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Ecosystem services science for improving conservation outcomes in Africa

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A panel discussion by ecosystem services experts in Africa to explore the range of policy instruments and tools relevant for conservation.

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The future of conservation, economic development and human wellbeing in Africa strongly hinges on the ability of current governments to institutionalize and implement the ecosystem services concept in policy and practice. Although there is accumulating evidence that framing of biodiversity in terms of ecosystem services, natural capital or nature’s contributions to people can be a powerful tool in achieving conservation outcomes, the adoption of the concept in environmental policies in Africa is minimal. Adoption is particularly relevant for sectors such as natural resource management, agriculture, and conservation which are highly dependent on maintaining biodiversity, functional ecosystems and flows of goods and services to society. Several tools and approaches exist to make the dependencies more explicit in national and sub-national policies. However, the field of ecosystem services has advanced enormously in the last decade making it difficult to keep up with emerging concepts, tools and approaches especially as a practitioner. This panel of experts will demystify the ecosystem services concept and present novel tools and policy instruments that can be leveraged to improve conservation outcomes on the continent.

Hosted by the Rwandan Centre of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resources Management, the International Congress for Conservation Biology of the Society for Conservation Biology, and Ecosystem Services Partnership Africa

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