UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Modeling the complex associations of human wellbeing dimensions in a coupled human-natural system

Ecosystem services

3 February 2022

By Abu SMG Kibria, Robert Costanza (UCL Institute for Global Prosperity) and José R Soto

Modeling the complex associations of human wellbeing dimensions in a coupled human-natural system: In contexts of marginalized communities- a paper for ScienceDirect

Understanding the underlying complexity in human wellbeing formation is indispensable to maintain sustainable ecosystem services production and ensure greater human wellbeing. The interactions between wellbeing dimensions that creat the complexity are yet to be adequately understood. This study is designed to reveal the complex mechanisms shaping the wellbeing of the communities who are heavily reliant on ecosystem based livelihoods. In order to represent the robustness of wellbeing due to the economic dependency on the ecosystem services, we have taken into account six wellbeing dimensions- food sufficiency, livelihood security, physical health, stress level (mental), freedom of choice, and social cohesion. This study has identified the criteria of each dimension and provided empirical evidence on how the dimensions as well as their criteria influence each other. The wellbeing dimensions created a complex association that significantly shaped the wellbeing of the people. We found that food sufficiency was significantly influenced by not only its criteria but also the status of livelihood security, mental health, and freedom of choice which also had their own criteria sets. Similar relations were also observed in other dimensions. The findings would play a vital role in enhancing the resilience of coupled human-natural systems and thereby achieving greater sustainability.

Read the paper