Ecosystem service analysis in marginal agricultural lands: A case study in Belize
We used Bayesian Belief Networks to qualitatively compare perceptions amongst local and national stakeholders on how different ecosystem services from a neotropical lowland savannah would change under future scenarios of conversion to agriculture or a protected area.
Neotropical lowland savannahs are rare ecosystems and are often ignored in national land planning due to their low agricultural potential. Yet many local communities access provisioning services from such areas, and they provide regulating services to the broader population. We sought to use local knowledge to assess how such services might change under future scenarios of land conversion. We found that the savannahs were more highly valued by local people, particularly those living in poverty who access provisioning services informally (i.e. without clear access rights). Most respondents forecast that all future scenarios of land conversion would increase ecosystem service provision to those with formal land tenure, but would decrease services to the most vulnerable.
Wells GJ, Stuart N, Furley PA and Ryan CM, 2018. Ecosystem service analysis in marginal agricultural lands: A case study in Belize. Ecosystem Services 32; 70-77