Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series
Edited by Davide Geneletti
Chapter 15: Addressing the interactions between biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation in impact assessment
This chapter starts by presenting a conceptual framework to guide thinking about the interactions between different components or attributes of biodiversity and different dimensions of poverty. The framework recognizes that both biodiversity and poverty are complex, multi-dimensional concepts and, furthermore, that the interactions between the two are mediated by a wide range of factors. In particular, cross-cutting determinants such as governance, policies on poverty and biodiversity protection, and population growth and density that are associated with the socio-economic context and are critical in determining whether or not biodiversity leads to actual poverty reduction. The chapter then continues by reviewing the existing evidence base on biodiversity–poverty linkages, drawing on a systematic mapping of the published and grey literature. The findings of the review are used to formulate key distinctions that help to understand whether and how biodiversity helps in alleviating poverty. The chapter concludes by identifying some key issues that should be addressed in biodiversity impact assessment of any planned development interventions if the subsequent implications for poverty are to be taken into account: (1) un-pack ‘biodiversity’, and clarify which are the most important components of biodiversity for poor people; (2) unpack ‘poverty’, by identifying its different dimensions and disaggregating the potential impacts of the planned intervention on each of them; (3) understand the way in which poor people extract values from biodiversity, so as to predict the effects on these processes that the planned intervention is likely to cause, for example, in terms of reducing the quality or quantity of a given resource or generating biodiversity ‘dis-services’.
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