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Multi-dimensional well-being associated with economic dependence on ecosystem services in deltaic social-ecological systems of Bangladesh

Multi-dimensional well-being associated with economic dependence on ecosystem services in deltaic social-ecological systems of Bangladesh
Multi-dimensional well-being associated with economic dependence on ecosystem services in deltaic social-ecological systems of Bangladesh
While the benefits humans gain from ecosystem functions and processes are critical in natural resource-dependent societies with persistent poverty, ecosystem services as a pathway out of poverty remain an elusive goal, contingent on the ecosystem and mediated by social processes. Here, we investigate three emerging dimensions of the ecosystem service-poverty relationship: economic contribution of provisioning ecosystem services to the household livelihood mix, social-ecological systems producing different bundles of ecosystem services and material wealth versus reported life satisfaction. We analyse these relationships in Bangladesh, using data from a bespoke 1586-household survey, stratified by seven social-ecological systems in the delta coastal region. We create poverty lines to ensure comparability with traditional poverty measures that overlook environmental factors and subjective measurements of well-being. We find that any contribution of ecosystem service-based income to the livelihood mix decreases the likelihood of the incidence of poverty, and of individuals reporting dissatisfaction. We find no relationship between the incidence of material poverty and the specific social-ecological systems, from agriculture to fishery-dominated systems. However, the probability of the household head being dissatisfied was significantly associated with social-ecological system. Individuals living in areas dominated by export-oriented shrimp aquaculture reported lower levels of life satisfaction as an element of their perceived well-being. These results highlight the need for social policy on poverty that accounts for the diversity of outcomes across social-ecological systems, including subjective as well as material dimensions of well-being. National poverty reduction that degrades ecosystem services can have negative implications for the subjective well-being of local populations.
1436-378X
Adams, Helen
ae20ed70-91d9-411e-b637-f1e616924942
Adger, W. Neil
880deff5-3dde-429f-9b50-4366c54bcfe7
Ahmad, Sate
5f803947-ca23-4a2a-aa86-2a0445205806
Ahmed, Ali
14689d90-3c0c-4a97-819c-dfb595ae9702
Begum, Dilruba
ce17e16d-6c6f-4311-9bbd-63304a7d686b
Matthews, Zoe
ebaee878-8cb8-415f-8aa1-3af2c3856f55
Rahman, Mohammed Mofizur
373b14ad-b34d-45a9-a787-2a6ec8e3d425
Nilsen, Kristine
306e0bd5-8139-47db-be97-47fe15f0c03b
Gurney, Georgina Grace
c3365a06-3bee-4494-9085-b54bcd07b3f0
Streatfield, Peter Kim
f5bf5839-c28f-4e56-9c8e-9ef7bda71f7b
Adams, Helen
ae20ed70-91d9-411e-b637-f1e616924942
Adger, W. Neil
880deff5-3dde-429f-9b50-4366c54bcfe7
Ahmad, Sate
5f803947-ca23-4a2a-aa86-2a0445205806
Ahmed, Ali
14689d90-3c0c-4a97-819c-dfb595ae9702
Begum, Dilruba
ce17e16d-6c6f-4311-9bbd-63304a7d686b
Matthews, Zoe
ebaee878-8cb8-415f-8aa1-3af2c3856f55
Rahman, Mohammed Mofizur
373b14ad-b34d-45a9-a787-2a6ec8e3d425
Nilsen, Kristine
306e0bd5-8139-47db-be97-47fe15f0c03b
Gurney, Georgina Grace
c3365a06-3bee-4494-9085-b54bcd07b3f0
Streatfield, Peter Kim
f5bf5839-c28f-4e56-9c8e-9ef7bda71f7b

Adams, Helen, Adger, W. Neil, Ahmad, Sate, Ahmed, Ali, Begum, Dilruba, Matthews, Zoe, Rahman, Mohammed Mofizur, Nilsen, Kristine, Gurney, Georgina Grace and Streatfield, Peter Kim (2020) Multi-dimensional well-being associated with economic dependence on ecosystem services in deltaic social-ecological systems of Bangladesh. Regional Environmental Change, 20 (2). (doi:10.1007/s10113-020-01620-x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

While the benefits humans gain from ecosystem functions and processes are critical in natural resource-dependent societies with persistent poverty, ecosystem services as a pathway out of poverty remain an elusive goal, contingent on the ecosystem and mediated by social processes. Here, we investigate three emerging dimensions of the ecosystem service-poverty relationship: economic contribution of provisioning ecosystem services to the household livelihood mix, social-ecological systems producing different bundles of ecosystem services and material wealth versus reported life satisfaction. We analyse these relationships in Bangladesh, using data from a bespoke 1586-household survey, stratified by seven social-ecological systems in the delta coastal region. We create poverty lines to ensure comparability with traditional poverty measures that overlook environmental factors and subjective measurements of well-being. We find that any contribution of ecosystem service-based income to the livelihood mix decreases the likelihood of the incidence of poverty, and of individuals reporting dissatisfaction. We find no relationship between the incidence of material poverty and the specific social-ecological systems, from agriculture to fishery-dominated systems. However, the probability of the household head being dissatisfied was significantly associated with social-ecological system. Individuals living in areas dominated by export-oriented shrimp aquaculture reported lower levels of life satisfaction as an element of their perceived well-being. These results highlight the need for social policy on poverty that accounts for the diversity of outcomes across social-ecological systems, including subjective as well as material dimensions of well-being. National poverty reduction that degrades ecosystem services can have negative implications for the subjective well-being of local populations.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 16 February 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 March 2020
Published date: 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 451325
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/451325
ISSN: 1436-378X
PURE UUID: e9fd3023-7f4b-4435-a63a-45c428aca3f1
ORCID for Kristine Nilsen: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2009-4019

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Date deposited: 21 Sep 2021 16:30
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 02:11

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Contributors

Author: Helen Adams
Author: W. Neil Adger
Author: Sate Ahmad
Author: Ali Ahmed
Author: Dilruba Begum
Author: Zoe Matthews
Author: Mohammed Mofizur Rahman
Author: Kristine Nilsen ORCID iD
Author: Georgina Grace Gurney
Author: Peter Kim Streatfield

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