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How stakeholders perceive the ecosystem services and their well-being in the Corumbataí geopark project in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Paula Oddone Souza1, Daniel Callo-Concha2, Luciana Cordeiro de Souza Fernandes3

1State University of Campinas - UNICAMP/ZEF- University of Bonn, Department of Ecology and Natural Resources Management, Germany
2ZEF- University of Bonn, Department of Ecology and Natural Resources Management
3State University of Campinas - UNICAMP, FCA


Sustainable management involves caring on environmental, social and economic development, and therefore requires effective policymaking. Worldviews, values and thoughts are some individual aspects that guide stakeholders‘actions. Thus, understanding how decision-makers perceive their socio-ecological circumstances is key. The UNESCO Global Geopark Network (UGGN) promotes sustainable development of territories for geodiversity conservation privileging a bottom-up process. The Corumbataí basin, in São Paulo state, Brazil, holds important geosites, where the Atlantic forest and fragments of the Cerrado coincide, as well as the Guarani Aquifer System. In order to create a Geopark, members from the tourism councils are seen as important stakeholders. Their engagement is essential for the Geopark Project succeed and also to attend the bottom up Geopark framework proposed by UGGN. Therefore this study invited COMTUR (Tourism Council) members (n=81) of the 9 cities that conform the Corumbataí basin to answer an online survey. The questionnaire consisted on a 1-4 Likert scale to evaluate proxies of the ecosystem services (ES) and their own well-being (WB) perception. Most stakeholders considered indicators of Provisioning and Regulating ecosystem services category as important. Among the wellbeing categories, the majority assigned Health (59.3%), and Security (58.0%) as very important and indicators of Basic Material category as important (59.3%). The highest indicators scores for ES and WB related to water potability. Overall, there is a consensus about the appreciation of the categories of ES and WB, suggesting some agreement regarding their environmental perception. The assessment presented in this study can guide the development of a framework to engage COMTUR members on the Geopark Project. Additionally, it contributes to a better understanding of ecosystem services and human well-being perception in Latin America. Nonetheless, other social and economic aspects can also influence social-ecological perception. Hence, further investigation is needed to comprehend them.

Keywords: Ecosystem services valuation, geopark, transition to sustainability,, well-being

Contact Address: Paula Oddone Souza, State University of Campinas - UNICAMP/ZEF- University of Bonn, Department of Ecology and Natural Resources Management, Parises str, 53117 Bonn, Germany, e-mail: paddones@yahoo.com.br

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