People and Biodiversity Policies: Impacts, Issues and Strategies for Policy Action
Improving the diversity of biological habitats and ecosystems is a vital goal in itself, yet policies to encourage biodiversity, like most legislation, will have both supporters and naysayers. Limitations on land use to protect biodiversity can sometimes reduce income, but have broad benefits for the general public.
In developing countries where natural resources are an important livelihood source, biodiversity protection can also hurt income. Looking at studies ranging from community resource management in Lapland to wildlife management in Zimbabwe, People and Biodiversity Policies shows ways of totting up the social costs and benefits, and developing best practices.Take Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage Site in northern Australia, where co-management and benefit-sharing flourish in the local community. Approximately half the land is held as inalienable freehold land by Aboriginal groups, who have been continuously present in the area for more than 50,000 years. True to Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act ratified in 1999, Aboriginal groups practise their traditional rights of gathering and hunting, while consulting with government on the sustainable take levels of different species.Another study explores how the conversion of common-property mangroves for private agriculture and aquaculture in Vietnam affect income distribution between two villages. Common property regimes appeared better for income distribution as well as sustainable development. Also, in flood-prone Bangladesh, studies show how some floodplain management measures reduce the catch of fish, which the local poor depend on. ISBN 9789264034310©OECD Observer No 267 May-June 2008

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