Look both ways: mainstreaming biodiversity and poverty reduction
The world’s failure to meet its 2010 target to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss demonstrates that conservation efforts have so far been insufficient. They are too often undermined by seemingly more pressing economic and poverty goals — despite the frequent correlation of high biodiversity with high incidence of poverty. But it shouldn’t be a competition. Biodiversity and poverty reduction are intrinsically linked and demand an integrated approach. The Convention on Biological diversity has long emphasised the need for integrating, or ‘mainstreaming’, biodiversity into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies, most recently in its new Strategic Plan. Lessons learnt from wider experience of environmental mainstreaming can help parties to the Convention achieve this target in practice — they point to a six-step plan for the task.