The Collaborative Research Center EFForTS (Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems, coordinated by the University of Göttingen) aims at providing science-based knowledge on how to protect and enhance the ecological functions of tropical forests and agricultural transformation systems at a landscape scale, while improving human welfare. In the third phase of EFForTS, the GIGA leads the projects B10 on landscape-level assessment of functions and C11 on policies for sustainable rural transformations.
This project (C11) provides an integrated analysis of socio-economic and ecosystem functions, aggregated at the scale of the local rural economy. We establish an Environmental and Social Accounting Matrix (ESAMs) to aggregate and link existing and future EFForTS data on socio-economic and ecosystem functions. Based on this accounting framework the project evaluates the effects of land-use change scenarios and policies (e.g. certifications schemes, land management regulations) on ecological and socio-economic functions. The project extends the socio-economic analyses to include large-scale plantations and integrates the plantation-based experiments.
While plot- and farm-level analyses have improved our understanding of socio-economic and ecological trade-offs and synergies, an analysis of these relationships at a higher scale is required to design policies to improve the sustainability of tropical transformation systems. The proposed project has two objectives: 1) to develop a comprehensive accounting framework to aggregate, synthesize, and link existing and future EFForTS data on socio-economic and ecosystem functions at the level of a local rural economy, and 2) to evaluate the effects of land-use change scenarios and policies (e.g. certifications schemes, land management regulations) on ecological and socio-economic functions and on the trade-offs between them.