Unai Pascual

Unai Pascual
BC3-Basque Centre for Climate Change | BCCC

PhD Environmental Economics (2002, Univ York, UK)

About

237
Publications
192,707
Reads
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Introduction
Unai Pascual is an ecological economist. PhD at University of York, UK, 2002. He is an Ikerbasque Research Professor at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), Bilbao, Spain. Previously he was Senior Lecturer in environmental economics and policy at the University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy (2002-2013). He also lectured on environmental economics at the School of Economics at the University of Manchester (2000-2002). You can follow Unai at: @unaipasku
Additional affiliations
January 2022 - December 2022
University of Bern
Position
  • Research Associate
November 2011 - present
BC3-Basque Centre for Climate Change
Position
  • Professor of Environmental Economics
January 2002 - November 2013
University of Cambridge
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (237)
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable farming near tropical forests can buffer ecosystems at risk of biodiversity loss. In mountainous forest frontiers however, many smallholders raise cattle using practices that degrade land, also endangering future livelihoods. Silvopasture, a type of agroforestry, enables cattle farming, biodiversity conservation and can have climate ben...
Article
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Transformative governance is key to addressing the global environmental crisis. We explore how transformative governance of complex biodiversity–climate–society interactions can be achieved, drawing on the first joint report between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and E...
Article
It is increasingly apparent that biodiversity conservation science, policy, and practice need to account for a rapidly changing climate. In this issue of One Earth, Rhodes et al. propose a conceptual framework designed to assist conservation management in the new climate normal. Here, I discuss how effective and equitable biodiversity conservation...
Preprint
Sustaining the organisms, ecosystems, and processes that underpin human well-being is necessary to achieve sustainable development. Here we identify critical natural assets, natural and semi-natural ecosystems that provide 90% of the total current magnitude of 14 types of nature’s contributions to people (NCP). Critical natural assets for maintaini...
Article
This paper expands the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) values framing about nature and its contributions to people by exploring the notion of ‘disvalues’, which pertains to aspects of nature that reduce well being (instrumental disvalues), relationships that are detrimental to a dignified and flourishing li...
Article
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Land use is central to addressing sustainability issues, including biodiversity conservation, climate change, food security, poverty alleviation, and sustainable energy. In this paper, we synthesize knowledge accumulated in land system science, the integrated study of terrestrial social-ecological systems, into 10 hard truths that have strong, gene...
Article
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Abstract Nature is perceived and valued in many different ways. Often, the types of values that are the most important to people depend on how they cognitively frame desirable human–nature relations. For instance, the value of nature can be seen through a utilitarian lens, for example, as providing ecosystem services for humans. Alternatively, it c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sustaining the organisms, ecosystems, and processes that underpin human well-being is necessary to achieve sustainable development. Here we analyze 14 of nature’s contributions to people (NCP) for food, water, and climate security. Using spatial optimization, we identify critical natural assets, the most important ecosystems for providing NCP, comp...
Article
The lack of urgent action to reverse biodiversity loss is partly due to the complex nature of biodiversity as a feature of our planet. Subsequently, policymakers receive an often-confusing variety of narratives on why biodiversity matters, which makes it difficult to link biodiversity loss and risks to the attainment of sustainable development. Mak...
Article
“Nature's contributions to people” (NCP) is designed to provide space for the recognition of diverse and evolving culturally mediated ideas about what people derive from, and co-produce with, nature. Its origins, along with the IPBES conceptual framework in which it is embedded, is transdisciplinary, action-oriented, and inclusive and also embraces...
Technical Report
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The Scientific Outcome was produced by participants in the first-ever IPCC-IPBES co-sponsored workshop which took place in December 2020. This workshop is placed in the context of recent international agreements including the Paris Agreement, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and ongoing preparation for the post-2020 global biodiversi...
Preprint
Global sustainability targets demand transformative changes. Nature-based solutions (NbS) are gaining traction in science and policy, but their potential for transformative change remains unexplored. We provide a framework to evaluate how NbS contribute to transformative change and apply it to 93 NbS from mountain social-ecological systems (SES). T...
Article
Full-text available
Global sustainability targets demand transformative changes. Nature-based solutions (NbS) are gaining traction in science and policy, but their potential for transformative change remains unexplored. We provide a framework to evaluate how NbS contribute to transformative change and apply it to 93 NbS from mountain social-ecological systems (SES). T...
Article
One of the main debates surrounding payments for ecosystem services (PES) is to what extent should PES design focus on social equity concerns. While much of the debate is centered around theoretical arguments, here we focus empirically on the question of whether there are trade-offs between social-environmental effectiveness and social equity in PE...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research into the plural values about nature is focusing on relational values as a concept through which to better understand the breadth and importance of situated human–nature relations. However, potential relevance of language as a mediating factor in relational values has not been sufficiently examined. To investigate the links between l...
Article
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In this article, we explore why conservation schemes that have positive outcomes through the participation of local communities cannot necessarily be deemed as just. We observe that recognition (understood as inclusion and respect) of local communities’ value‐systems, a key factor towards environmental justice, is not often achieved in conservation...
Article
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The lack of progress in reversing the declining global trend in biodiversity is partly due to a mismatch between how living nature is conceived and valued by the conservation movement on the one hand, and by many different people, including marginalized communities, on the other. Addressing this problem calls for a pluralistic perspective on biodiv...
Article
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In the original publication of the article, under the acknowledgments section, the project number was published incorrectly.
Article
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The social-ecological effects of agricultural intensification are complex. We explore farmers’ perceptions about the impacts of their land management and the impact of social information flows on their management through a case study in a farming community in Navarra, Spain, that is undergoing agricultural intensification due to adoption of large s...
Article
Crop choice, including the conservation of traditional crops and the uptake of novel ones, is a central issue in agricultural development. This paper examines differences between male and female farmers’ motivations for growing diverse crop portfolios in Papua New Guinea, a highly agro-biodiverse context facing rapid social change. Q methodology, a...
Article
Full-text available
The recently published article by Albizua et al. (2020) contained an error. The reference to Guerrero et al. (2013), cited in the Introduction section of the paper, was missing in the list of references. Below the full reference is provided.
Preprint
Full-text available
Sustaining the organisms, ecosystems, and processes that underpin human well-being is necessary to achieve sustainable development. Here we analyze 12 of nature’s contributions to people (NCP) for food, water, and climate security. Using spatial optimization, we identify critical natural assets, the most important ecosystems for providing NCP, comp...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The IPBES Bureau and Multidisciplinary Expert Panel, in the context of the extraordinary situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and considering the role that IPBES can play in strengthening the knowledge base on biodiversity, decided that IPBES would organize a “Platform workshop” on biodiversity and pandemics, in accordance with the procedures...
Article
Full-text available
Social networks influence decision-making in agricultural landscapes by affecting how farmers access knowledge and resources. However, researchers ignore the disparate structures built to access different kinds of knowledge and resources and the social mechanisms that take place on such farmers’ advice networks. We explored the role of social netwo...
Article
Plural valuation is about eliciting the diverse values of nature articulated by different stakeholders in order to inform decision making and thus achieve more equitable and sustainable outcomes. We explore what approaches align with plural valuation on the ground, as well as how different social-ecological contexts play a role in translating plura...
Article
In assessment of costs (and benefits) of wildlife conservation, conventional economic valuation frameworks may inadequately address various non-tangible values and neglect social, cultural and political contexts of resources and their use. Correspondingly, there seems to be much more focus on quantifying the economic, material benefits and costs of...
Article
Valuation can be used for a wide range of purposes, including informing environmental decision-making, designing and evaluating policies, and acknowledging and raising awareness of the importance of the environment. A promising development in the field of environmental valuation that is receiving increasing attention is the hybridization of stated...
Article
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Transformation of social-ecological systems due to climate change requires, transformative adaptation responses. We propose the concept of nature's contribution to adaptation (NCA; previously called adaptation services), to reveal properties of ecosystems that provide options for future livelihoods and adaptation to transformative change. Knowledge...
Article
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Engaging with normative questions in land system science is a key challenge. This debate paper highlights the potential of incorporating elements of environmental justice scholarship into the evolving telecoupling framework that focuses on distant interactions in land systems. We first expose the reasons why environmental justice matters in underst...
Article
This paper focuses on the potential use of insurance as a climate change adaptation mechanism in agriculture. We analyse the attractiveness of a climate risk insurance scheme and the choices farmers face between adaptation via farm management practices and purchase of crop insurance in the market. A choice experiment is used to reveal Danish farmer...
Article
Full-text available
Decisions on the use of nature reflect the values and rights of individuals, communities and society at large. The values of nature are expressed through cultural norms, rules and legislation, and they can be elicited using a wide range of tools, including those of economics. None of the approaches to elicit peoples’ values are neutral. Unequal pow...
Preprint
Full-text available
What has gone wrong with nature conservation and how do we bring about transformative change to create a more sustainable future? Which types of knowledge, ethics, principles and actions are needed to reverse the decline of biodiversity? And given the urgency to act, how can we harness them to sustain a just and diverse future for life on Earth? T...
Article
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Relational values are values of desirable relationships between people and nature and among people (through nature). We report on the approach to capture relational values of nature’s contributions to people in the regional assessment for Europe and Central Asia of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services...
Article
The literature on payments for ecosystem services (PES) applied in regions where indigenous peoples are key social actors has not cast much light on their preferences regarding the framing and design features that such economic incentives should have to ensure their effectiveness. Thus, it is key to find appropriate approaches that can be used to e...
Article
Far right political movements are rising and seizing power in many influential countries, affecting not only the governance of democratic regimes but also the science-policy relationship and the global environmental agenda. Here we disentangle the roots of such 'far right insurgency' and discuss the implications for ecological economics as a field....
Article
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The program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is one of the major attempts to tackle climate change mitigation in developing countries. REDD+ seeks to provide result-based incentives to promote emission reductions and increase carbon sinks in forest land while promoting other cobenefits, such as the conservatio...
Article
The magnitude and pace of global change demand rapid assessment of nature and its contributions to people. We present a fine-scale global modeling of current status and future scenarios for several contributions: water quality regulation, coastal risk reduction, and crop pollination. We find that where people's needs for nature are now greatest, na...
Article
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Social and cultural contexts influence power dynamics and shape gender perceptions, roles, and decisions regarding the management of agrobiodiversity for dealing with and adapting to climate change. Based on a feminist political ecology framework and a mixed method approach, this research performs an empirical analysis of two case studies in the no...
Article
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Land is increasingly managed to serve multiple societal demands. Beyond food, fiber, habitation, and recreation, land is now being called on to meet demands for carbon sequestration, water purification, biodiversity conservation, and many others. Meeting these multiple demands requires negotiating trade-offs among the choices and differing values p...
Article
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Brazil, home to one of the planet’s last great forests, is currently in trade negotiations with its second largest trading partner, the European Union (EU). We urge the EU to seize this critical opportunity to ensure that Brazil protects human rights and the environment. Brazil’s forests, wetlands, and savannas are crucial to a great diversity of I...
Article
Science should provide solutions for societal transformations toward sustainability in the face of global environmental change. Land system science, as a systemic science focused on complex socio-ecological interactions around land use and associated trade-offs and synergies, is well placed to contribute to this agenda. This goal requires a stronge...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural landscapes are dynamic environments which change in response to cropping and trade opportunities, available technologies and climatic conditions. In this article, we investigate farmers’ vulnerability to climate-related stressors and crop price volatility in rural Navarre, Spain. Specifically, we analyse the extent to which livelihood...
Article
Full-text available
Large-scale irrigation is a form of agricultural intensification aimed at increasing productivity and adapting to climate change. However, we know little about how large-scale irrigation affects socio-cultural values over na-ture's contributions to people (NCP). In this article, we fill this gap by investigating how a large-scale irrigation project...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural landscapes are dynamic environments which change in response to cropping and trade opportunities, available technologies and climatic conditions. In this article, we investigate farmers’ vulnerability to climate-related stressors and crop price volatility in rural Navarre, Spain. Specifically, we analyse the extent to which livelihood...
Article
Full-text available
The Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Target 11 requires its 193 signatory parties to incorporate social equity into protected area (PA) management by 2020. However, there is limited evidence of progress toward this commitment. We surveyed PA managers, staff, and community representatives involved in the management of 225 PAs worldwide to ga...
Article
Full-text available
Relational values—as preferences, principles and virtues about human-nature relationships—have attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. The term has been used to include concepts and knowledge from a wide range of social sciences and humanities, e.g., importantly making space for qualitative approaches often neglected within environment...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainability is a key challenge for humanity in the context of complex and unprecedented global changes. Future Earth, an international research initiative aiming to advance global sustainability science, has recently launched knowledge–action networks (KANs) as mechanisms for delivering its research strategy. The research initiative is currently...
Article
This article aims to contribute to the debate about the role of relational values in environmental decision making, by putting forward a typology of ‘human-nature relational models’. We argue that human-nature relational models, which stress the notion of cognitive frameworks, can be useful to understand core drivers of individual and social behavi...
Research
Full-text available
Sustainable agricultural intensification appears in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a key strategy for ending hunger (SDG2) and achieving sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems (SDG15). Yet, it is not clear whether such twin benefits - for both human wellbeing and ecosystems - are actually achieved, especially in low a...
Article
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In the version of this Review originally published, the top heading in the first column of Fig. 2 was mistakenly written ‘Food poisoning’; it should have read ‘Food provisioning’. This has now been corrected.
Article
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Land-use intensification in agrarian landscapes is seen as a key strategy to simultaneously feed humanity and use ecosystems sustainably, but the conditions that support positive social-ecological outcomes remain poorly documented. We address this knowledge gap by synthesizing research that analyses how agricultural intensification affects both eco...
Article
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We share many of the views of de Groot et al. on the relevance of ecosystem services (ES) and the constructive role they have played in highlighting the importance of nature to people. Here we aim to further clarify how the concept of Nature’s Contribution to People (NCP) contributes to science and policy
Article
Full-text available
Payments for Environmental Services (PES) constitute an innovative economic intervention to counteract the global loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functions. In theory, some appealing features should enable PES to perform well in achieving conservation and welfare goals. In practice, outcomes depend on the interplay between context, design and im...
Article
Full-text available
A major challenge today and into the future is to maintain or enhance beneficial contributions of nature to a good quality of life for all people. This is among the key motivations of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), a joint global effort by governments, academia, and civil society to ass...
Chapter
Chapter 13, the Conclusion, discusses the significance of foreign aid for environmental sustainability and the direction for future research.
Chapter
In this chapter, Unai Pascual and colleagues address the link between sustainable forest management initiatives, the climate change policy arena and foreign aid. Pascual et al. discuss the role of foreign aid in helping to achieve sustainable forest management, framing this as the condition for delivering multiple ecosystem services, and considerin...
Book
This collection examines the role that foreign aid can play in dealing with the severe global challenge of climate change, one of the most pressing international development issues of the 21st century. Addressing the key threats of rising temperatures, changes in precipitation, coastal erosion and natural disasters, the book considers the implicati...
Article
Increased drought frequency in many parts of the world, especially in the global South, is expected due to accelerating climate change. We present a bioeconomic model that unpacks the role of soil biodiversity as contributing to both increasing and stabilizing agricultural productivity in low-input rainfed farming systems. The natural insurance val...
Article
The institutional change induced by payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes is a ‘messy’ process. The uptake and outcomes of PES schemes cannot be fully explained from a rational choice perspective. The notion of ‘institutional bricolage’ is needed to analyse how actors assemble or reshape their actions by combining new institutions such as a...