Conventional wisdom holds that modern farming is largely incompatible with wildlife conservation, effective watershed protection, and other key ecosystem services. Thus environmental policies have typically relied on land use segregation, establishing protected areas from which agriculture is officially excluded. However, this strategy is not viable in many parts of the world, particularly those with high rural population density, rural poverty and dependence on farming.
The poor conservation outcomes that followed decades of intrusive resource management strategies and planned development have forced policy makers and scholars to reconsider the role of community in resource use and conservation. In a break from previous work on development which considered communities a hindrance to progressive social change, current writings champion the role of community in bringing about decentralization, meaningful participation, and conservation.
Community forest management in Mexico: carbon mitigation and biodiversity conservation through rural developmentPosted on: 22 July 2008 - 4:58pm
Forest management is an important carbon mitigation strategy for developing countries. As demonstrated by the case of Mexico, community forest management is especially effective because it offers tangible local benefits while conserving forests and sequestering carbon. Community forestry receives minimal government support now, but the clean development mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol could leverage additional resources to promote the approach in Mexico and elsewhere.
CPALI seeks a three-year grant, totaling $350,000, to adapt proven methods of rearing wild silk moths to the ecology, community preferences and market conditions in Madagascar. This project will establish self-sustaining enterprises in representative sites where the production of high value, silk products will protect endangered forests by supplementing annual incomes enough to permit the local people to forego slash and burn agriculture.
By issuing its Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations has declared its intention to alleviate poverty and hunger at a global scale over the next decade. But, the perspectives and policies to achieve those goals have not addressed the failures of previous development efforts of this kind. Nor have the plans to meet the Millennium Development Goals paid sufficient attention to the costs of rural development for wild nature.
This paper point up the absence of a new analytical framework for sustainability and an action program in favor of a poverty- and conservation-oriented rural development program to ensure that the benefits of multilateral development plans accrue to the truly poor and to the future of wild nature.
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The future of the world’s forests and the future of millions of the world’s poorest people are inextricably linked. Rural poverty is concentrated in many areas where the world’s biodiversity is most threatened. More than a billion people now live within the world’s 19 forest biodiversity “hotspots” and population growth in the world’s tropical wilderness areas is 3.1 percent, over twice the world’s average rate of growth. Over 90 percent of those who live on less than a dollar a day depend fully or in part on forest products for their livelihoods.
The dominant models of forest management and protection are increasingly inappropriate in the face of this reality. Large-scale logging in commercial forest concessions, industrial forest plantations and public protected areas all deprive poor communities of lands and forests they traditionally controlled and contribute little if anything to rural livelihoods. Even social forestry initiatives that do seek to restore these rights typically seek to sharply restrict their commercial use by local people. A fundamental re-assessment of the role of forests in rural development, and the role of local people in forest conservation, is urgently needed.
This paper by Sara Scherr, Andy White and David Kaimowitz lays out a set of strategies to promote forest conservation in ways that positively contribute to local livelihoods and community development in low- and middle-income countries.
Is the dilemma between biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction insoluble? This dilemma directly arises in park creation programs, when the intended park areas are inhabited by poor indigenous populations. The “solution” seems to be cast in either or terms, with a long entrenched bias against resident or mobile people in parks. Typically, the kind of intervention recommended and implemented is the forced displacement of these people.
For CGIAR, it is imperative to confront this dilemma through integrated social and biological research apt to lead to socially responsible conservation policies and interventions. Solutions are needed for achieving “double sustainability” for both: peoples’ livelihood and biodiversity. The recent WSSD recommendation that 10% of the planet’s land area should be protected as national parks increases the urgency of joint social and biological research.
In this light, the paper brings empirical evidence from 9 detailed park case-studies carried out in 6 countries of the Congo-basin ecosystem of Central Africa. The creation of national parks in the heart of the rainforest has involved forced population displacement. There is no "no-man's land." In the 9 case studies reported, it was found that the strategy to conserve biodiversity through national parks has displaced over 51,000 very poor park residents, transforming them into conservation-refugees, and has negatively affected additional 50-100,000 people as host populations.
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This paper establishes that biodiversity conservation can aid the
alleviation of poverty among the people of the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. The benefits derived from biodiversity are discussed, and the ways through which biodiversity can be applied as a tool in the
reduction of poverty are emphasized as including bio-regional management approach to biodiversity conservation, ecotourism, community participation in biodiversity management, advocacy of sericulture and drawing from the experiences, knowledge and ideas of conservation bodies all over the world.
The paper also maintains that the extension services of government and non–governmental organizations (NGOS) should not be left out in this process as they are equipped with the teaching, communication and human relationship and rural sociological skills to live up to the tasks in the process of poverty alleviation through biodiversity conservation. Besides, the knowledge and ideas of other professionals including ecologists, conservationists, geographers, zoologists, botanists, taxonomists, and soil scientists should be tapped as biodiversity conservation requires a multi-disciplinary approach.
This paper estimates the opportunity costs of biodiversity conservation in Kenya from the potential net returns of agricultural and livestock production, and compares them with the net returns from tourism, forestry and other conservation activities.
At the national level, agricultural and livestock production in the parks, reserves and forests of Kenya could support 4.2 million Kenyans and generate gross annual revenues of $565m and net returns of $203m. These forgone net returns of $203m, some 2.8% of GDP, represent the opportunity cost to Kenya of biodiversity conservation. The current combined net revenues of $42m from wildlife tourism and forestry are quite inadequate to cover these opportunity costs to land.
Community-based ecotourism (CBET) has become a popular tool for biodiversity conservation, based on the principle that biodiversity must pay for itself by generating economic benefits, particularly for local people. There are many examples of projects that produce revenues for local communities and improve local attitudes towards conservation, but the contribution of CBET to conservation and local economic development is limited by factors such as the small areas and few people involved, limited earnings, weak linkages between biodiversity gains and commercial success, and the competitive and specialized nature of the tourism industry. Many CBET projects cited as success stories actually involve little change in existing local land and resource-use practices, provide only a modest supplement to local livelihoods, and remain dependent on external support for long periods, if not indefinitely.
Investment in CBET might be justified in cases where such small changes and benefits can yield significant conservation and social benefits, although it must still be recognized as requiring a long term funding commitment. This paper aims to identify conditions under which CBET is, and is not, likely to be effective, efficient and sustainable compared with alternative approaches for conserving biodiversity. It also highlights the need for better data and more rigorous analysis of both conservation and economic impacts.