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Eco-Health Linkages: evidence base and socio-economic considerations for linking ecosystem goods and services to human health
DeJesus-Crespo, R. AND R. Fulford. Eco-Health Linkages: evidence base and socio-economic considerations for linking ecosystem goods and services to human health. A Community on Ecosystem Services, Jacksonville, FL, December 05 - 09, 2016.
We review the evidence base linking ecosystem services to physical health by applying the Eco-Evidence software, a tool to quantify weight of evidence and causality. We also model the relative influence of environmental, socio-economic and behavioral factors on select health outcomes based on a review of existing literature and a Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) approach. Through our “weight of evidence” analysis we wish to define research gaps and focal areas that should be prioritized for management. Through the BBN model, we illustrate the importance of setting management expectations that correspond to the complex socio-economic dynamics that moderate the human health benefits provided by Ecosystem Goods and Services. Our study informs the design of accurate predictive models that promote public health and wellbeing, and community-based decision making. It's target audience include scientists and practitioners from the fields of public health and environmental conservation.
Ecosystem goods and services (EGS) are thought to play a role in protecting human health, but the empirical evidence directly linking EGS to human health outcomes is limited, and our ability to detect Eco-Health linkages is confounded by socio-economic factors. These limitations hinder opportunities to develop greening and restoration strategies to complement existing health promoting efforts at the community level. In order to better inform Eco-Health conservation initiatives we seek to answer the following questions: i) which Eco-Health linkages are empirically supported and should be considered for management, ii) which are theoretically plausible but need further research, and iii) which socio-economic confounders should be accounted for when designing management plans.