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ELOS: extending the connections: from dose-response relations to the governance of ecosystem services in the Atlantic Forest

Grant number: 18/16781-5
Support type:Research Grants - Research in Public Policies
Duration: February 01, 2020 - January 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Cooperation agreement: Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Principal Investigator:Wilson Cabral de Sousa Junior
Grantee:Wilson Cabral de Sousa Junior
Home Institution: Divisão de Engenharia Civil (IEI). Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA). Ministério da Defesa (Brasil). São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Natural environments, based on their ecosystem functions, promote the generation and / or maintenance of ecosystem services, which are integrated into the socioeconomic activities promoted by different social groups. Such services include those of direct appropriation, such as the use of natural resources for food and water, as well as indirect appropriation such as climate regulation, maintenance of water quality and socio-cultural services. However, an important part of these services has been impacted, with short, medium and long term consequences with implications for modus vivendi of these different social groups.As an example, the maintenance of the quantity and quality of water resources has a strong relationship with the support and regulation services provided by the use and proper management of the soil and the conservation of natural areas, since forests are considered important elements for the water bodies conservation. These relationships also contribute to the provision of socio-cultural services, since well-preserved areas allow people to have nature experiences and maintain low-impact productive systems at local and regional levels. Such services can be measured and their valuation can represent a source of resources for investment in environmental conservation. In addition, it can contribute to the formulation of natural resource management models on a more sustainable basis, adding value to traditional community practices and encouraging the formulation of new productive arrangements. In this context, the Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) programs emerge.Although there is a considerable and growing effort to implement PES programs in the country, there are very few actions, especially in research and data collection, aimed at the exploration of dose-response relationships in the production of ecosystem services, as well as identification and analysis of beneficiary profiles, in order to establish a closed cycle of PES. There is also a lack of identification of the additionalities generated by partial PES programs, which could considerably broaden the list of beneficiaries (and potential contributors). As an example, water focused PES that invest in the restoration of degraded areas can generate benefits in terms of biodiversity, carbon sequestration and sociocultural issues. In this sense, the accounting of these additionalities is important to increase justice in the implementation of new programs.In this context, and in order to align research elements complementary to the Conexão Mata Atlântica Project, this project will address knowledge gaps in the dose-response relationships of ecosystem services for restoration and conservation of forests: soil/water, carbon retention, biodiversity and socio-cultural. In the first case, the project involves the study of dose-response relationships in order to obtain local parameters. In the case of carbon, we intend to analyze carbon fluxes in forest fragments, in order to obtain measurements of the carbon dynamics in these environments. For biodiversity, we will study methodologies for valuation based on the data and information to be obtained in the Conexão Mata Atlântica Project and others. For the socio-cultural aspects, the project includes the formulation of indicators and methodology for participatory monitoring of the impacts of PES actions on environmental conservation and the well-being of the communities involved, aspects not yet addressed in the actions related to the Conexão Mata Atlântica Project and also incipient in similar programs at the municipal and watershed committees level. (AU)