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Revisiting the relationships between human well-being and ecosystems in dynamic social-ecological systems: Implications for stewardship and development

  • Vanessa A. Masterson (a1), Susanne Vetter (a2), Tomas Chaigneau (a3), Tim M. Daw (a1), Odirilwe Selomane (a1) (a4), Maike Hamann (a5) (a6), Grace Y. Wong (a1), Viveca Mellegård (a1), Michelle Cocks (a7) and Maria Tengö (a1)...

Non-technical summary

We argue that the ways in which we as humans derive well-being from nature – for example by harvesting firewood, selling fish or enjoying natural beauty – feed back into how we behave towards the environment. This feedback is mediated by institutions (rules, regulations) and by individual capacities to act. Understanding these relationships can guide better interventions for sustainably improving well-being and alleviating poverty. However, more attention needs to be paid to how experience-related benefits from nature influence attitudes and actions towards the environment, and how these relationships can be reflected in more environmentally sustainable development projects.

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Author for correspondence: V. A. Masterson, E-mail:


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