Poverty, equity and rights in conservation: Technical papers and case studies. Joint IUCN-IUED project (2006)

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Conservation of natural resources and poverty reduction constitute two essential objectives for putting in place a more sustainable approach to development. Nevertheless, neither the relationship between these two objectives, nor their impact on the effective achievement of sustainable development, is clearly established. A joint technical team with staff from both IUCN and IUED worked together on a project entitled “conservation, poverty and inequalities” - a first step towards bringing together analytical approaches with conservation practice. Taking as a starting view point that conservation of natural resources is often carried out to the detriment of the poorest populations (who are often excluded from conservation zones), the project considered the complex processes that connect conservation actions with the objectives of poverty reduction. More specifically, the project aimed to determine the social modalities that act to conserve natural resources without aggravating the lives of marginalised populations, and, if possible, that lead to an improvement in their living conditions. This is the essence of a socially responsible conservation (SRC). The main objective of the project was to provide a better understanding of the elements that link natural resource conservation and the eradication of poverty. By focusing on the institutional dimension of conservation programmes, the work undertaken in this project highlights crucial aspects of both socially responsible conservation programmes (restoring traditional knowledge, reinforcing natural resource rights, strengthening negotiation capacities of stakeholders without power) and factors that have a decisive influence on the living conditions of underprivileged people (exclusion from resources vital for satisfying basic needs as well as principal factors of development, lack of decision making power, depreciation of knowledge and know-how, etc.). The project therefore aimed to:
  1. specifically: develop a better understanding of socially responsible conservation through a conceptual clarification and the elaboration of a suitable theoretical framework for the analysis;
  2. generally: develop a process in order to gather knowledge based on two approaches to sustainable development: theoretical and practical.
Language: English
Imprint: IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, IUED, Geneva, Switzerland.<br /> 2006
Series: Report,