What is the Poverty and Conservation Learning Group?

The Poverty and Conservation Learning Group (PCLG) is a multi-stakeholder forum, coordinated by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), for promoting dialogue and fostering learning on the links between biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction.

The Learning Group was established in 2004 in response to a number of perceived problems:

  1. An ongoing divide between conservation and development practitioners and policy makers on how - and whether - to link biodiversity conservation with poverty reduction so that poverty reduction policy better reflects biodiversity concerns and conservation policy pays greater attention to issues of poverty and social justice;
  2. The potential duplication of effort by a number of different organisations that are trying to strengthen this linkage but are currently grappling independently with the issues and not learning from each other;
  3. The lack of an established forum through which participants from a range of backgrounds can participate on an equal footing to share and analyse emerging experience in conservation-poverty linkages and identify knowledge gaps and research needs.

The Mission of the Learning Group is to promote better understanding on the links between conservation and poverty linkages in order to improve conservation and poverty policy and practice. We seek to achieve this mission through four main strategies:

  1. Maintaining an overview of relevant poverty-conservation activities and outcomes
  2. Informing international and regional policy processes
  3. Promoting dialogue between and within different communities of interest
  4. Collecting and disseminating information

Find out more about PCLG members and how to join.

Frequently asked questions

What is the PCLG?

The Poverty and Conservation Learning Group (PCLG) is a network, coordinated by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), of organisations and individuals with a shared interest in integrated approaches to conservation and development

What is the mission of the PCLG?

The mission of the PCLG is to promote learning on the nature, extent and implications of the linkages between biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction.

When was the PCLG launched?

The Learning Group initiative started in 2004 with support from the Ford Foundation, in response to a growing debate on the linkages between biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction. 

Who finances the PCLG?

Since 2009 the PCLG's main donor is the Arcus Foundation. From 2005 till 2008 the PCLG was financed by the Ford Foundation and Irish Aid. Smaller contributions come from across IIED's range of donors including DGIS, Norad, Sida and DFID.

What is the PCLG secretariat?

The Learning Group is convened and facilitated by IIED, and IIED staff act as the PCLG Secretariat.

Who are PCLG members?

The PCLG network currently comprises over 500 members from conservation, development and indigenous/local community organizations. Anyone with an interest in poverty-conservation issues is welcome to join our network. Organisations that develop or influence conservation and poverty reduction policy and those that are affected by it, can become organisational members of the learning group.See list of PCLG organisational members. To find out more about how to join the PCLG go to our membership page.

What is BioSoc?

BioSoc is the research bulletin of the PCLG. BioSoc highlights key new research on biodiversity and society, poverty and conservation. Sign up for BioSoc bulletin.

What is PCLG News?

PCLG News is the newsletter of the PCLG. PCLG News provides monthly news on the work of the PCLG Secretariat and of PCLG members, as well as information about new publications, resources and forthcoming events. Sign up for newsletter.

What is the PCLG Journal Digest?

The Journal Digest is a new PCLG information service and is intended to keep readers up to date with new journal articles on issues relating to biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation as they are published. Sign up for the Journal Digest

What we're about

The Poverty and Conservation Learning Group is an international network of organisations that promotes learning on the linkages between biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction.

More about us


IIED The Poverty and Conservation Learning Group is a project coordinated by IIED.

UK AidArcus foundation


During the current financial year (to March 2014) the PCLG website is funded by the Arcus Foundation, UK aid, Sida and Danida, however, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of these organisations.

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