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The role and value of biodiversity conservation in supporting the livelihoods of poor people has been widely debated during the last two or three decades. Within the last few years, however, the debate on the link between nature conservation and poverty reduction appears to have become more vociferous, and, at times, acrimonious. The contemporary debate on conservation and poverty appears to revolve around four key themes: The apparent lack of attention to biodiversity concerns in international development policy; The apparently increasing protectionism of conservation policy; The roles and responsibilities of conservation NGOs towards local communities; The links between climate change, biodiversity and poverty reduction, and in particular the implication of discussions around reduced emissions from deforestation (REDD).
This book is thus timely and important because understanding the origins and evolution of this debate is critical to understanding and resolving the current claims and counter-claims that are being made, and moving beyond polarizing debate to constructive solutions. The recent focus of the climate change agenda on reduced emissions from deforestation makes this search for solutions particularly important because of the implications for conservation and, subsequently, for its impacts on poor and vulnerable people.
'We are at the threshold of an exciting but fraught new paradigm that compels conservation NGO's to shift from the notion that nature must be protected from people, to embracing the realization that natural systems must be conserved for people. This timely and important book is a must read for all who are ready to explore and examine the challenging new frontier that links conservation with human well-being.' Steve McCormick, Moore Foundation 'Biodiversity provides essential goods and services that people everywhere -above all poor people -- depend on. And it helps people cope with change and manage risk. Yet too often development erodes biodiversity, and too often conservation has been promoted without engaging poor people and without caring for their needs and rights. This book provides a valuable toolkit that will assist all those seeking [to eradicate poverty, conserve biodiversity, and manage the trade-offs between these fundamental goals]. ' David Cooper, Secretariat, Convention on Biological Diversity."
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