Biodiversity conservation is increasingly expected to reduce poverty where the two coincide. Yet conservation and poverty are multifaceted concepts and the linkages between them are complex and variable; whether and how conservation contributes to poverty reduction in practice will depend on the specific nature of those linkages.
To unravel this complexity we explored the portfolio of Fauna & Flora International, an international conservation organization operating in some of the poorest countries and regions. We examined reports from 88 projects and categorized the rationales, approaches and outcomes of a sample of 34 livelihoods-focused projects.
Fagus grandifolia var. mexicana (Mexican beech) is limited to about 10 populations (2-35 ha) in the Sierra Madre Oriental, Mexico. The objectives were to assess the current status and distribution of beech by surveying five sites. Species richness varied between three to 27 tree species in the canopy, and from nine to 29 species in the understorey. Basal area of trees greater than or equal to 5 cm dbh varied between 27.87 and 70.98 m2 ha-1, and density from 370 to 1290 individual ha-1. Beech represented 22-99.6 of total basal area, and 6.8-83.3 of total density. Beech dominance varied from monodominant to codominance with Carpinus caroliniana, Quercus spp., Liquidambar styraciflua, Magnolia schiedeana, and Podocarpus spp. Beech total population size ranged from 180 to 6300 trees with a total of less than 1300 individuals in four sites. Anthropogenic disturbance remains a major threat to these forests. It is uncertain whether Mexican beech will be able to survive without conservation efforts.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Commercialization of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) has been widely promoted as a means of sustainably developing tropical forest resources, in a way that promotes forest conservation while supporting rural livelihoods. However, in practice, NTFP commercialization has often failed to deliver the expected benefits. Progress in analyzing the causes of such failure has been hindered by the lack of a suitable framework for the analysis of NTFP case studies, and by the lack of predictive theory.
We address these needs by developing a probabilistic model based on a livelihood framework, enabling the impact of NTFP commercialization on livelihoods to be predicted.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle), a southern South American tree species of exceptional cultural and economic importance, is of conservation concern owing to extensive historical clearance and current human pressures. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to characterise genetic heterogeneity within and among 13 populations of this species from throughout its natural range.
Although populations are geographically divided into Chilean Coastal, Chilean Andes and Argentinean regions, this grouping explained only 1.77 of the total variation. Within Andean groups there was evidence of a trend of genetic distance with increasing latitude, and clustering of populations across the Andes, suggesting postglacial migration routes from multiple refugia. Implications of these results for the conservation and use of the genetic resource of this species are discussed.Resource Type: Journal Papers
This briefing considers the implications for biodiversity conservation and local people’s livelihoods of the current discussion on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries (RED-DC, henceforth RED) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The potential for RED to deliver multiple benefits for biodiversity conservation, livelihoods and other ecosystem services is well documented (UNEP-WCMC 2007). But it is important to note that RED could also have negative impacts on biodiversity and local livelihoods, for example as a result of the displacement of deforestation.Resource Type: Reports
Aquilaria spp. (Thymelaeaceae) are the principal source of Gaharu, a valuable resin, yet information about their reproductive ecology is almost entirely lacking. Individuals of six species (A. beccariana, A. crasna, A. filaria, A. hirta, A. malaccensis and A. microcarpa) in cultivation in Indonesia were investigated to assess reproductive phenology, pollination, seed production and germination. Seed production and seedling dispersion were also assessed in natural populations of A. beccariana, A. malaccensis and A. microcarpa in Kalimantan.
The results indicate that Aquilaria spp. have high reproductive potential, but suggest that seed dispersal might be limited in natural forests. The implications of these results for the management of Aquilaria spp. are discussed.Resource Type: Journal Papers
UNEP-WCMC produces reports for a number of fora including CITES, the European Commission and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Recent examples of these reports can be downloaded here in PDF format.Resource Type: Reports
Entrepreneurship and innovation by actors in the market for non-timber forest products (NTFPs) cannot be fully understood without a proper understanding of the position and behaviour of actors in the value chain of NTFPs. This paper places the market for NTFPs in the emerging literature on value chains which has, so far, lacked a detailed analysis of NTFPs. Our analysis reveals that certain key entrepreneurs are a driving force of success throughout several NTFP value chains in both Bolivia and Mexico. Where market information is scarce, e.g. where producers are distant from consumers, key entrepreneurs often govern entire value chains.
Rather than criticising the monopolistic position of individuals, it is important to understand how the activity of key entrepreneurs can be supported in spreading successful commercialisation further and where necessary control negative impacts of their role. Our analysis indicates that policies to support commercialisation of the case study NTFPs would also need to be tailored to each value chain.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Aquilaria malaccensis (Thymelaeaceae) is the principal source of gaharu, one of the most valuable tropical forest products in international trade. Despite its economic importance, the autecology of this species is virtually unknown. Seedling growth and survival of A. malaccensis was monitored over a 15-month period in natural forest in West Kalimantan. Mean height growth rate was 21.2 + 2.3 cm year1, and was positively related to light availability (i^= 0.79, p < 0.001), but unrelated to distance to the nearest mature tree or seedling density. By the end of the observation period, fewer than 20% of seedlings surveyed initially were still alive, trampling and cutting being one of the main causes of mortality. A nursery experiment examined the influence of soil (two treatments), light availability (four treatments) and seedling density (four treatments) on growth. Although a decrease in irradiance was associated with significantly (p < 0.01, t - test) lower values for height and stem diameter, seedlings were able to survive under the low light treatment. Lower height growth rates and leaf increment were observed with higher seedling densities on the more fertile soil; no such effects of density were observed on the relatively infertile soil. The implications of these results for the sustainable management of A. malaccensis are discussed.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Aquilaria spp. are the main source of gaharu, one of the most valuable non-timber products harvested from tropical forests. In order to assess the impact of gaharu harvesting on populations of Aquilaria spp. in Indonesia, the activities of gaharu collectors were assessed by accompanying them on collecting expeditions.
Given current harvesting practices, it is unlikely that gaharu is being sustainably harvested at present. The results suggest that the gaharu trade may have had a substantial impact on the population size of Aquilaria spp. in Indonesia, and their implications are discussed in the context of setting harvest quotas for regulation of trade, as required by CITES.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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