Biodiversity, ecosystem services and poverty alleviation: assessing the current state of the evidence
The assumption that biodiversity and ecosystem services can help in efforts to tackle poverty is implicit in international targets set for biodiversity conservation, by the Convention on Biological Diversity, and for poverty reduction, enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals. Nevertheless, the evidence base on the links between biodiversity and poverty alleviation is not as robust as one might assume. Studies have used diverse, and sometimes scientifically weak, methods and metrics resulting in inconclusive evidence for biodiversity and poverty linkages. Further, there is no single portal for collating and synthesising the rich literature on biodiversity and poverty linkages.
Building on the ESPA research framework, this project conducted an overview of the state of the evidence base and shed light on its strengths, weaknesses and on prevailing knowledge gaps. The project: (1) reviewed the natural and social sciences literature on what constitutes “good” evidence; (2) developed a systematic review tool for identifying relevant studies and a comprehensive searchable online database of such studies; and (3) conducted a preliminary assessment of the data in the database to assess relative strength of evidence and key gaps.
- Discussion paper - What constitutes good evidence?
- Technical report - Biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction: what's the connection? A systematic mapping of the evidence