20 Jan '12, 4pm

Can biodiversity conservation alleviate poverty? Yes it can, says a new CI study

Poverty and biodiversity loss are two of the world’s dire challenges. Claims of conservation’s contribution to poverty alleviation, however, remain controversial. Here, we assess the flows of ecosystem services provided to people by priority habitats for terrestrial conservation, considering the global distributions of biodiversity, physical factors, and socioeconomic context. We estimate the value of these habitats to the poor, both through direct benefits and through payments for ecosystem services to those stewarding natural habitats. The global potential for biodiversity conservation to support poor communities is high: The top 25 percent of conservation priority areas could provide 56%-57% of benefits. The aggregate benefits are valued at three times the estimated opportunity costs and exceed $1 per person per day for 331 million of the world’s poorest people. Althoug...

Full article: http://www.conservation.org/publications/Pages/Will-Turne...

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