Research and advocacy initiatives

Where possible the Learning Group will support – or engage in – research and other activities around three key thematic areas: policy processes, governance, impacts. Our resources for this kind of work are currently very limited but we hope to eventually establish a mechanism for supporting Learning Group members to develop activities – including workshops, dialogues and research – under these themes.

Current projects

Biodiversity-Poverty Evidence

There is an explicit assumption that conserving biodiversity (or reducing the rate of biodiversity loss) can help in efforts to tackle global poverty. But the evidence base for this assumption is surprisingly weak. In 2010, IIED together with the African Wildlife Foundation  and the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre organised the 2010 PCLG Symposium at the Zoological Society of London, to explore the state of the evidence base. A report detailing the findings of two “state of knowledge” reviews that we commissioned on this subject was published by the CBD Secretariat  in 2010 while a book based on the symposium is available from Wiley-Blackwell.

IIED and UNEP-WCMC are now working together to systematically “map” and then subsequently strengthen - the evidence base. Supported with grants from the ESPA Evidence and Impact Research Grants (EIRG)  scheme  and UKAid the first phase of the project entails identifying, collecting and analysing the body of literature on biodiversity-poverty linkages. Our draft analytical framework is available at the link below. Once we have compiled our database of studies and reviewed the evidence they contain we will be consulting widely with a range of potential end-users – including researchers, policy-makers and practitioners – as to how to increase the utility of our research outputs.

A searchable database of studies on biodiversity-poverty linkages.We are always interested to receive feedback so please get in touch if you have any comments on the framework or would like more information about the project. Project outputs including the research protocol, the database of literature reviewed, and the findings of the analysis will be disseminated via this site as they become available.

A searchable database of studies on biodiversity-poverty linkages.

Related documents

Older/complete projects

South-South learning on Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation 

At the PCLG workshop in Masindi in 2010, human wildlife conflict emerged as a key issue to be addressed in order to improve poverty conservation relationships on the ground. Lots of work has previously been done by the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) and others on physical prevention and mitigation measures, but less on financial mitigation mechanisms. We developed  a standard analysis framework and then commissioned a number of case studies. Interestingly, there are very few examples of successful financial schemes – whether compensation, insurance or other. Case studies to date include:

These are being collated into a PCLG discussion paper and will also feed into more detailed analysis conducted by PCLG member Care International EEGL Programme in Rwanda, which is exploring the economics of Protected Area Management (including HWC) in Mgahinga, Uganda. Other relevant documents include:

SAPA (Social Assessment of Protected Areas)

 The Protected Areas, Equity, and Livelihoods (PAEL) Taskforce, the UNEP-WCMC Vision 2020 project, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) Poverty and Conservation Learning Group, CARE International and The Nature Conservancy have joined forces to identify and develop methodologies for assessing the social impact of protected areas, with the potential to incorporate these assessments into national and international protected areas policy. The goal of the overall process is to: ‘identify/develop and evaluate a range of methodologies and tools for assessing the social impacts of protected areas that enable conservation policy and practice to better adhere to the globally accepted principle that protected areas should strive to contribute to poverty reduction at the local level, and at the very minimum must not contribute to or exacerbate poverty’.
For more information on this process see the documents below.

Social assessment of conservation initiatives: A review of rapid methodologies (1049k)

Livelihood impacts of protected areas: a global analysis of assessments and methodologies - Contribution to the May 2008 workshop (1072k)

Towards an integrated system for measuring the social impact of Protected Areas - November 2007 (141k)

Workshop to Review Approaches, Methodologies and Tools for Assessing the Social Impacts of Protected Areas - May 2008 (982k)

Assessing the Human Impact of Protected Areas - Background report for the February 2007 workshop (614k)

Assessing the Human Impact of Protected Areas Workshop Report - February 2007 (207k)


Biodiversity in Development Policy

The PCLG Secretariat is tracking the degree to which biodiversity is integrated into national and international development policy and poverty reduction strategies.

Whither Biodiversity in Development? The integration of biodiversity in international and national poverty reduction policy. (679k)

Biodiversity Conservation and Development Assistance: Highlights from CBD CoP10 (158k)


WCPA Task Force on Protected Areas and Equity

Following on from a side event held at CBD COP8 in March 2005, the PCLG Secretariat has worked with Care International, TILCEPA and the World Commission on Protected Areas to develop the framework for a new WCPA Task Force on Protected Areas and Equity which will have a particular emphasis on promoting social equity provisions within the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas. Support has been provided to the Task Force for regional and global meetings, information synthesis and dissemination.

A meeting of the African regional taskforce was held in Uganda in January 2007 and a workplan developed which can be downloaded below. Meetings of the Asia group and the Latin America group were held in June 2007 and September 2007 respectively. Please contact Phil Franks for more information about these activities (

Support for the Global Task Force on Protected Areas, Equity and Livelihoods (91k)

PAEL Workplan (120k)

Terms of Reference: Task Force on Protected Areas and Equity (70k)


Conservation and Poverty Principles

The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) organised a workshop on the Isle of Vilm in November 2006 to discuss the links between nature conservation and poverty reduction. During this event, a gap for principles to guide conservation activities in relation to poverty issues was found, and the need for further work on this issue recognized. Based on this, a second meeting was held on the Isle of Vilm in November 2007. During this second meeting, a draft document for guiding principles on the interface of nature conservation and poverty reduction was developed and their potential integration into key policy processes discussed. The PCLG Secretariat took part in the second meeting, and has been supportive of this process since.

"Linking Nature Conservation and Poverty Reduction: Supporting a Networking Process” (30k)

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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