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 Conservation helps poverty - study

Thursday 23 March 2006

loggingA new report from WWF has highlighted the links between the conservation of endangered species and reducing poverty in local communities, as the 8th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity begins in Brazil. The investigation, which focused on six projects in Africa, South America and Asia, found that working to help endangered wildlife promoted sustainable and fair development, along with working against poverty and hunger.

Projects included ecotourism (turtle watching in Tortuguero, Costa Rica), community forestry (restoring tiger habitat in Nepal) and conservation awareness-raising (for river dolphins in the Ganges). The work helped to improve issues such as land-use, income and health.

"Now's the time to recognize the strong connections between sustainable economic development, a healthy environment, and successful species conservation," said Ginette Hemley, vice president for species conservation at WWF. "WWF's new report provides clear evidence that when endangered species benefit, people also benefit. Problems that threaten species like the destruction of habitats and natural resources often contribute to poverty."

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