Are alternative livelihood projects effective at reducing local threats to specified elements of biodiversity and/or improving or maintaining the conservation status of those elements?
Alternative livelihood projects are used by a variety of organisations as a tool for achieving biodiversity conservation. But very little is known about what impacts alternative livelihood projects have had on biodiversity conservation, as well as what determines the relative success or failure of these interventions. Twenty one studies were included in this systematic review. Our results show that there has been an extensive investment in alternative livelihood projects, yet the structure and results of most of these projects have not been documented in a way that they can be captured using standardised search processes. Either this is because there has been little reporting on the outcomes of these projects, or that post-project monitoring is largely absent. The implications of this review for policy, management and future research are provided in relation to this evidence gap.