Human Adaptation to Biodiversity Change (HABC)

Co-Investigator, Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation lead project funded through a partnership between the Department for International Development (DFID), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), 2010-11

This project's aim is to kickstart the development of appropriate conceptual frameworks, methods and integrated models for understanding human adaptation to change in biodiversity and related ecosystem services that can eventually be used to predict outcomes for biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being in highly biodiversity dependent societies, and provide evidence for the utility of these outputs to a new network of researchers and policy makers. The building blocks for development of concepts, methods, tools and models are

  1. local information or knowledge systems and monitoring capacity;
  2. local valuation of biodiversity and related ecosystem services;
  3. integrating biological resources and ecosystem services into an understanding of livelihood processes;
  4. assessing perceptions, risks, needs, and ability to respond;
  5. under-standing biological and welfare outcomes and feedbacks.

The project joins partners from anthropology, economics and ecology/biology at Oxford, Kent and The University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, with partners from South Africa and India. Partners will jointly elaborate the conceptual framework in a first intensive workshop using a scenario building protocol. Then, teams incrementally develop and evaluate research protocols and methods and collect primary data in a field research site in the Western Ghats, and results are initially modeled.

Project details