Biodiversity Planning: Why and how should local opinions matter?
Many planning processes for land management or natural resource management now include specific provisions for ‘biodiversity’. But biodiversity is a fuzzy concept, with different meanings for different people. Although progress has been made recently to elucidate and respect the immediate connections between biodiversity and the people who live with it, for example at the World Parks Congress in 2003 (WPC, 2003), to many people the concept of biodiversity remains tied up with conservation. Locally relevant biodiversity issues get much less attention - to the extent that biodiversity planning processes may not even know how to ask the right questions at the local level. This Gatekeeper provides basic guidance on the different facets and values of biodiversity and how these matter to different interest groups. Most emphasis is put on the level of communities who live with biodiversity, to point out some of the local contexts and choices that external agents may want or need to incorporate in biodiversity planning processes.