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Poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation: a South African perspective

  • Thembela Kepe (a1), Munyaradzi Saruchera (a1) and Webster Whande (a1)
Extract

The relationship between poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation has been the subject of intense debate amongst academics and development practitioners for several decades, yet consensus on how to reconcile these two disparate goals is far from being reached. The debate is often characterized by polemics between different camps, particularly on which strategy works best. Without trivializing the quality of scholarship within this debate, we argue that it is delineated by two major factors. Firstly, residents of rich countries and residents of poor countries are often assumed to be in opposition on this matter. On the one hand, some analysts tend to blame the loss of biodiversity on alleged excessive use of natural resources by residents of poor countries, while on the other hand there are those who blame residents of rich countries for alleged unsustainable livelihood strategies. Secondly, the debate on the contested relationship between biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation is often characterized by a tussle between proponents of biodiversity conservation and human rights/anti-poverty activists.

The relationship between poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation has been the subject of intense debate amongst academics and development practitioners for several decades, yet consensus on how to reconcile these two disparate goals is far from being reached. The debate is often characterized by polemics between different camps, particularly on which strategy works best. Without trivializing the quality of scholarship within this debate, we argue that it is delineated by two major factors. Firstly, residents of rich countries and residents of poor countries are often assumed to be in opposition on this matter. On the one hand, some analysts tend to blame the loss of biodiversity on alleged excessive use of natural resources by residents of poor countries, while on the other hand there are those who blame residents of rich countries for alleged unsustainable livelihood strategies. Secondly, the debate on the contested relationship between biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation is often characterized by a tussle between proponents of biodiversity conservation and human rights/anti-poverty activists.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies, School of Government, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville, 7535, South Africa. E-mail tkepe@uwc.ac.za
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Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
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