Disaggregating ecosystem service values and priorities by wealth, age, and education

Lau, Jacqueline D. and Hicks, Christina C. and Gurney, Georgina G. and Cinner, Joshua E. (2018) Disaggregating ecosystem service values and priorities by wealth, age, and education. Ecosystem Services, 29 (Part A). pp. 91-98. ISSN 2212-0416

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Ecosystem services support the livelihoods and wellbeing of millions of people in developing countries. However, the benefits from ecosystem services are rarely, if ever, distributed equally within communities. Little work has examined whether and how socio-economic characteristics (e.g. age, poverty, education) are related to how people value and prioritize ecosystem services. We interviewed 372 people connected to coral reef fisheries in 28 communities across four countries in the western Indian Ocean. Each fisher ranked the importance of nine ecosystem service benefits, and then rated which services they most desired an improvement in quantity or quality. We disaggregated their responses to see whether age, poverty, or years of formal schooling influence how fishers rank and prioritize coral reef ecosystem services. Overall, we found little empirical evidence of strong differences between groups. However, the wealthiest fishers did prioritize improvements in habitat ecosystem services and recreational benefits more than other fishers. Our findings emphasize that people directly dependent on coral reef fisheries for their livelihood hold mostly similar values and priorities for ecosystem services. However, poverty influences whether fishers prioritize improvements in supporting ecosystem services associated with environmental care, in this case habitat benefits. Making the differences and similarities between the importance of and priorities for ecosystem services explicit can help decision-makers to target and frame management to be more socially inclusive and equitable and therefore, more effective.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Ecosystem Services
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Ecosystem Services. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Ecosystem Services, 29, A, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2017.12.005
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? povertyecosystem servicessocial differentiationcoral reefsfisheriesagricultural and biological sciences (miscellaneous)global and planetary changeecologynature and landscape conservationmanagement, monitoring, policy and lawgeography, planning and develop ??
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Deposited On:
20 Mar 2018 14:42
Last Modified:
12 May 2024 01:08