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Biodiversity Conservation and Poverty Alleviation: Exploring the Evidence for a Link

Dilys Roe (Editor), Joanna Elliott (Editor), Chris Sandbrook (Editor), Matt Walpole (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-67478-9
350 pages
February 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
Biodiversity Conservation and Poverty Alleviation: Exploring the Evidence for a Link (0470674784) cover image

Biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation are both important societal goals demanding increasing international attention. While they may seem to be unrelated, the international policy frameworks that guide action to address them make an explicit assumption that conserving biodiversity  will help to tackle global poverty. Part of the Conservation Science and Practice Series published with the Zoological Society of London, this book explores the validity of that assumption. The book addresses a number of critical questions: 

  • Which aspects of biodiversity are of value to the poor?
  • Does the relationship between biodiversity and poverty differ according to particular ecological conditions?
  • How do different conservation interventions vary in their poverty impacts?
  • How do distributional and institutional issues affect the poverty impacts of interventions?
  • How do broader issues such as climate change and the global economic system affect the biodiversity – poverty relationship at different scales?

This volume will be of interest to policy-makers, practitioners and researchers concerned with understanding the potential - and limitations - of integrated approaches to biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation.

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Contributors ix

Preface and Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction 1

1. Linking Biodiversity Conservation and Poverty Alleviation: What, Why and Where? 3
Dilys Roe, Joanna Elliott, Chris Sandbrook and Matt Walpole

Part I Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Poverty – The Potential for Synergies 19

2. The Potential, Realised and Essential Ecosystem Service Benefits of Biodiversity Conservation 21
Will R. Turner, Katrina Brandon, Thomas M. Brooks, Claude Gascon,Holly K. Gibbs, Keith Lawrence, Russell A. Mittermeier and Elizabeth R. Selig

3. Poverty Reduction and Biodiversity Conservation: Using the Concept of Ecosystem Services to Understand the Linkages 36
Heidi Wittmer, Augustin Bergh¨ofer and Pavan Sukhdev

4. Dependence of the Poor on Biodiversity: Which Poor, What Biodiversity? 52
Bhaskar Vira and Andreas Kontoleon

Part II Biodiversity and Poverty Relationships in Different Ecological Settings 85

5. Forests, Poverty and Conservation: An Overview of the Issues 87
Brian Belcher

6. Biodiversity and Poverty in Coastal Environments 100
Jock Campbell and Philip Townsley

7. Linking Biodiversity and Poverty Alleviation in the Drylands – The Concept of 'Useful' Biodiversity 113
Michael Mortimore

8. Biodiversity Isn’t Just Wildlife – Conserving Agricultural Biodiversity as a Vital Contribution to Poverty Reduction 127
Willy Douma

Part III Poverty Impacts of Different Conservation Interventions 143

9. Does Conserving Biodiversity Work to Reduce Poverty? A State of Knowledge Review 145
Craig Leisher, M. Sanjayan, Jill Blockhus, S. Neil Larsen and Andreas Kontoleon

10. Protected Areas – What People Say about Well-Being 160
George Holmes and Dan Brockington

11. Species Conservation and Poverty Alleviation – The Case of Great Apes in Africa 173
Chris Sandbrook and Dilys Roe

12. Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) and Reducing Poverty in Namibia 191
Brian T.B. Jones, Anna Davis, Lara Diez and Richard W. Diggle

13. Conservation Enterprise:What Works, Where and forWhom? 206
Joanna Elliott and Daudi Sumba

Part IV Distributional and Institutional Issues 223

14. Payments for Environmental Services: Conservation with Pro-Poor Benefits 225
Sven Wunder and Jan Borner

15. Pastoralism and Conservation – Who Benefits? 239
Katherine Homewood, Pippa Chenevix Trench and Dan Brockington

16. Local Organisations – An Entry Point for Conservation and Poverty Reduction 253
David H. L. Thomas

17. Poverty Reduction Isn’t Just about Money: Community Perceptions of Conservation Benefits 270
Fikret Berkes

Part V Biodiversity and Poverty Relationships in the Context of Global Challenges 287

18. Biodiversity, Poverty and Climate Change: New Challenges and Opportunities 289
Kathy MacKinnon

19. Conservation in the Anthropocene: Biodiversity, Poverty and Sustainability 304
William M. Adams

20. Tackling Global Poverty: What Contribution Can Biodiversity and Its Conservation Really Make? 316
Dilys Roe, Joanna Elliott, Chris Sandbrook and Matt Walpole

Index 329

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Dilys Roe is a senior researcher in IIED's Natural Resources Group and leads their work on biodiversity. Since 2004, Dilys has coordinated the Poverty and Conservation Learning Group - a network of organisations that is intended to improve dialogue on poverty-conservation linkages. While the majority of Dilys' work focusses on biodiversity-development/conservation-poverty issues, she also has a research interest in community-based natural resource management and community-based conservation; ecosystem-based adaptation and high biodiversity REDD+. 

Joanna Elliott is Vice President for Programme Design at the African Wildlife Foundation and a Visiting Fellow in IIED's Natural Resources Group. Joanna has worked extensively in the field and at policy levels on biodiversity-development linkages, and has led applied research programmes on land use economics, conservation enterprise development and measuring the socio-economic impacts of conservation. 

Chris Sandbrook is a Lecturer in Conservation Leadership at the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). In this role he helps to run the Masters in Conservation Leadership course at the University of Cambridge. Chris has diverse research interests, including the implications of market-based approaches to conservation such as ecotourism and REDD, the relationship between great ape conservation and poverty alleviation, and the values held by those working in conservation.

Matt Walpole is Head of the Ecosystem Assessment Programme at UNEP-WCMC. In this role Matt oversees a diverse portfolio focusing on improving the uptake and use of information on biodiversity and its values, including its role in supporting livelihoods and poverty alleviation, amongst policymakers. Matt’s research interests include a focus on interdisciplinary approaches to conservation research and practice and exploring the widespread links between poverty and conservation.

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“This helpful book goes some way towards dispelling some of those myths and challenging those assumptions . . . The authors finally stress the importance of recognizing that biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation are both inherently political processes.”  (Oryx, 1 October 2013)

“It would be an excellent source of information for policy makers, researchers, and students in various environmental disciplines.  Summing Up.  Recommended.  Lower-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners.”  (Choice, 1 September 2013)

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