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From livelihoods to equity for better protected area conservation

Meeting social goals is widely considered essential for effective biodiversity conservation. The dominant approach to meeting social goals has focused mainly on support for local livelihoods, but this has often proved inadequate for achieving either social goals or conservation effectiveness. A priority for the global conservation community now is to rethink its approach to social goals. This will require a shift in framing from livelihoods to equity, where equity integrates issues of protected area costs and benefits with protected area governance. This briefing explains why an equity framing is important and how, in broad terms, a move from a livelihoods framing to equity might be achieved.

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The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is coordinating a programme that aims to develop, test and roll out a relatively simple, low cost methodology for assessing the positive and negative social impacts of protected areas.

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Assessing social impacts of protected areas