Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Conservation goals crucial in development projects

Environmental Research Web: There's a popular conception that including environmental protection in a development project hinders poverty alleviation. With that in mind, a team from The Nature Conservancy and Santa Clara University, both in the US, studied the completion reports from nearly 100 World Bank projects. "When biodiversity goals were added to a project, the addition did not reduce that project’s likelihood of meeting its development objectives, including things like gender equity, poverty alleviation and private sector development," Peter Kareiva of The Nature Conservancy told environmentalresearchweb. "However, if a project lacked a conservation goal, its performance with respect to the environment was significantly reduced."

The team used a large random sample of projects, comparing those with a biodiversity or conservation component to those without. In other words, they used a control group – the researchers believe theirs is the first large-scale study of this kind to take this approach. Other analyses, in contrast, have used a case study approach. "We were inspired to do this because we feel that conservation will not succeed if large populations of poor people have as their only recourse logging forests or clearing land to eke out a living," said Kareiva. "So there needs to be serious attention given to poverty alleviation and conservation at the same time."…

A few of the tubes that send water to the turbines at Itaipú dam (hydroelectric power plant) on Paraná river that flows through Braziland Paraguay. Shot by Wutzofant, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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