skip to primary navigation skip to content

Institutions, natural resources and ecosystem services

Institutions, natural resources and ecosystem services

Research with Bhaskar Vira (in Cambridge) and others on Policy Implications of Current Knowledge on CPR Management, India Tanzania, Zimbabwe addressed dryland CPR use in India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, and developed an analytical framework for understanding conflict over common pool resource use (Adams et al. 2003). This project was funded by DFID (the Department for International Development (DFID), under its Natural Resources Systems Programme (NRSP). It was collaboration with the University of Zimbabwe (Professor Marshall Murphree), the University of Dar es Salaam (Professor Issa Shivji) and the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi (Professor Kanchen Chopra). The project

Previous work on resource management has involved involved research on the environmental and social impacts of dams (Adams 1992), on floodplain wetlands (Thomas and Adams 1993), small-scale irrigation (Adams and Watson 2003) and the drylands of the Sahel (Mortimore and Adams 1999, 2001).

Current work is addressing institutional dimensions of debates about ecosystem services, partricularly the idea of payments for ecosystem services as a driver for biodiversity conservation (Vira and Adams 2009, Redford and Adams 2009).


  • Adams, W.M. (1992) Wasting the Rain: rivers, people and planning Africa, Minnesota University Press, Minneapolis and Earthscan, London.
  • Adams, W.M. Brockington, D., Dyson, J. and Vira, B. (2003) 'Managing Tragedies: Understanding Conflict over Common Pool Resources', Science 302: 1915-1916 (12 December 2003). [Abstract]
  • Adams, W.M., Watson, E.E. (2003) 'Soil erosion, indigenous irrigation and environmental sustainability, Marakwet, Kenya', Land Degradation and Development 14: 109-122.
  • Mortimore, M. J. and Adams, W.M. (2001) 'Farmer adaptation, change and 'crisis' in the Sahel', Global Environmental Change 11: 49-57.
  • Mortimore. M. and Adams, W.M. (1999) Working the Sahel: environment and society in northern Nigeria, Routledge, London.
  • Redford, K.H., and Adams, W.M. (2009) 'Payment for ecosystem services and the challenge of saving nature', Conservation Biology 23: 785-7.
  • Thomas, D.H.L. and Adams, W.M. (1997) 'Space, time and sustainability in African river basin planning', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers N.S. 22: 430-449.
  • Vira, B. and Adams, W.M. (2009) 'Ecosystem services and conservation strategy: beware the silver bullet', Conservation Letters 2: 158-162