What do we know about how biodiversity and poverty are linked? The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

19 March, 2014
By Dilys Roe

There is an explicit assumption in international policy statements that conserving biodiversity can help in efforts to tackle global poverty. For example Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity agreed in 2001 “to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss …. as a contribution to poverty alleviation …”[i] , and this is mirrored by the inclusion of biodiversity indicators as one element of measuring progress against the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Indeed, a high level meeting at the September 2010 UN General Assembly further stressed the link, claiming:  “…preserving biodiversity is inseparable from the fight against poverty”[ii] .

This relationship is not, however, a self-evident truth. As international policy makers discuss a new development framework for the next decade and a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) it is important to explore what evidence underlies these claims, and where there are gaps in the evidence that need filling in order to maximise synergies between conservation...

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New Opportunities and Delivering Success

14 March, 2014
By Paul van Gardingen, ESPA Director

The ESPA Newsletter is currently sent to over 1700 people each month, a global mix of researchers and users of research.  This month we have added over 300 people to our distribution, among them our project partners, local researchers, students helping to implement ESPA research, NGOs, private sector and government partners.  This month’s newsletter has something of interest to all these groups.

I am very pleased to share with our global research community news of the latest call for proposals with the Announcement of Opportunity for ESPA-2014 “Blue Skies”.  This call is for 'blue skies' research projects designed to significantly advance global understanding of the way that ecosystem services contribute to poverty alleviation, with specific emphasis on generating new understanding that can benefit poor people in low-income countries (LICs). Research funded under ESPA-2014 is expected to inform thinking and practice over, at least, the next decade, representing a step-change in the knowledge and evidence that will underpin future activities in ESPA's sphere of activity.  I find this call really exciting and I am...

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