Ecosystem services and resilience

Photo: IWMI

WLE supports an approach to sustainable intensification in which healthy functioning ecosystems are seen as a prerequisite to agricultural development, food security and human well-being. Our priority is to increase food and livelihood security for the world’s poor by enhancing sustainability and equity in the provisioning of ecosystem services – and securing the natural resource base that underpins these services – that flow to and from agriculture and provide monetary, health, and well-being benefits to people.

Ecosystem Services and Resilience (ESR) is a crosscutting core theme within WLE that focuses on the role of ecosystem service based approaches in building community resilience and helping WLE achieve its development outcomes.

Ecosystem Services and Resilience Framework

This paper is meant to provide a framework for how we view and work on our ESR based approach. This ESR Framework outlines how WLE, working closely with its partners, intends to shape and drive forward the integration of ESR concepts into development and resource management decisions in agricultural landscapes.

The central hypothesis of this ESR Framework is that ecosystem service stocks and flows in agricultural landscapes can be managed to contribute to these development outcomes, and resilience concepts can help guide this process. Click to read:

ESR FRamework

Ecosystem Services and Resilience Resources

WLE ESR Materials


Posters and Infographics


Related Blog Posts

The WLE Approach

Ecosystem services go beyond solely impacting the poor however, and are central to a global strategy for sustainability. Global agricultural systems are met with the dual challenge of increasing food production to meet a growing global population, and to reduce the negative impact of agricultural systems on the environment. The second goal recognizes the tremendous impact that agriculture has had as a driver of environmental degradation. WLE recognizes that the agriculture of the 21st century must move beyond yield and focus on the capacity of agricultural landscapes to provide multiple ecosystem services, including food production and hydrological services.

The management of ecosystem services necessitates an integrated research focus that transcends scales – from field to landscapes – and disciplines. It also requires a clear understanding of the drivers of ecosystem service provision, including the ecological (which ecosystems provide what services and at what scales) and the socio-economic (which services are people interested in and why) in order to create sustainable incentive mechanisms to ensure the continued provision of these services.

Coordinator: Fabrice DeClerck