SP 6 - Cultural knowledge, valuation, and regulation of Ecosystem Services

This anthropological project aims to understand how local resource users in the Okavango basin perceive, valuate and regulate Ecosystem Services (ESS). We will assess resource uses from an actors’ point of view, to provide a deep understanding of local action and the way in which decisions are embedded in a broader social and cultural context.

Exploring which services nature provides to the local users in their own cultural terms will help us to understand their valuation of the environment. Building on our knowledge of perception and valuation of ESS we will explore how individuals and households decide which natural resources to utilize.

Subsequently we will try to understand how actors negotiate institutional regimes at the community level to regulate ESS and which of these regimes allows for a sustainable and just management and distribution of resources.

To involve locals in the research process in order to examine their perspective and to strengthen them trough the transmission of the project’s findings is a further aim of the project.