Depending on Nature: Ecosystem Services for Human Livelihoods

By Mainka, Susan A McNeely, Jeffrey A; Jackson, William J

A new paradigm is emerging in the world of environmental conservation. Conservationists have traditionally spoken of conserving the building blocks of nature-genes, species, and ecosystems, along with the air, water, and land with which these interact. But this approach has not captured the interest of those who influence the activities that degrade these building blocks. The drivers of degradation-including habitat loss and fragmentation, overexploitation, invasive species, pollution, and climate change- continue their march, and the results have been documented regularly in updates of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and other reports on the status of the environment: continuing loss of biodiversity and accelerating threats to nature. Although the effects of climate change and the emerging challenge of how to address it are now making front-page headlines, the underlying role of biodiversity, both as victim and potential solution, has yet to receive adequate attention. Conservationists have been seeking language that will make the importance of a healthy environment more obvious and relevant to the politicians, economists, business people, and development specialists who make decisions upon which nature’s future depends. One such concept is embodied in the idea of ecosystem services as the benefits that nature provides to people. Ecosystem services incorporate the language of economics and business, through their valuation, and the language of development, through their support for human well-being. Efforts to support the long-term sustainable supply of those services are as important to human well-being and survival as they are for nature itself.

Although the building blocks and processes that sustain human life are nearly as old as our planet, regarding them as “ecosystem services” is a more recent concept. With the book Nature’s Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems, Stanford University conservation biologist Gretchen Daily and coauthors popularized the concept a decade ago, and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, completed in 2005, brought it into the political mainstream.1 The latter adopted a framework that described these services, analyzed the current state of their delivery, and assessed the drivers that affected their delivery.

Why Are Ecosystem Services Important?

The benefits of ecosystem services come in many forms, from the tangible provision of the necessities of life-food, water, medicine, and clean air-to aesthetic inspiration for culture and society. These services are the foundation of daily life, and they are available without people necessarily being conscious of the many and complex processes involved in their production and delivery. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment framework provides a clear understanding of the many ways nature supports human well-being (see Figure 1 on page 45). But these services are highly dependent on functioning ecosystems, including both biotic and abiotic components. Therefore, the quality of biodiversity, air, water, and land forms the bedrock of human welfare.

The State of the Environment and Ecosystem Services

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment reported in 2005 that 60 percent of the world’s ecosystem services are degraded to the point that they no longer provide sufficient benefits to people. Human exploitation of ecosystems has resulted in increased production of a small number of services such as crops and livestock, but this has come at the cost of degradation of many other ecosystem services.2

For example, the assessment notes that more land was converted for crops from 1950 to 1980 than during the 150 years from 1700 to 1850. Since 1960, flows of reactive nitrogen have doubled, leading to increased eutrophication and extensive dead zones in many coastal areas. During the last several decades of the twentieth century, 20 percent of coral reefs and 35 percent of mangrove forests were lost or severely degraded.3

The experts involved in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment warn that although evidence remains incomplete, the ongoing degradation of 15 of the 24 ecosystem services examined is increasing the likelihood of serious damage to human wellbeing. Negative impacts include the emergence of new diseases, sudden changes in water quality, the collapse of fisheries, and shifts in regional climate.4

To facilitate understanding how ecosystem services have deteriorated, it is useful to consider the status and trends in the biotic (biodiversity) and abiotic components that function together to provide these services. Such a review requires measuring quantity and quality of the components, including diversity. Evidence collected to date suggests that a diverse system will be more resilient when faced with environmental change and thus will show greater ecosystem adaptability. In essence, a greater diversity of species performing similar functions within an ecosystem is likely to result in a greater probability of ecosystem processes being maintained in the face of environmental change. For example, productivity and community stability in European grasslands were found to be tightly coupled to the functional diversity of fungi living among the roots of the plants in those grasslands-the plant biomass was much more stable when the fungi were highly diverse.5

Biodiversity at the Genetic Level

A systematic effort to measure diversity at the genetic level for all species has been impractical, though new advances in DNA fingerprinting are leading to new approaches. As just one example, sea water samples collected by a marine research vessel, Sorcerer II, collected gene fragments predicted to represent more than 6 million proteins, almost double the number of proteins listed in online databases.6 Moreover, the benefits of bioprospecting- searching for useful genetic resources in plants, animals, and microorganisms-has increased the attention being given to genetic diversity in recent decades.7 Bioprospecting has yielded very positive results for some people in terms of new medicines and food varieties but has also had some potential negative impacts. For example, in many areas, the economic benefits of the newly commercialized products do not reach the countries where the genetic materials were originally discovered, much less the local communities that may have been using the genes (such as those found in medicinal plants) for many generations. This has given rise to charges of biopiracy.8 In addition, widespread use of only a few commercial species or plant cultivars is resulting in the loss of genetic diversity in domesticated plants. Reduced genetic diversity, or increased inbreeding, ultimately leads to a loss of adaptation (evolutionary) potential, demonstrated through effects such as increased susceptibility to disease or reduced reproduction.9

Biodiversity at the Species Level

The 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species reports that more than 16,000 species are threatened with extinction. (Key details about this list are highlighted in the box below, at right.) Using historical data from Red List compilations, IUCN and partners have developed the Red List Index that, for birds, shows a steady deterioration in threat status from 1988 to 200410 (see Figure 2 below). The situation is even more serious for amphibians, taxa for which a preliminary Red List Index indicates a substantial increase in threat status since 1980.11

An evaluation of major threats to species was conducted as part of the 2004 Global Species Assessment. Most species faced multiple threats. Habitat loss or degradation affected 83 percent of threatened mammals, 89 percent of threatened birds, and 91 percent of plants sampled. Direct loss or exploitation affected 34 percent of mammals, 37 percent of birds, and 7 percent of plants. Invasive alien species affected 30 percent of threatened birds (but 67 percent of threatened birds on islands), 11 percent of threatened amphibians, and 8 percent of threatened mammals. Hunting and trade activities affected 29 percent of mammals and 28 percent of birds but only 1 percent of plants.12 Estimates suggest commercial fishing has depleted predatory fish communities to 10 percent of their pre- industrial biomass.13 While the direct threats have been quantified, most of these threats are themselves a result of complex underlying socioeconomic factors, often linked to globalization.

Biodiversity at the Ecosystem Level

The Pilot Assessment of Global Ecosystems undertaken by the World Resources Institute in 200014 reported that conditions across all five ecosystems studied were uniformly declining (see Table 1 on page 47). Similarly, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) World Conservation Monitoring Centre inventoried the current understanding of global terrestrial, marine, and inland water biodiversity. Using the Living Planet index approach applied to data from the years 1970-1995, they reported a decline in marine biodiversity of 35 percent and a decline in inland water biodiversity of 45 percent.15

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, while focusing on ecosystem services, also reported on the status of ecosystems in 2005. Ecosystems that have been most significantly altered include marine and freshwater systems, temperate broadleaf forests, temperate grasslands, Mediterranean forests, and tropical dry forests. Dams have fragmented more than 40 percent of the large river systems in the world, and more than half of tropical dry forests have been lost.16 Air

Since the pre-industrial era, human activities have changed the chemical composition of the atmosphere and the physical properties of the land’s surface, which in turn affect air quality and climate and the ecosystem services to which these contribute. UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook 4 project reports that many areas suffer from excessive air pollution as a result of massive industrial expansion and levels of pollutants are increasing (see Figure 3 on page 49), especially in Asia.17 Long-range transport of a variety of air pollutants remains an issue of concern for human and ecosystem health and for the provision of ecosystem services. Ozone is increasing throughout the northern hemisphere and is a regional pollutant affecting human health and crop yields.18

Meanwhile, more than 1.6 million people, especially women and children, are estimated to die prematurely each year due to indoor air pollution resulting from use of traditional biofuels for heating and cooking.


Challenges to maintaining the Earth’s supply of freshwater include pollution, habitat degradation, overexploitation, and climate change-a similar litany of ills that also plagues biodiversity. The recent UNEP Global International Waters Assessment confirmed that shortages of freshwater were a problem in most parts of the world, but especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where freshwater shortages affect 9 of 19 systems assessed and pollution (including transboundary pollution) affects 5 systems. Other problems include overfishing and habitat modification.19

In terms of water quality, one indicator is water Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), the amount of oxygen that bacteria in water will consume in breaking down waste. A review of changes in water BOD during the past 20 years reveals that there has been progress in most regions (see Figure 4 on page 49). However, there has been a decrease in water quality for the Caribbean and Middle East.


Meeting the nutritional needs of the world’s growing population will require concentrated efforts to deliver food crops, which provide more than 90 percent of daily caloric intake globally.20 However, capacity to improve productivity is limited. The International Food Policy Research Institute reports that soil degradation has already had significant impacts on the productivity of about 16 percent of the globe’s agricultural land. Combining updated maps with existing expert assessments of soil degradation suggests that almost 75 percent of cropland in Central America, 20 percent in Africa (mostly pasture), and 11 percent in Asia is seriously degraded, with soil nutrients insufficient to support the previous levels of plant production.21

Human Well-being and the Environment in 2007

While environmental status reports indicate an ongoing decline, the situation for human well-being is not so dire. A review of trends in the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Index over the past 30 years shows steady improvement in all regions except sub-Saharan Africa22 (see Figure 5 on page 50).

The human population quadrupled during the twentieth century, increasing from about 1.5 billion in 1900 to about 6 billion in 2000. During that time, consumption of natural resources increased by a factor of 16. With the global population expected to increase to more than 9 billion people by 2025, consumption of resources and equity in that consumption will underlie many of our future challenges, including food security and human health.23

For example, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations estimates that more than 850 million people are undernourished and the vast majority of those (815 million) live in the developing world, primarily in rural areas. The hunger problem is most serious in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 40 percent of the population is undernourished. In most cases the problem is not one of malnutrition but of chronic hunger-a daily calorie or nutrient deficit that decreases the ability to lead a productive life. Nine million of the hungry live in the world’s richest countries, where, paradoxically, a high level of obesity is also a growing health problem. Projections indicate that the global numbers of undernourished people should decrease to less than 580 million by 2015, but some regions (such as Asia) are expected to make good progress, while others (particularly sub-Saharan Africa) are likely to lag behind.24

From the perspective of human health, the World Health Organization reports that environmental hazards are responsible for an estimated 25 percent of the total burden of disease worldwide. In sub-Saharan Africa, this figure is nearly 35 percent. Particular environmental issues with health impacts include vector-borne disease such as malaria, climate change, toxic substances, and natural hazards. However, the environment is not only a cause of disease, but also a source of treatment. A large proportion of people in developing countries rely on traditional medicines, mostly derived from plants. In developed countries, more than half of the most frequently prescribed drugs are derived from natural sources. Ongoing loss of biodiversity represents an opportunity cost for future solutions to emerging medical problems.

Biodiversity loss is also a question of economics. In the United States alone, botanical medicine sales were estimated at US$3.87 billion in 1998.25 Globally, over-the-counter sales of plant- derived drugs are worth more than US$40 billion.

Linking Poverty Reduction to Biodiversity Conservation

Recent estimates put the number of people living in extreme poverty at 1.1 billion, with the majority living in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.26 However, such statistics are often difficult to interpret, as poverty is often defined by income level, an indicator that ignores important dimensions such as lack of assets, powerlessness, and vulnerability.27

It is difficult to measure the long-term impact of biodiversity loss and impaired delivery of ecosystem services. While the total loss of such services would mean the end of life on Earth, on a more realistic level, any loss of ecosystem services will have an impact on human well-being. Unfortunately, those services are not adequately valued in economic terms, making it difficult to understand the tradeoffs that are made when allowing unbridled economic gain without incorporating social and environmental concerns.

According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, 75 percent of the poor live in rural areas.28 These people depend heavily on natural resources for their livelihoods, and they are affected by development or conservation interventions that alter their access to ecosystem services and biodiversity. As the links between the environment and human well-being become more clearly articulated, so too are the threats that undermine both. In particular, climate change, invasive alien species, and unsustainable resource use are emerging as key issues that must be addressed.

Poverty Reduction and Human Well-being

Conservation can contribute to poverty reduction, particularly through restoring ecosystems and by improving the access of the poor to ecosystem services, thus contributing to secure livelihoods for the people who depend on them.29 However, achieving biodiversity conservation requires efforts beyond the scope of environmentalists in terms of politics, economics, and technology.

Since the launch of the World Conservation Strategy in 1980, “sustainable development” has become a key objective of the international community and has been reaffirmed several times, including in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in 2000 at the Millennium Summit, in 2002 at the World Summit for Sustainable Development, and in 2005 at the Millennium Summit +5.

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000 aim to “significantly improve the human condition by 2015.” Through MDG 7 (“ensure environmental sustainability”), the MDGs explicitly recognize the relationship between the environment and sustainable development, although each of the MDGs has a link to sound environmental management (see Table 2 below). Each of the MDGs are mutually dependent; achieving MDGs 1-6 will support delivery of MDG 7 and vice versa. Conversely, incomplete achievement of any of the MDGs is likely to hamper progress on achieving the others.

In addition to the discussions and agreements noted above, multilateral agreements such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Montreal Protocol have entered into force, each providing more detailed actions for achieving the global objective of sustainable development. However, despite stated political commitment to the environment, inadequate investment has been made to converting these promises into reality. For example, reports at the 2007 meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change found that none of the signatories to the Kyoto Protocol was meeting its targets for reducing production of greenhouse gases.

And beyond these agreements with an explicit environmental objective, little attention is paid to these issues in other venues. For example, debates within the major multilateral institutions such as the World Trade Organization’s Doha Development Round and the Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development typically ignore environmental considerations.

In particular, lack of development finance remains a major problem for developing countries. Official development assistance to developing countries has increased to its highest level ever, reaching more than US$100 billion in 2006.30 While this increase is welcome, it still represents only 0.25 percent of the combined gross national income of the OECD Development Assistance Committee member countries and falls far short of the 0.7 percent target agreed in 2000. Official development assistance activities targeting the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity by 19 OECD countries for 1998-2000 indicated a slightly declining trend with US$1.09 billion, US$1.03 billion, and US$0.87 billion contributed each year respectively (see Figure 6 below).31

Some of the major sources of investment for biodiversity conservation come from the multilateral institutions-especially the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the World Bank-and bilateral donor assistance. The GEF operates the financial mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity and as such provided significant funding for global biodiversity conservation. In its first decade of operation, GEF provided nearly US$1.1 billion for about 200 biodiversity projects with protected area components. For its third replenishment covering 2002-2006, GEF received commitments of US$3.1 billion, of which US$800 million was earmarked for biodiversity. Between 1988 and 2003, the World Bank Group approved 233 projects that fully or partially support biodiversity conservation. For these projects, the World Bank’s lending totaled about US$1.8 billion.32

At a more specific level, a recent estimate of global expenditure on existing protected areas is around US$6.5 billion per annum, mostly in the developed world.33 Although nongovernmental and private sector funding are becoming an increasingly important component of protected area finance, two sources-domestic government budgets and international donor assistance-provide the bulk of funding.34 In the developing world as a whole, one recent estimate suggests that public national park budgets amount to between US$1.3 and 2.6 billion per year.35 As a share of total government spending, these sums are relatively small.

Technology will be particularly important in dealing with some of the main threats facing reliable delivery of ecosystem services, namely climate change and invasive species. In both cases, tools and information are needed to effectively manage ecosystems that are vulnerable to these threats and to ensure sustainable livelihoods for those living in these areas.

Many governments are making major public investments in technology. Malaysia, for example, plans to spend US$8 billion on developing biotechnology over the coming decade or so, drawing on the ecosystem services that provide genetic diversity. Investments by the private sector may be even larger on a global scale. Important areas of technological innovation have been especially dramatic in the field of information technology, with the Internet now making it possible to download information on virtually any topic at any time. Related communications technology has put people easily in touch with each other, so that ignorance is no longer a significant constraint against action in favor of the environment. Even some of the remotest areas of the world are now connected through cellular phones using solar power. While modern communications technology is not yet universal, its rapid growth indicates that information flow will soon be a global phenomenon. Even now, the amount of information available is often overwhelming, and a major challenge is managing the overflow of information, as well as dealing with issues of proprietary rights.

Remaining Challenges

Biodiversity conservation and the resulting support to human well- being must be integrated into all actions intended to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable livelihoods. Achieving this integration will depend on continuing to explore and research the link between biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human welfare, particularly in economic terms. Better understanding the status and trends in ecosystems will lead to better decisions. While research and development are important, other aspects of knowledge management, such as support for knowledge-sharing networks and capacity building, will also be vital.

Addressing the drivers of change that are impairing delivery of ecosystem services requires action at three distinct levels:

* improving governance of natural resources (see the box on page 54),

* increasing investment in biodiversity for people (see the box on page 54), and

* adopting landscape-scale approaches and technology.

Improving Governance of Natural Resources

Efficient and reliable delivery of ecosystem services is an important component of poverty reduction and sustainable development. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation described good governance as being “essential for sustainable development,” and successful achievement of the MDGs will certainly require improved coordination and partnership among all participating agencies and organizations. To that end, the potential role of the private sector and civil society in development work, including the conservation of biodiversity, must be welcomed and strengthened. Important strategies for improving governance include

* integrating ecosystem management for human well-being into development planning and implementation,

* decentralizing natural resource management,

* mainstreaming the multilateral environmental agreements in development planning and implementation, and

* promoting equity, especially gender equity, in natural resource management.

Increasing Investment in Ecosystem Services for People

A corollary to strategies to improve governance of biodiversity in development is the need to ensure adequate resources (both human and financial) to implement actions. All countries should seek to increase the efficiency of current expenditures for supporting ecosystem services across all sectors (including agriculture, fisheries, forestry, economic development, and environment ministries). In some cases, decreasing expenditures for subsidies that are detrimental to the provision of ecosystem services may be the most efficient way forward. At the same time, increased amounts of development funding can be directed at activities that incorporate the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and incentives for biodiversity conservation at the community level can be improved. Capacity building and technology transfer programs must also take biodiversity into consideration. Finally, the need for private investment is paramount and will require enabling conditions, including reform of natural resource tenure and raising awareness among investors, insurers, and entrepreneurs to stimulate more investment in biodiversity-friendly enterprise. In particular, mainstreaming biodiversity issues in business planning and operations and exploring and supporting payments for ecosystem services schemes will be key to securing new finances.

Adopting Landscape-Scale Approaches and Technology

Landscape-scale management acts on a scale broad enough to recognize the role of all critical influencing factors and stakeholders that shape land-use decisions. Good landscape management will fulfill societal needs by equitably balancing tradeoffs between the productive, social, and environmental requirements of current land use. To function properly, it requires supportive policies, incentives, and organizational arrangements that are capable of operating at that scale. It means conserving and restoring ecosystems so that they can fulfill their potential to support livelihoods while also taking into consideration the concerns of people depending on those ecosystems. It also means incorporating the understanding of how a management action in one part of the landscape may affect another and allowing flexibility and adaptation in management responses for changing situations.

Other approaches and technologies that are proving useful include management of environmental flows-the minimum flow of water (by volume and season) necessary to maintain aquatic biota and ecosystem processes36-and decision support tools such as CRiSTAL, a community- based risk-screening tool for climate change adaptation, which is freely available on the Internet.37

In addition, ecological restoration techniques should adapt to include consideration of people’s needs. For example, lessons from experiences such as post-tsunami recovery in Indian Ocean countries suggests that the ultimate goal should not necessarily be to achieve the state of the ecosystem prior to the tsunami but to ensure that restoration is done in a way that ensures all those affected will have the means to reestablish their livelihoods. In areas affected by the tsunami, coastal zone restoration should support a reduction in peoples’ vulnerability to future natural disasters through promotion of land-use practices that do not replicate the previous ad hoc and fragmented approach.38

In terms of technology, the rapid advance of access to the Internet and computer hardware and software is important, but the principle of open access to information and presentation of that information in a user-friendly and relevant manner to those engaged in conservation and development is paramount.

Building on the three key challenges of improving governance, increasing investment and adopting relevant technology and knowledge, and employing the key strategies of partnerships and knowledge mobilization, a suite of more specific approaches is suggested as fundamental to success. Integrated interventions, not isolated strategies, will be needed to achieve the MDGs, as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment has noted. Finally, for many of these actions, an influx of money is not the only answer. The political will for change in human behavior is a necessary foundation for achieving success.

Workers prepare mangrove saplings for planting near Banda Aceh, Indonesia, as part of a coastal protection reforestation project in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. 2007 IUCN RED LIST OF THREATENED SPECIES

As of 2007, there are 41,415 species on the IUCN Red List, and 16,306 of them are threatened with extinction-up from 16,118 in 2006.

The total number of extinct species has reached 785, and a further 65 are only found in captivity or in cultivation.

One in four mammals, one in eight birds, one-third of all amphibians, and 70 percent of the world’s assessed plants on the 2007 IUCN Red List are in jeopardy.

Source: The IUCN Species Survival Commission, 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species,

Drought and salinization have hit farmers hard in Australia’s Murray-Darling basin; conserving water and reestablishing native vegetation may help solve both problems.

A girl carries beans back to her village in southern Malawi. About half of the students in her region stopped going to school after drought and floods resulted in food shortages.


Improving governance of natural resources often results in direct benefits to local livelihoods and well-being. Consider the following examples:

* Post-tsunami recovery plans in six Indian Ocean countries have included consideration of ecosystems as critical infrastructure for the future, with particular attention being given to the role of mangroves in coastal protection.1

* In the Shinyanga region of northwestern Tanzania, where high population density combined with expansive agro-pastoralist land use has exacerbated serious problems of land clearing for cultivation, devolution processes supported 500 villages in declaring new forest reserves, thereby conserving resources necessary for their livelihoods, including enhanced incomes from locally managed woodlands.2

* In Gambia, control of cereal production by women added 322 more calories per adult, equivalent to household energy consumption per day. In Kenya and Malawi, moderate to severe levels of malnutrition were much lower among children in female-headed households than in male-headed households.3

1. L. Emerton, Counting Coastal Ecosystems as an Economic Part of Development Infrastructure (Colombo, Sri Lanka: IUCN Ecosystems and Livelihoods Group Asia, 2006).

2. G. C. Monela, S. A. O. Chamshamma, R. Mwaipopo, and D. M. Gamassa, A Study on the Social, Economic and Environmental Impacts of Forest Landscape Restoration in Shinyanga Region, Tanzania, First Draft (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya: Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and IUCN Eastern Africa Regional Office, 2004), 224.

3. N. Kabeer, Gender Mainstreaming in Poverty Eradication and the Millennium Development Goals: A Handbook for Policy-Makers and Other Stakeholders (London: Commonwealth Secretariat, 2003).


As the following examples show, focusing attention to and investment in ecosystem services provides many longterm benefits on local, regional, and global levels.

* Global carbon markets were valued at US$10 billion in 2006 and represent an important opportunity for investment in conservation.1

* In Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin, often considered the country’s breadbasket, a payment scheme is used to finance restoration of natural vegetation as a strategy for controlling dryland salinization.2

* In Costa Rica, different ways to finance voluntary approaches to optimizing land use for watershed protection and water flows have been implemented, including paying upstream farmers for conserving forests that help deliver clean water downstream.3

1. World Bank, World Development Indicators (Washington DC: World Bank, 2006).

2. D. Perrot-MaItre and P. Davis, Case Studies of Markets and Innovative Financial Mechanisms for Water Services (Washington, DC: Forest Trends and The Katoomba Group, 2001), http://www.forest-

3. S. Pagiola, “Paying for Water Services in Central America: Learning from Costa Rica,” in S. Pagiola, J. Bishop, and N. Landell- Mills, eds., Selling Forest Environmental Services: Market-based Mechanisms for Conservation (London: Earthscan, 2002).


1. G. C. Daily, ed., Nature’s Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems (Washington DC: Island Press, 1997); and Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), Ecosystems and Human Well- Being: Synthesis (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2005), http://

2. MA, ibid.

3. MA, note 1 above.

4. MA, note 1 above.

5. K. McCann, “The Diversity-Stability Debate,” Nature 405, no. 6783 (11 May 2000): 228-33.

6 S. Yooseph et al., “The Sorcerer II Global Ocean Sampling Expedition: Expanding the Universe of Protein Families,” PLoS Biology 5, no. 3 (2007): e16 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050016, http:/ /

7. R. N. Young, “Importance of Biodiversity to the Modern Pharmaceutical Industry,” plenary lecture presented at the 2nd International Conference on Biodiversity, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 1999, 7109young_1655.pdf.

8. R. Wynberg and S. Laird, “Bioprospecting: Tracking the Policy Debate,” Environment 49, no. 10 (2007): 20-32.

9. L. F. Keller and D. M. Waller, “Inbreeding Effects in Wild Populations,” Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17, no. 5 (2002): 230.

10. S. Butchart et al., “Using Red List Indices to Measure Progress towards the 2010 Target and Beyond,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 360, no. 1454 (2005): 255-68.

11. J. E. M. Baillie, C. Hilton-Taylor, and S. N. Stuart, eds., 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. A Global Species Assessment (Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, UK: IUCN, 2004), xxiv and 191.

12. Ibid.

13. R. A. Myers and B. Worm, “Rapid Worldwide Depletion of Predatory Fish Communities,” Nature 423, no. 6937 (2003): 280-83.

14. World Resources Institute, Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems,

15. B. Groombridge and M. D. Jenkins, Global Biodiversity: Earth’s Living Resources in the 21st Century (Cambridge, UK: World Conservation Press, 2000).

16. MA, note 1 above.

17. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Global Environment Outlook 4 (Nairobi: UNEP, 2007), geo.

18. Ibid.

19. UNEP, Global International Waters Assessment: Challenges to International Waters: Regional Assessments in a Global Perspective (Nairobi: UNEP, 2006), executive_summary.pdf

20. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), The State of Food Insecurity 2004 (Rome: FAO, 2004), http://

21. International Food Policy Research Institute, “Global Study Reveals New Warning Signals:?Degraded Agricultural Lands Threaten World’s Food Production Capacity,” press release, 21 May 2000, http:/ /

22. UNDP, Human Development Report 2006: Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty, and the Global Water Crisis (New York: UNDP, 2006), http://

23. United Nations, World Population Prospects: The 2004 Revision (New York: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2005),

24. FAO, note 20 above.

25. P. Brevoort, “The Booming US Botanical Market: A New Overview,” HerbalGram 44 (Fall 1998), 33-46.

26. UNDP, note 22 above.

27. World Bank, 2000/2001 World Development Report (Washington, DC: World Bank 2001).

28. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Enabling the Rural Poor to Overcome Their Poverty: Strategic Framework for IFAD 2002-2006 (Rome: IFAD, 2002).

29. R. J. Fisher, S. Maginnis, W.J. Jackson, E. Barrow, and S. Jeanrenaud, Poverty and Conservation: Landscapes, People and Power (Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, U.K.: IUCN, 2005), xvi and 148.

30. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “Official Development Assistance Increases Further – But 2006 Targets Still a Challenge,” press release 11 April 2005, http:/ / 0,2340,en_2649_201185_34700611_1_1_1_1,00.html.

31. UNEP, Options for Mobilizing Financial Resources for the Implementation of the Programme of Work by Developing Countries and Countries with Economies in Transition, UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/3 (Nairobi: UNEP, 2005).

32. Ibid.

33. A. K. James, J. Gaston, and A. Balmford. “Can We Afford to Conserve Biodiversity?” BioScience 51, no. 1 (2001): 43-52.

34. W. Krug, “Private Supply of Protected Land in Southern Africa: A Review of Markets, Approaches, Barriers and Issues,” workshop paper presented at the World Bank / OECD International Workshop on Market Creation for Biodiversity Products and Services, Paris, 25 and 26 January 2001.

35. A. Molnar, S. J. Scherr, and A. Khare, Who Conserves the World’s Forests? Community-Driven Strategies to Protect Forests & Respect Rights (Washington, DC: Forest Trends, 2004).

36. M. Dyson, G. Bergkamp, and J. Scanlon, eds., Flow-The Essentials of Environmental Flows (Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, U.K.: IUCN, 2003), xiv and 118.

37. IUCN, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Stockholm Environment Institute, and Intercooperation, Summary of CRiSTAL: Communitybased Risk Screening Tool-Adaptation & Livelihoods)

38. IUCN, Recovery from the Indian Ocean Tsunami-Guidance for Ecosystem Rehabilitation Incorporating Livelihoods Concerns, IUCN information paper, February 2005, archive/2001_2005/press/tsunami-guidance-info.pdf.

Susan A. Mainka is a senior coordinator in the Global Programme Team at IUCN, with particular responsibility for supporting policy coordination as well as linkages with the regional programs in Asia, Oceania, and eastern and southern Africa. A veterinarian with 20 years experience in wildlife conservation, she has worked in particular on giant panda conservation and captive wildlife management. She is the author of more than 50 publications. Her fields of interest are species conservation and sustainable use issues, particularly as related to traditional medicine. Jeffrey A. McNeely is chief scientist at IUCN, where he has worked since 1980. He is author or editor of more than three dozen books, the latest of which is Farming with Nature: The Science and Practice of Ecoagriculture (Island Press, 2007, with Sara Scherr). He serves on the editorial board of ten international journals. He worked in Asia (Thailand, Nepal, and Indonesia) from 1968 to 1980 on various issues related to conservation and development. He currently serves on the Governing Board of the Society for Conservation Biology and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ecoagriculture Partners (a nongovernmental organization that promotes enhancing agricultural productivity and biodiversity conservation at landscape levels).

William J. Jackson is the deputy director general of IUCN. He has extensive field experience in ecosystem conservation and management at the global level and in Asia, Australia, and Africa. He has worked with many governments and IUCN partner organizations in devising forest conservation programs and policies and in evaluating conservation and rural development projects. He also has experience in advising international agencies such as the World Bank on the development and implementation of participatory processes for policy reviews. He has published a number of articles and books on community forestry, forest conservation, and monitoring and evaluation of projects.

The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions from numerous colleagues, including Lorena Aguilar, Joshua Bishop, David Brackett, Carolina Caceres, Andrew Deutz, Stewart Maginnis, Brett Orlando, Mohammed Rafiq, Simon Rietbergen, Frederik Schutyser, and David Sheppard.

SUSAN A. MAINKA (“Depending on Nature: Ecosystem Services for Human Livelihoods,” page 42) is a senior coordinator in the Global Programme Team at IUCN-The World Conservation Union. JEFFREY A. MCNEELY is chief scientist at IUCN. WILLIAM J. JACKSON is the deputy director general of IUCN.

Copyright Heldref Publications Mar/Apr 2008

(c) 2008 Environment. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

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