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Uncovering well-being ecosystem services bundles (WEBs) under conditions of social-ecological change in Brazil

Ana Carolina Esteves Dias, School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo; Environmental Change and Governance Group, University of Waterloo
Derek Armitage, School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo; Environmental Change and Governance Group, University of Waterloo
Andrew J Trant, School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-13070-270144

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Abstract

This research examines the interplay of a 3-dimensional well-being approach of coastal communities and the ecosystem services upon which they depend, and the implications for marine protected area (MPA) governance. We use the concept of well-being ecosystem services bundles (WEBs) to refer to the links among ecosystem services and social well-being as experienced by fishing communities adjacent to MPAs. This research combines data from surveys with households (n=59) and three participatory workshops (total participation n=48). We supplement results using insights from a photovoice process with community members (n=15) and participant observation (September 2018-April 2019). We identify key WEBs, social-ecological changes, and their trade-offs and synergies in three coastal communities on the southeast coast of Brazil. In doing so, we examine core WEBs relevant to coastal communities, and the drivers of change that influence these WEBs (e.g., increased tourism, deforestation) and show their dynamism and complexity. Further, we develop a typology to reflect how individuals perceive or experience the interplay among components of WEBs, or the “pathways of interaction” that connect their well-being to ecosystem services. Results reveal three key opportunities for improving MPA governance. First, we show that WEBs play a key role in perceptions of physical and public safety experienced in coastal communities, an insight that is especially relevant to the global south and developing countries due to the inequity-related security issues. Second, trade-offs in tourism are a major area for governance interventions to improve fit to the local context, such as enhancing the well-being of locals as it is shaping local livelihoods, culture, and social relations. Third, we develop a typology that highlights overlooked experiential, observational, and visual contributions of WEBs to well-being that have the potential to reinforce conservation values and stewardship actions in communities affected by MPAs.

Key words

coastal governance; community; marine protected areas; marine conservation; small-scale fisheries

Copyright © 2022 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087