Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Benefits from ecosystem services in Sahelian village landscapes
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Rural people in the Sahel derive multiple benefits from local ecosystem services on a daily basis. At the same time, a large proportion of the population lives in multidimensional poverty. The global sustainability challenge is thus manifested in its one extreme here, with a strong need to improve human well-being without degrading the landscapes that people depend on. To address this challenge, knowledge on how local people interact with their landscapes, and how this changes over time, must be improved. An ecosystem services approach, focusing on benefits to people from ecosystem processes, is useful in this context. However, methods for assessing ecosystem services that include local knowledge while addressing a scale relevant for development interventions are lacking.

In this thesis, such methods are developed to study Sahelian landscapes through an ecosystem services lens. The thesis is focused on village landscapes and is based on in-depth fieldwork in six villages in northern Burkina Faso. In these villages, participatory methods were used to identify social-ecological patches (landscape units that correspond with local descriptions of landscapes, characterized by a combination of land use, land cover and topography), the provisioning ecosystem services generated in each social-ecological patch, and the benefits from ecosystem services to livelihoods (Paper I). In Paper II, change in cover of social-ecological patches mapped on aerial photographs and satellite images from the period 1952-2016 was combined with population data and focus group discussions to evaluate change in generation of ecosystem services over time. In Paper III, up-scaling of the village scale assessment to provincial scale was done through the development of a classification method to identify social-ecological patches on medium-resolution satellite images. Paper IV addresses the whole Sudano-Sahelian climate zone of West Africa, to analyze woody vegetation as a key component for ecosystem services generation in the landscape. It is based on a systematic review of which provisioning and regulating ecosystem services are documented from trees and shrubs on agricultural lands in the region.

Social-ecological patches and associated sets of ecosystem services are very similar in all studied villages across the two regions. Most social-ecological patches generate multiple ecosystem services with multiple benefits, illustrating a multifunctional landscape (Paper I). The social-ecological patches and ecosystem services are confirmed at province level in both regions, and the dominant social-ecological patches can be mapped with high accuracy on medium-resolution satellite images (Paper III). The potential generation of cultivated crops has more or less kept up with population growth in the villages, while the potential for other ecosystem services, particularly firewood, has decreased per capita (Paper II). Trees and shrubs contribute with multiple ecosystem services, but their landscape effects, especially on regulating ecosystem services, must be better studied (Paper IV). The thesis provides new insights about the complex and multi-functional landscapes of rural Sahel, nuancing dominating narratives on environmental change in the region. It also provides new methods that include local knowledge in ecosystem services assessments, which can be up-scaled to scales relevant for development interventions, and used to analyze changes in ecosystem services over time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University , 2016. , 91 p.
Keyword [en]
agroforestry, Burkina Faso, ecosystem services assessment, landscape change, livelihoods, smallholder agriculture, social-ecological system, West Africa
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-133922ISBN: 978-91-7649-494-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-133922DiVA: diva2:973840
Public defence
2016-11-11, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, SWE-2012-115Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SWE-2008-148
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.

 

Available from: 2016-10-19 Created: 2016-09-22 Last updated: 2016-10-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Assessment of ecosystem services and benefits in village landscapes – A case study from Burkina Faso
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessment of ecosystem services and benefits in village landscapes – A case study from Burkina Faso
2016 (English)In: Ecosystem Services, ISSN 2212-0416, E-ISSN 2212-0416, Vol. 21, 141-152 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most methods to assess ecosystem services have been developed on large scales and depend on secondary data. Such data is scarce in rural areas with widespread poverty. Nevertheless, the population in these areas strongly depends on local ecosystem services for their livelihoods. These regions are in focus for substantial landscape investments that aim to alleviate poverty, but current methods fail to capture the vast range of ecosystem services supporting livelihoods, and can therefore not properly assess potential trade-offs and synergies among services that might arise from the interventions. We present a new method for classifying village landscapes into social-ecological patches (landscape units corresponding to local landscape perceptions), and for assessing provisioning ecosystem services and benefits to livelihoods from these patches. We apply the method, which include a range of participatory activities and satellite image analysis, in six villages across two regions in Burkina Faso. The results show significant and diverse contributions to livelihoods from six out of seven social-ecological patches. The results also show how provisioning ecosystem services, primarily used for subsistence, become more important sources of income during years when crops fail. The method is useful in many data poor regions, and the patch-approach allows for extrapolation across larger spatial scales with similar social-ecological systems.

Keyword
Agricultural landscapes, Livelihoods, Participatory approach, Poverty alleviation, Sahel, Smallholder farming
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-133915 (URN)10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.08.004 (DOI)000385526300015 ()
Available from: 2016-09-22 Created: 2016-09-22 Last updated: 2016-11-28Bibliographically approved
2. Changes in ecosystem services in Sahelian village landscapes 1952-2016
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changes in ecosystem services in Sahelian village landscapes 1952-2016
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-133917 (URN)
Available from: 2016-09-22 Created: 2016-09-22 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved
3. Mapping livelihood benefits from ecosystem services in rural Sahel: Developing a method for up-scaling community based assessments of a multifunctional landscape
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mapping livelihood benefits from ecosystem services in rural Sahel: Developing a method for up-scaling community based assessments of a multifunctional landscape
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
Sahel, ecosystem services, remote sensing, livelihood benefits, social-ecological systems
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-133918 (URN)
Available from: 2016-09-22 Created: 2016-09-22 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved
4. Ecosystem services from woody vegetation on agricultural lands in Sudano-Sahelian West Africa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ecosystem services from woody vegetation on agricultural lands in Sudano-Sahelian West Africa
2015 (English)In: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, ISSN 0167-8809, E-ISSN 1873-2305, Vol. 200, 186-199 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Investment in woody vegetation to counter land degradation and improve livelihoods is increasing, primarily revitalized by efforts to enhance carbon sequestration and climate change adaptation. Sudano-Sahelian West Africa is in focus for several interventions to increase woody vegetation for improved livelihoods. However, the knowledge on how woody vegetation maintains landscape productivity and contributes to livelihoods is widely scattered across different scientific fields. Here we review different bodies of literature including a total of 30 species of woody vegetation. We use ecosystem services as a lens to integrate knowledge about how woody vegetation affect ecosystem processes and contribute to livelihoods. We find that the majority of the species generate multiple provisioning ecosystem services. Medicinal uses, contribution to fodder for livestock and importance for human nutrition are reported for almost all species. Regulating ecosystem services are studied for a more narrow set of species. There are mainly positive or no effects on soil nutrients, soil carbon and soil water content. The overall effect of woody vegetation on crop yields is mediated through multiple processes and shows both positive and negative effects. The majority of studies are focused on effects of individual elements of woody vegetation, with very limited landscape scale analyses. Differences between beneficiaries of ecosystem services are only discussed in a few studies, and only in relation provisioning services. Therefore, future studies need to address landscape scale effects and how the benefits of ecosystem services are distributed among beneficiaries, to provide knowledge that is even more relevant for interventions that aim to enhance climate mitigation and adaptation, ecosystem restoration, as well as poverty alleviation.

Keyword
Agroforestry, Parklands, Trees, Shrubs, Livelihoods, Sahel
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-115281 (URN)10.1016/j.agee.2014.11.009 (DOI)000348952400021 ()
Note

AuthorCount:2;

Available from: 2015-03-31 Created: 2015-03-18 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Benefits from ecosystem services in Sahelian village landscapes(43228 kB)62 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 43228 kBChecksum SHA-512
61aa3d16ea6e5cc6358d3c606dae58680f423ff6795742d2726140054bb8387f77cbf190271ccd11daef626bb85d773ef4f1ff0c3c8cce89c948be8c3fcc6744
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Sinare, Hanna
By organisation
Stockholm Resilience Centre
Environmental Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 62 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 409 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link