Justice and equity: Emerging research and policy approaches to address ecosystem service trade-offs

Neil Dawson, Brendan Coolsaet, Adrian Martin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

35 Downloads (Pure)


An environmental justice framework is a broad approach to understand diverse perspectives on environmental management and change, in terms of distributional impacts, decision-making procedures and recognition of various values and identities. The approach is well suited to elicit the nature and extent of ecosystem service trade-offs, and to bring forward the views of poor and marginalised stakeholders, often underrepresented through standard ecosystem service frameworks. Equity has emerged as an important objective for environmental policy, partly due to the moral imperative to support human rights and partly due to increasing appreciation that improvements to equity can help to secure other objectives, notably poverty alleviation and conservation. Despite greater policy reference, equity has been repeatedly evidenced across numerous sectors as failing, in practice, to deliver just processes and outcomes for local communities, particularly for the poor and cultural minorities. There is a policy need for scientific evidence to elaborate definitions, principles, guidelines and tools for assessment of and strategies to advance towards more equitable governance of terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Recent academic progress has been made in developing principles and describing characteristics of equitable governance which may uncover innovative solutions to trade-offs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEcosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation
Subtitle of host publicationTrade-offs and Governance
EditorsKate Schreckenberg, Georgina Mace, Mahesh Poudyal
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9780429016295
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2018

Cite this