ESPA Newsletter: Challenging biodiversity biases, 5 reasons why conservation fails people

Catch up on the latest news from across the ESPA programme. In this month's issue 

  • A recent paper from the ASSETS project is the first of its kind to explore how biodiversity affects crop yields in one of world's poorest and most food insecure regions. By looking at the overall impact of all the major animal and insect groups, the Malawi based study reveals some surprising scientific biases and community misperceptions.
  • In Rwanda, the creation of National Parks have been vital in protecting its dwindling forests and their rich biodiversity. Iconic species such as the mountain gorilla have also added weight to the conservation agenda and provide income through tourism. But a recent paper by ESPA researcher Neil Dawson reveals that these conservation initiatives can end up failing local communities who are very much reliant on the forests and surrounding habitats for their livlihood and wellbeing.
  • In the remote tropical forests of Laos, life has changed dramatically for its inhabitants over the last 30 years.  Instead of growing rice there has been a huge shift towards the cash crop maize. On the surface this appears to be a success story which has boosted incomes and helped to tackle poverty but the truth is that life for many is actually becoming harder.

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