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Protecting Top-Priority Habitats Can Also Ease Poverty

By Conservation International

First global estimation of biodiversity benefits from habitats to humans
finds flows valued at $1 trillion per year to poor communities.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Protecting the land of highest priority for biodiversity conservation also delivers significant, life-sustaining services and income to the world’s most impoverished people, according to a new study published this month in the journal, BioScience. Yet conservation efforts and poverty alleviation efforts are both at risk of failing, since this ‘natural capital’ is grossly undervalued in the global marketplace.

The ground-breaking study, “Global Biodiversity Conservation and the Alleviation of Poverty”, was led by a team from Conservation International and co-authored by scientists at NatureServe, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The scientists analyzed the value of benefits the world’s poorest people receive from priority areas for biodiversity conservation. They assessed a broad range of ‘ecosystem services’, the benefits people receive from natural habitats – from local benefits including crop pollination, foods, medicines, and clean, fresh water, to global benefits such as climate regulation.

Dr. Will Turner, lead author and Vice President for Conservation International, emphasized the strong correlations his team discovered, showing the high value of effectively managing the stocks of natural capital to ease poverty: the world’s top conservation priorities (less than a quarter of Earth’s land surface...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.