“BESSA: Building Ecosystem Services Research Capacity in Semi-Arid Africa” (NERS BESSA)

Published on 22 January 2010

Research Areas

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Start Date: 1 January 2009 | End Date: 31 December 2009


The overall objective of this project is to establish a network of researchers and a research agenda focused on developing methodologies and tools to analyse tradeoffs and synergies between different ecosystem services to address poverty alleviation in semi-arid Africa.

The project aims to:1. To strengthen the capacity of research partners within the existing Pro-Poor Rewards for Environmental Services in Africa Programme (PRESA) to conduct interdisciplinary research, ecosystem services valuation, trade-off and policy impact studies with training of early-career scientists.

2. To enhance links between the PRESA community and UK research institutions with expertise in natural resource valuation, assessment of ecosystem service trade offs, life cycle analysis, and carbon accounting. This will raise awareness of ecosystem issues and help to create a demand for relevant research.

3. To further develop the evidence base for PRESA through selected studies of the carbon sequestration, water use, and economic profiles of selected land use systems, and use that evidence base to assess ecosystem service trade offs and the impacts of various financial and regulatory instruments.

4. To identify future research needs in this area and progress a proposal for future funding. This will address:

(a) a programme for future research to address knowledge gaps and improve the capacity to deliver ecosystem services research;

(b) a plan for how the programme could be delivered, from a single network to a series of smaller projects and relevant funding opportunities;

(c) information on available expertise and skills for future networking.

5. To submit a journal article reviewing approaches and the limitations to capacity building in ecosystem services research.

Research Partners


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