Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

What is the role for conservation organizations in poverty alleviation in the world's wild places?

  • Kent H. Redford (a1), Marc A. Levy (a2), Eric W. Sanderson (a1) and Alex de Sherbinin (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

In this paper we provide an empirically-based way to address the general question of the broad-scale spatial relationship between poverty occurrence and areas of interest to those seeking conservation of large wild areas. We address the question of the spatial relationship between poor people and areas less impacted by human activity by asking three questions about the global spatial relationship between poor people and ecological intactness and how it varies by major biome and geographical region. We use infant mortality rate as a proxy for poverty and the Human Footprint as a proxy for ecological intactness, comparing global terrestrial maps of both. The analysis shows that the vast majority of the world's poor people live in extremely urban and very transformed (peri-transformed) areas. Only a small percentage of the world's most poor are found in areas that are somewhat or extremely wild: about 0.25% of the world's population. This fact has implications for the calls being made for conservation organizations to undertake poverty alleviation, suggesting that at a global scale those groups with interest in conserving wild areas would be able to contribute little to globally significant poverty alleviation efforts. However, these conservation groups are well positioned to develop new partnerships for delivery of benefits to some of the least accessible poor people in the wildest places of the world.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Wildlife Conservation Society, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10460, USA. E-mail kredford@wcs.org
References
Hide All
Adams W.M., Aveling R., Brockington D., Dickson B., Elliot J., Hutton J. et al. (2004) Biodiversity conservation and the eradication of poverty. Science, 306, 11461149.
Agrawal A. & Redford K.H. (2006) Poverty, Development, and Biodiversity Conservation: Shooting in the Dark? WCS Working Paper No. 26, WCS, New York, USA.
Ash N. & Jenkins M. (2007) Biodiversity and Poverty Reduction: The Importance of Ecosystem Services. UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK.
Baharoglu D. & Kessides C. (2002) Urban poverty. In A Sourcebook for Poverty Reduction Strategies (ed. Klugman J.), pp. 124159. World Bank, Washington, DC, USA.
Balk D., Deane G.D., Levy M., Storeygard A. & Ahamed S. (2006) The Biophysical Determinants of Global Poverty: Insights from an Analysis of Spatially Explicit Data. Paper presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Los Angeles, USA.
Balmford A., Moore J.L., Brooks T., Burgess N., Hansen L.A., Williams P. et al. (2001) Conservation conflicts across Africa. Science, 291, 26162619.
Bass S., Reid H., Satterthwaite D. & Steele P. (2005) Introduction. In Reducing Poverty and Sustaining the Environment (eds Bass S., Reid H., Satterthwaite D. & Steele P.), pp. 119. Earthscan, Sterling, USA.
Bird K., Hulme D., Moore K. & Shepherd A. (2002) Chronic Poverty and Remote Rural Areas. CPRC Working Paper No. 13, Chronic Poverty Research Centre, Manchester, UK.
Borrini-Feyerabend G., Kothari A. & Oviedo G. (2004) Indigenous and Local Communities and Protected Areas. Toward Equity and Enhanced Conservation. Best Practices Protected Area Guidelines Series No. 11, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Brockington D. & Igoe J. (2006) Eviction for conservation. A global overview. Conservation and Society, 4, 424470.
Brooks T.M., Mittermeier R.A., da Fonseca G.A.B., Gerlach J., Hoffmann M., Lamoreux J.F. et al. (2006) Global biodiversity conservation priorities. Science, 313, 5861.
Burgess N.D., Balmford A., Cordeiro N.J., Fjeldså J., Küper W., Rahbek C. et al. (2007) Correlations among species distributions, human density and human infrastructure across the high biodiversity tropical mountains of Africa. Biological Conservation, 134, 164177.
Ceballos G. & Ehrlich P. (2006) Global mammal distributions, biodiversity hotspots, and conservation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103, 1937419379.
(CIESIN) Center for International Earth Science Information Network & (CIAT) International Center for Tropical Agriculture (2005) Gridded Population of the World Version 3 (GPWv3): Population Grids. Socio-economic Data and Applications Center, Columbia University, New York, USA. Http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/gpw [accessed 24 August 2007].
CIESIN (Center for International Earth Science Information Network) (2005) Global Sub-national Infant Mortality Rates Grid. CIESIN, New York, USA. Http://www.ciesin.columbia.edu/povmap/ds_global.html [accessed 24 August 2007].
Chomitz K. (2007) At Loggerheads? Agricultural Expansion, Poverty Reduction, and Environment in the Tropical Forests. Research Report. World Bank, Washington, DC, USA.
Chronic Poverty Research Centre (2005) The Chronic Poverty Report 2004–05. Http://www.chronicpoverty.org/resources/cprc_report_2004-2005_contents.html [accessed 24 August 2007].
Cincotta R.P. & Engelman R. (2000) Nature's Place. Human Population and the Future of Biological Diversity. Population Action International, Washington, DC, USA.
Dasgupta P. (1993) An Inquiry into Well-being and Destitution. Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK.
Dasgupta S., Deichmann U., Meisner C. & Wheeler D. (2005) Where is the poverty-environment nexus? Evidence from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam. World Development, 33, 617638.
de Sherbinin A. (2008) Is poverty more acute near parks? An assessment of infant mortality rates around protected areas in developing countries. Oryx, 42, 2635.
DFID (Department for International Development), EC (Directorate General for Development, European Commission), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) & World Bank (2002) Linking Poverty Reduction and Environmental Management. Policy Challenges and Opportunities. Http://www.undp.org/pei/pdfs/LPREM.pdf [accessed 4 October 2007].
Fisher R.J., Maginnis S., Jackson W.J., Barrow E. & Jeanrenaud S. (2005) Poverty and Conservation: Landscapes, People and Power. Landscapes and Livelihoods Series No. 2. IUCN Forest Conservation Programme, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Gaston K.J. & Spicer J.I. (2004) Biodiversity: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK.
Geist H. & Lambin E. (2003) Is poverty the cause of tropical deforestation? International Forestry Review, 5, 6467.
Henninger N. & Snell M. (2002) Where Are the Poor? Experiences with the Development and Use of Poverty Maps. World Resources Institute and UNEP/GRID-Arendal, Washington, DC, USA, and Arendal, Norway.
Hugo G.J., Champion A.J. & Lattes A. (2003) Toward a new conceptualization of settlement for demography. Population and Development Review, 2, 277297.
Huston M.A. (1994) Biological Diversity: The Coexistence of Species on Changing Landscapes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) (2001) Rural Poverty Report 2001. The Challenge of Ending Rural Poverty. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.
IUCN (2002) Beyond Rhetoric. Putting Conservation to Work for the Poor. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland [http://www.iucn.org/themes/fcp/publications/files/beyond_rhetoric_english.pdf, accessed 18 September 2006].
IUCN (2005) Conservation for Poverty Reduction: Linking Landscapes, People and Power. An IUCN Initiative in Support of the Millennium Development Goals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland [http://www.iucn.org/en/news/archive/2005/09/conservation_for_poverty_reduction.pdf, accessed 22 September 2006].
IUCN (2006) Linking Biodiversity Conservation, Ecosystem Services and Human Well-being. A Situation Analysis for IUCN's 2009–2012 Programme. Draft, 15 August 2006. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Kaimowitz D. & Sheil D. (2007) Conserving what and for whom? Why conservation should help meet basic human needs in the tropics. Biotropica, 39, 567574.
Kareiva P. & Marvier M. (2007) Conservation for the people. Scientific American, October, 4855.
Kareiva P., Watts S., McDonald R. & Boucher T. (2007) Domestication of nature: shaping landscapes and ecosystems for human welfare. Science, 316, 18661869.
Levy M.A., Babu S. & Hamilton K. (2005) Ecosystem conditions and human well-being. In Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Current State and Trends, Volume 1 (eds Hassan R., Scholes R. & Ash N.), pp. 125164. Island Press, Washington, DC, USA.
Molnar A., Scherr S.J. & Khare A. (2004) Who Conserves the World's Forests? Community-driven Strategies to Protect Forests and Respect Rights. Forest Trends, Washington, DC, USA.
Montgomery M. (2008) The urban transformation of the developing world. Science, 319, 761763.
Narayan D. (2000) Voices of the Poor: Volume 1. Can Anyone Hear Us? Oxford University Press, New York, USA.
Naughton-Treves L., Holland M.B. & Brandon K. (2005) The role of protected areas in conserving biodiversity and sustaining local livelihoods. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 30, 219252.
Okidegbe N. (2001) Rural Poverty. Trends and Measurement. Rural Development Strategy Background Paper No. 3. The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA.
Olson D.M., Dinerstein E., Wikramanayake E.D., Burgess N.D, Powell G.V.N., Underwood E.C. et al. (2001) Terrestrial ecoregions of the world: a new map of life on Earth. Bioscience, 51, 933938.
Osofsky S.A. (ed.) (2005) Conservation and Development Interventions at the Wildlife/Livestock Interface. Occasional Paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission No. 30. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Pagiola S., Arcenas A. & Platais G. (2005) Can payments for environmental services help reduce poverty? An exploration of the issues and the evidence to date from Latin America. World Development, 33, 237253.
Poverty Mapping (2008) http://www.povertymap.net/ [accessed 12 May 2008].
Ravallion M., Chen S. & Sangraula P. (2007) New Evidence on the Urbanization of Global Poverty. Policy Research Working Paper. The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA.
Redford K.H. (2005) Achieving sustainable landscapes: a calculus for trade-offs between conservation and human use. In Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Production Landscapes (eds Petersen C. & Huntley B.), pp. 6877. Working Paper 20. Global Environment Facility, Washington, DC, USA.
Redford K.H. & Fearn E. (eds) (2007) Protected Areas and Human Displacement: A Conservation Perspective. Working Paper No. 29. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, USA.
Redford K.H. & Richter B. (1999) Conservation of biodiversity in a world of use. Conservation Biology, 13, 12461256.
Redford K.H., Coppolillo P., Sanderson E.W., Da Fonseca G.A.B., Dinerstein E., Groves C. et al. (2003) Mapping the conservation landscape. Conservation Biology, 17, 116131.
Roe D. (2008) The origins and evolution of the conservation-poverty debate: a review of key literature, events and policy processes. Oryx, 42, 491503.
Roe D. (ed) (undated) The Millennium Development Goals and Conservation. Managing Nature's Wealth for Society's Health. IIED, London, UK.
Roe D. & Elliot J. (2005) Poverty-Conservation Linkages: a Conceptual Framework. Poverty and Conservation Learning Group. IIED, London, UK.
Roe D., Hutton J., Elliott J., Saruchera M. & Chitepo K. (2003) In pursuit of pro-poor conservation – changing narratives … or more? Policy Matters, 12, 8791.
Salvatore M., Pozzi F., Ataman E., Huddleston B. & Bloise M. (2005) Mapping Global Urban and Rural Population Distributions. Poverty Mapping. Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy.
Sanderson E., Jaiteh M., Levy M., Redford K., Wannebo A. & Woolmer G. (2002) The human footprint and the last of the wild. BioScience, 52, 891904.
Sanderson S. (2004) Poverty and conservation: the new century's ‘peasant question’? World Development, 33, 323332.
Sanderson S. & Redford K. (2004) The defence of conservation is not an attack on the poor. Oryx, 38, 146147.
Sanderson S.E. & Redford K.H. (2003) Contested relationships between biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation. Oryx, 37, 389390.
Scherr S., White A. & Kaimowitz D. 2003. A New Agenda for Forest Conservation and Poverty Reduction. Making Markets Work for Low-income Producers. Forest Trends, Washington, DC, USA.
Scherr S.J. (2000) A downward spiral? Research evidence on the relationship between poverty and natural resource degradation. Food Policy, 25, 479498.
Scott L. (2006) Chronic Poverty and the Environment: A Vulnerability Perspective. Working Paper No. 62, Chronic Poverty Research Centre, Manchester, UK.
Storeygard A., Balk D., Levy M. & Deane G. (2008) The global distribution of infant mortality: a subnational spatial view. Population, Space and Place, 14, 209229.
Sunderlin W.D., Angelsen A., Belcher B., Burgers P., Nasi R., Santoso L. et al. (2005) Livelihoods, forests, and conservation in developing countries: an overview. World Development, 33, 13831402.
UN Millennium Development Goals (2008) Http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/ [accessed 19 May 2008].
UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), IIED (International Institute for Development and Environment), IUCN & WRI (World Resources Institute) (2005a) Assessing Environment's Contribution to Poverty Reduction. Poverty Environment Partnership, New York, USA [http://www.povertyenvironment.net/pep/?q=node/197, accessed 4 October 2007].
UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), IIED (International Institute for Development and Environment), IUCN & WRI (World Resources Institute) (2005b) Sustaining the Environment to Fight Poverty and Achieve the MDGs: The Economic Case and Priorities for Action. Poverty Environment Partnership, New York, USA [http://www.povertyenvironment.net/pep/?q=node/196, accessed 4 October 2007].
UNFPA (2007) State of World Population 2007: Realizing the Potential of Urban Growth. United Nations Population Fund, New York, USA.
Vedeld P., Angelsen A., Sjaastad E. & Kobugabe Berg G. (2004) Counting on the Environment. Forest Incomes and the Rural Poor. World Bank Environment Department Paper No. 98. The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA.
WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) (2006) Sharing valued landscapes: conservation through the eyes of wildlife. Living Landscapes Bulletin, 9, 18.
Wells M.P., McShane T.O., Dublin H., O'Connor S. & Redford K.H. (2004) The future of integrated conservation and development projects: building on what works. In Getting Biodiversity Projects to Work (eds McShane T. & Wells M.), pp. 397421. Columbia University Press, New York, USA.
Woodhouse P. (2002) Natural Resource Management and Chronic Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Overview Paper. CPRC Working Paper 14. IDPM/Chronic Poverty Research Centre, Manchester, UK.
World Bank (2001) 2000/2001 World Development Report. World Bank, Washington, DC, USA.
World Bank (2003) Reaching the Rural Poor. A Renewed Strategy for Rural Development. World Bank, Washington, DC, USA.
World Bank Group (2002) A Revised Forest Strategy for the World Bank Group. World Bank, Washington, DC, USA.
World Initiative for Sustainable Pastoralism (2008) Http://www.iucn.org/wisp [accessed 25 March 2008].
WPDA (World Database on Protected Areas) (2008) Http://sea.unep-wcmc.org/wdbpa/ [accessed 24 August 2007].
WRI (World Resources Institute) (2005) The Wealth of the Poor. Managing Ecosystems to Fight Poverty. World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, USA.
WRI (World Resources Institute), Department of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Central Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Planning and National Development, Kenya, & International Livestock Research Institute (2007) Nature's Benefits in Kenya. An Atlas of Ecosystems and Human Well-being. World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, USA, and Nairobi, Kenya.
WWF-UK (2005) PPA Annual Report. Making the Environment Work for the Poor. WWF-UK, Godalming, UK
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 7
Total number of PDF views: 39 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 277 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.