The IIED PCLG Secretariat collaborated with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and IUCN Forest Conservation Programme to organize a workshop at the IUCN World Conservation Congress on lessons learned from initiatives to link biodiversity conservation and local livelihoods.

The first half of the workshop took the traditional format of presentations on lessons learned from some of the major initiatives that have taken place over the last 10 years. These included the CIFOR Poverty and Environment Network (PEN); the UNDP Equator Initiative; IUCN’s Livelihoods and Landscapes Strategy (LLS); and a review of the relationship between ecology and poverty undertaken under the auspices of the Ecological Society of America.

The formal presentations were balanced by a “speed dating” where the workshop participants could chose to attend small group sessions highlighting on-the-ground experience. Presenters included members of the PCLG, national LLS partners, AWF country programmes and finalists of the biannual UNDP Equator Initiative.

The discussion session at the workshop commended the vastly improved evidence-base on biodiversity-poverty linkages but raised the issue of how to move beyond evidence to policy uptake. It also raised the issue of the role of biodiversity when/if international poverty reduction aspirations are achieved. 

Dilys Roe is Senior Researcher, Natural Resources Group; Team Leader, Biodiversity at IIED