In an effort to prioritize conservation efforts, scientists developed the concept of biodiversity hotspots. Since most hotspots are located in countries where poverty is widespread, the success of conservation efforts depends in part upon a recognition that poverty can be a significant constraint on conservation, and at the same time conservation could be an important component of alleviating long-term poverty. This paper presents five key socioeconomic poverty indicators (access to water, undernourishment, potential population pressure, number living below poverty line and debt service) and integrates them with an ecologically based hotspots analysis in order to illustrate the magnitude of the overlap between biological conservation and poverty. The analysis here suggests that the overlap between severe, multifaceted poverty and key areas of global biodiversity is great and needs to be acknowledged. Understanding the magnitude of overlap and interactions among poverty, conservation and macroeconomic processes is crucial for identifying illusive, yet possible, win–win solutions.
Source: Ecological Economics