MAE: Socio-ecological systems

Coral reefs support wellbeing and livelihoods of local communities through various ecosystem services. Beyond studying ecological and evolutionary issues, it is also crucial to focus on socio-economic aspects. Marine Animal Ecology uses a combination of qualitative methods to assess the societal impact of for instance reef restoration.

Reef restoration in Shimoni, Kenya

In 2015 the REEFolution Foundation in Kenya started a coral reef restoration effort which has been ongoing ever since. It involves the participation of various local stakeholders. A current project aims to map and assess ecosystem services and associated socio-economic effects arising from the restoration. It will examine stakeholder's engagement and expectations in order to explore potential collaboration and create alternative sustainable livelihoods.

Techniques used & Implications

To study socio-ecological systems, Marine Animal Ecology uses a range of qualitative techniques such as stakeholder interviews. Social systems are studied in collaboration with the Environmental Policy Group. With a better understanding of the socio-ecological system we are better able to conserve ecosystems to work towards climate resilience.