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Socio‑economic links between poverty and soils

We will use economic and social science research techniques to gather and analyse information on local livelihoods, dimensions of local poverty, and local and higher-level institutional and social structuring to create a clear understanding of the relationships between local livelihood strategies, poverty and the soil assets they depend on.

Our aims

The aim of this aspect of the project is to build up a picture of the relationships between the poverty status as experienced by local people, the soil assets that they manage and use, and the degradation status of these soils. We will then use this information to examine the potential to address poverty by improving soils through investment in below-ground carbon as an alternative or in addition to aboveground carbon. We will compare and contrast relationships in Uganda and Ethiopia to identify general and specific matters. Key will be identifying the individual and bundles of ecosystem services that are associated with soils and characterising the synergies and trade-offs for peoples’ livelihoods and capacity to adapt to change from improving soils through SOC.

The main tasks to achieve this will be to:

  • Assess the relationships between aspects of poverty status, livelihoods and dependence on soil related ecosystem services.
  • Understand social and economic drivers of change - historical and contemporary.
  • Contrast the potential of soil management/restoration (through SOC) and above-ground ecosystem carbon for poverty alleviation.
  • Investigate existing and future barriers to adoption of soil management practices and technology
  • Investigate market-based provision of soil ecosystem carbon (instruments, design mechanisms, and implementation) and likely effectiveness versus other interventions.