Connecting Marine Ecosystem Services to Human Well-being: Insights from Participatory Well-being Assessment in Kenya

Caroline Abunge, Sarah Coulthard, Tim Daw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The linkage between ecosystems and human well-being is a focus of the conceptualization of ``ecosystem services{''} as promoted by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. However, the actual nature of connections between ecosystems and the well-being of individuals remains complex and poorly understood. We conducted a series of qualitative focus groups with five different stakeholder groups connected to a small-scale Kenyan coastal fishery to understand (1) how well-being is understood within the community, and what is important for well-being, (2) how people's well-being has been affected by changes over the recent past, and (3) people's hopes and aspirations for their future fishery. Our results show that people conceive well-being in a diversity of ways, but that these can clearly map onto the MA framework. In particular, our research unpacks the ``freedoms and choices{''} element of the framework and argues for greater recognition of these aspects of well-being in fisheries management in Kenya through, for example, more participatory governance processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1021
JournalAmbio
Volume42
Issue number8, SI
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

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