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Biodiversity Ecosystem services, Soial sustainability and Tipping points
This research addresses the fact that African drylands are fast approaching a tipping point of range enclosure, with associated loss of wild and domestic grazer mobility, and attendant loss of ecosystem services and of poor people’s livelihoods. The shift to an enclosed (or conversely back to an open) state is driven by the interplay of changing policies on land tenure and natural resource management, integrated at the level of household tradeoff decisions and expressed through their land use choices, and has major environmental and social sustainability implications. This NERC (ESPA) funded work asks how different policy and economic drivers shape household decisions on land use choices, and with what ecosystem services and poverty implications? The research design, methods and materials use conceptually innovative modelling, alongside major extant datasets, and a cross-border comparative analysis encompassing three of the poorest African countries, to develop understanding of household decisions over land use. This partnership with the Institute of Zoology, the International Institute of Livestock Research in Nairobi, Kenya and the African Technology Policy Studies network (also in Nairobi) aims not only to deliver findings that will help evaluate policy scenarios, giving credible and relevant insight into the ecosystem services and poverty implications of different land tenure and NRM policies, but also to ensure those findings and tools are embedded into policymaking and practice.
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