffs in the Mombasa fishery. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2012 
Impact over 800 views as of March 2013 
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op62rBdp2VQ
 
Title Videos explaining the project and discussing the novel approach and findings 
Description Two videos: 7 minute video describing the P-Mowtick research approach and findings. www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7lYNaTX_V4 13 minute video describing the P-Mowtick research approach and findings. www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kln_T0l7jFo 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Over 500 views in total as of March 2016 
URL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7lYNaTX_V4
 
Description The P-Mowtick project analysed a fisheries social-ecological system in Mombasa using ecological modelling, participatory modelling and wellbeing research with primary stakeholders including fishing captains and crew using different types of gears and male and female fish traders. Their livelihoods are interconnected but affected differently by changes in the way in which the fishery is exploited, the resultant impacts on the status of the ecosystem, and the nature of the service provided (in terms of catch volumes and types).

Focus groups with the stakeholders found that they strongly associated wellbeing with material needs, emphasising the importance of the fishery as a source of income. Each stakeholder group perceived their wellbeing had declined over the previous 10 years due to inflation, and reduced fish catches, with the exception of beach seine captains who had benefitted from increasing sale prices for their fish, and accumulation of material wealth. Other aspects of wellbeing, for example 'a developmental mind' were functionally linked to the availability of money, either as a prerequisite for the acquisition or wise use of money, or as a favourable consequence of having money, for example quality education for children.

Ecological modelling showed that the system is currently heavily exploited, with high catch and low profitability. Profitability and ecological condition of the fishery could be both improved by reducing fishing pressure but that would involve a tradeoff with food production. In addition to these ecologically-mediated tradeoffs, tradeoffs exist between the wellbeing of different primary stakehoders. In particular female traders, one of the more marginalised groups who specialise in the trading small fish would be negatively affected by a shift to lower yields of larger, higher value fish.

These dynamics were explored in participatory modelling workshops with primary stakeholders and local NGO and government staff. These workshops used novel processes for development of conceptual models of the factors affecting the fishery, experimentation with 'toy models' that captured key dynamics and tradeoffs of the system, and discussion of the tradeoffs inherent in four storylines of possible future scenarios. These exercises helped stakeholders developed a broader understanding of the range of factors affecting the system, the interconnectedness of the different stakeholders including tradeoffs in their wellbeing depending on how the fishery is managed and affected by external drivers such as population growth and changes in the Kenyan governance system.
Exploitation Route The processes and tools demonstrated here can be used by NGOs, Government or other change agents to understand complex, contested environmental dilemmas and facilitate dialogue, understanding and participatory development of strategies and policies to improve wellbeing of stakeholders relying on ecosystem services.

Analysis of this specific case study can be used by stakeholders in support of local management efforts (a Beach Management Unit is being set up by the primary stakeholders), and coastal development policy along the Kenyan coast.

The illustration of the nature of wellbeing tradeoffs resulting from the governance of ecosystem services can inform policy of international and intergovernmental organisations and initiatives around ecosystem servies e.g. the Intergorernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The identification of tradeoffs within the fishery will be useful to fisheries researchers interested in fisheries management and governance in developing country contexts.

The methods used to analyse disaggregated benefits of a particular ecosystem to different users can be applied by researchers interested in ecosystem service assessment and governance.

Novel methods have been developed, documented and evaluated and are now available for researchers to adapt and apply in a range of ecosystem services or natural resource management studies. In particular methods and processes have been developed for assessment of subjective wellbeing, participatory model building and the development and use of integrated social-ecological toy models.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment

URL http://www.espa.ac.uk/projects/ne-i00324x-1/further-information-and-project-documents
 
Description 1. P-Mowtick cited repeatedly in the IPBES methodological assessment of scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystems services. (https://www.ipbes.net/deliverables/3c-scenarios-and-modelling) a) as a rare example of linking models from ecology to human wellbeing b) as highlighting the need to consider tradeoffs and multiple values in ecosystem modelling c) as an example of using ecosystem service model in a deliberative way to reframe issues and speak to a specific policy context. Source: IPBES lead author Garry Peterson. Also contributed to the 2. Various researchers have approached the P-Mowtick team for further advice on designing similar participatory modelling types of studies having been inspired by the P-Mowtick approach following presentations of the P-Mowtick approach e.g. at ESPA meetings in Kenya and the WIOMSA symposium in Maputo in 2013. This has also been facilitated by the unpublished document 'Participatory tools and processes used in the P-Mowtick project' that was produced to facilitate learning from this project for other researchers. 2a. Bernard Bett (ILRI) and Sally Bukachi were inspired by Pmowtick for their project introduction of irrigation projects in arid and semi-arid areas to alleviate food insecurity. Their hypothesis is that this impacts on ecosystem services, emergence and transmission on infectious diseases. They were interested in using a similar methodology to the ptmotwick case and had planned to do workshops to construct linkages that they can then program for the project. 2b. Applying participatory approaches in coastal Kenya to biocultural community visioning in the Solomon Islands In March 2015, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), the Solomon Islands Community Conservation Partnership (SICCP), the University of Queensland (UQ), and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) convened a four-day working session in Munda, Solomon Islands to develop biocultural approaches to reef-to-ridge natural resource management. A central objective was to advance natural resource management by uncovering relationships among social and ecological pressures on local settings, treating the biological and cultural aspects of places together, and measuring outcomes in terms of basic community-defined and site-level benefits. The use of community visioning was a key focus as a springboard for localizing indicators of biocultural resilience. Participatory Modelling of Wellbeing Tradeoffs in Coastal Kenya (P-MOWTIK) funded by Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) was highlighted as a valuable example of working with communities and stakeholders towards participatory future visions. Moving forward, this interdisciplinary project in the Solomon Islands involving social scientists, land-sea planning specialists, artists, and biologists can continue to link into the innovative and visual tools of P-MOWTIK to understanding complex and challenging environmental problem through community participation and art-based approaches. A forthcoming workshop report will provide more context to the challenges and approaches associated with community visioning in the Solomon Islands and beyond. Workshop conveners: Chris Filardi (AMNH), Eleanor Sterling (AMNH), Joe McCarter (AMNH), Simon Albert (UQ), Stacy Jupiter (WCS), Emily Darling (WCS) 3. Broader conceptualisation and consideration of wellbeing, gender and trade offs amongst policy and science stakeholders in Kenya, Based on an external review of the ESPA programme, the SPACES and P-Mowtick projects were evaluated for DfID. This review gave evidence of considerable on-the-ground impact from our projects. 4. P-Mowtick case cited in "Wellbeing for whom and how?" Official communication to IPBES Plenary, Medellin, Colombia, 1 8 - 24 March 2018. "Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation programme : policy and practice briefing". The paper copy of the briefing was distributed to the members of IPBES MEP and bureau as well as members of the secretariat. The briefing was/is also posted as an information document on the IPBES 6 website. See IPBES/6/INF/34 at https://www.ipbes.net/event/ipbes-6-plenary and was https://www.ipbes.net/system/tdf/ipbes-6-inf-34.pdf?file=1&type=node&id=17053 The UK delegation made a statement in the plenary referring to the brief.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description 11th INTECOL Congress 23 August 2013
Impact Presentation by Katrina Brown at the special symposium on Ecosystem Services Contributing to Poverty Alleviation on Friday 23rd August (Capital Suite 4 Excel Centre) of the 11th INTECOL Congress, Ecology: Into the next 100 years was held in London as part of the centenary celebrations of the British Ecological Society. The theme of the Congress was advancing ecology and making it count, and presented world class ecological science
 
Description ACTS-ESPA Researchers and Policy Workshops
Impact Presentation by Tim Daw on P Mowtick project for workshop with ESPA policy stakeholders and development partners on Participatory Modelling Frameworks to Understand Wellbeing Trade-offs in Coastal Ecosystem Services
 
Description ESPA ANNUAL SCIENCE CONFERENCE 2013 20th-21st November 2013
Impact Across the developing world, millions are utterly dependent on their surroundings, with local environments relied upon on to provide life?s essentials to an increasingly varied cross section of society. Managing habitats so that they stay healthy and contribute to the fight against poverty is a major challenge for the decades ahead. To do this requires an understanding of how different groups benefit from nature. Do certain land management decisions improve life for some at the expense of others? Can these conflicting demands be balanced fairly? And how are the needs of nature balanced against the needs of people? This conference brought together leading experts to present the latest research findings and explore some of these issues.
 
Description ESPA Annual Science Conference
Impact The team attended the ESPA Annual Science Conference in London, in both November 2011 and November 2012. Presentation given in 2011 by Sarah Coulthard. Poster presentation in 2012
 
Description Ecosystem services and Human Wellbeing, SAPECS, 15 April 2013
Impact The meeting showcased an impressive breadth and depth of research. The colloquium was structured around the six SAPECS research themes: Links between ecosystem services and human well-being, with an emphasis on poverty and inequality; How governance and management institutions and practices affect social-ecological systems, including the capacity for learning and transformation; Potential traps and transformations in the structure and dynamics of social-ecological systems, and the consequences of different trajectories of development for human well-being; Cross-scale connections that impact the structure and dynamics of social-ecological systems at different scales; Transdisciplinary modes of collaborative research and training; and Mainstreaming and communication of social-ecological research.
 
Description Eighth WIOMSA Scientific Symposium: Science and Society: Building Partnerships for Action.
Impact The symposium brought together practitioners, academics, researchers and students to share knowledge, experience and solutions to the challenges experienced in our coastal and marine environment: § Present current knowledge on disciplines related to the theme of the symposium; § Provide a forum for discussion and exchange of information and experiences on coastal and marine science issues in the western Indian Ocean region; § Promote interaction among social and natural scientists in order to strengthen multi- and trans-disciplinary research for sustainable management of the coastal and marine environment; § Identify gaps and priority research areas for improved management of the coastal and marine environment of the western Indian Ocean region
 
Description MARE Conference People and the Sea VII
Impact Three presentations delivered and participation in an international interdisciplinary conference
 
Description Wiomsa Biannual Symposium in Mombasa, Oct 2011;
Impact Poster presentation at Wiomsa Biannual Symposium in Mombasa in October 2011. Outlining the project
 
Description World Fisheries Congress
Impact Oral presentation by Tim Daw
 
Description Collaboration with ERSC Grant 'Resilient Development in Social Ecological Systems'
Amount £9,606 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/F041357/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2011 
End 12/2012
 
Description Collaboration with ERSC Grant 'Resilient Development in Social Ecological Systems'
Amount £9,606 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/F041357/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2010 
End 12/2012
 
Description ESPA 2012 - SPACES project
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID E-K010484-1 
Organisation Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2013 
End 09/2016
 
Description ESPA Insights into Resilience and Wellbeing: Research Frontiers for Sustainable Development
Amount £182,480 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/P008321/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 02/2018
 
Title Ecopath with Ecosim model of the Mombasa fishery 
Description An Ecopath model for the Mombasa reef and seagrass system was developed based on data from the WCS monitoring programmes. This data included abundance and biomass estimates within and outside of the marine protected area collected from underwater visual census, landings data, and economic data of the fisheries e.g., fishing price and cost. Based on this data, a preliminary model was developed that included 54 functional groups. The model represented the coastal ecosystems located north of Mombasa in the early 2000s period. The model explicitly represented three different habitat types: coral reef, seagrass, and other habitats. In the model, the system was exploited by five fisheries: beach seine, fence trap, handline, net, spear fishing and cage trap. The property of the model was examined to generate quantitative scenarios of changes in marine ecosystems and fisheries under different changes in fishing mortality between fisheries. This included checking the validity of the estimated parameter values such as mortality rates, and responses to changes in fishing mortality in Ecosim. Time-series biomass estimates (2001 to 2010) of some major functional groups were also prepared to conduct time-series fitting in Ecosim. The model was also run with different scenarios of changes in fishing mortality rates, and the policy-optimisation routine to determine the ecosystem structure and fisheries outputs under different objectives of fisheries development e.g., maximizing food production vs. conservation vs economic efficiency of the fishery 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2013 
Provided To Others? No  
 
Title P-mowtick Datasets 
Description The new data gathered from this project was predominantly qualitative data from focus groups and workshop transcriptions. The project also generated ecological models based on existing data. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2013 
Provided To Others? No  
 
Title Social-ecological 'Toy Model' of ecosystem service and wellbeing tradeoffs. 
Description The objective of the 'toy model' was to provide a simplified simulation of key interactions within the system so that stakeholders could run trials with key parameters and see the modelled effects on wellbeing of different stakeholders. It captures the key dynamics of the system according to qualitative research with stakeholders and ecological modelling. The model is implemented in MS Excel and uses a fuzzy logic expert system to simulate the connections within the system. A graphical 'front' end has been created to facilitate stakeholder interaction. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2013 
Provided To Others? No  
 
Description New Beach Management Unit (BMU) stimulated to be formed at study site due to project interaction 
Organisation Kenya Fisheries Department
Country Kenya 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution A BMU can potentially be a representative governance structure through which stakeholders may address challenges identified by P-Mowtick - A forum for multiple interdependent stakeholder groups to consider and agree actions in the light of trade-offs - A structure through which outside support and funding can be sought for capacity building, sustainable livelihood development projects - A legal structure through which local people can implement byelaws to improve the exploitation and marketing of fish (e.g. through establishing community protected areas, landing taxes to fund social development etc)
Start Year 2012
 
Description Blog on ESPA website 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A blog by Sarah Coulthard reflecting on the need to consider trade-offs and referring to our paper in PNAS
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.espa.ac.uk/news-events/espa-blog/importance-tackling-trade-offs-search-sustainability
 
Description Blog on Future Earth website 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Garry Peterson used the publication of our paper in PNAS to explore the idea of 'taboo tradeoffs' in ecosystem services.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.futureearth.org/blog/2015-may-20/uncovering-taboo-tradeoffs-ecosystem-services
 
Description Caroline to ESPA final workshop in Nairobi 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact As one of ESPA's final major events, this conference brought together policymakers, practitioners and researchers to reflect on how new approaches to managing Africa's ecosystems could help empower vulberable communities, improve wellbeing and progress sustainable development.

Through a process of presentations and group discussions, participants helped to shape a 'call to action' declaration for African decision makers, connecting key insights from across the whole 8-year ESPA programme to some of Africa's most pertinent social and environmental issues.

2 talks based on this research:
Caroline Abunge - Ecosystems, wellbeing and poverty: Evidence from ESPA work in coastal Kenya
Salomao Bandeira - Reflecting on socio-ecological research on interactions with impact partners
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.espa.ac.uk/event/espa-results-action-africa
 
Description ESPA fisheries synthesis group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact ESPA convened a meeting of a fisheries working group to provide develop synthesis and communications from the ESPA work on fisheries. To date, only one meeting has ocurred but further meetings and some communication outputs aimed at international and national policy communities are planned.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ESPA-IPBES workshop on "Assessing the links between Nature's Contributions to People and a Good Quality of Life" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The objective of the workshop was to bring together experts from ESPA and IPBES to: 1) transfer knowledge from ESPA to IPBES regarding ways to analyse human wellbeing in the context of the ES framework; 2) discuss how such knowledge can be best put into use in IPBES assessments given the IPBES conceptual framework, e.g., focusing on the links between "nature's contributions to people" (NCP) and a good quality of life (GQL); 3) identify knowledge gaps, opportunities and challenges in the analysis and assessment of NCP-GQL. The workshop resulted in a policy brief which became an official document of the Medellin IPBES 2018 plenary.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ipbes.net/system/tdf/ipbes-6-inf-34.pdf?file=1&type=node&id=17053