The concept of well-being has evolved over the past several decades as research has continued to reveal its multidimensional, dynamic, person-specific and culture-specific nature. Most recently, the ecological embeddedness of well-being has also gained recognition, and this development of the concept demands that we explore and identify new conceptual frameworks and appropriate methodological approaches towards the assessment of quality of life within a socioecological context. This paper offers a review of seminal and current research in the fields of social indicators, human development, ecological economics, and natural resources management, with the aim of examining the concept and the various methodologies designed to assess both the objective and subjective components and the multiple dimensions that comprise well-being. We also present some methodological approaches that have the capacity to account for the role of ecosystem services, considering several studies of rural populations whose well-being depends on the flow of ecosystem services, highlighting the participatory methods these studies employed to identify and assess locally relevant well-being indicators, and addressing some of the challenges inherent in such methods. We conclude with an appraisal of what we regard as the most appropriate methodological approach for measuring human well-being in the socioecological context.
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The MA conceptual framework can be viewed in the cited publication, in Figures A. Linkages Between Ecosystem Services and Human Well-being, and Figure B. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Conceptual Framework of Interactions Between Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, Human Well-being, and Drivers of Change, on pages Vi and Vii.
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This paper is a contribution to the project CNPq 550373/2010-1–Efeito de perturbações antrópicas sobre a Estrutura florística e funcionamento das Florestas de várzea e Seu Impacto sobre os Ecossistemas aquáticos da calha do Solimões-Central do Amazonas (Process 382443/2012-8 and 384174/2012-4), and it was accomplished with financial assistance from the National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq), an organization under the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Federal Government of Brazil.. Vivian F. Renó acknowledges the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) for the financial support of her PhD program (Process 2012/02544-5).
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King, M.F., Renó, V.F. & Novo, E.M.L.M. The Concept, Dimensions and Methods of Assessment of Human Well-Being within a Socioecological Context: A Literature Review. Soc Indic Res 116, 681–698 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-013-0320-0
- Quality of life
- Socioecological system
- Millennium ecosystem assessment
- Participatory methods