What are the challenges of ensuring that the protection of biodiversity is not at the expense of rural livelihoods or quality of life?Tansi Godwill Tansi
The livelihoods of rural populations living in and around protected areas are often based on a combination of agriculture, fi shing (where possible), hunting and the collection of edible and medicinal plants, fruits and herbs. Illegal hunting and fi shing and the excessive collection of natural products all have negative impacts on biodiversity. In order to protect biodiversity and increase livelihoods, people need alternatives to the overuse of products from protected areas. More productive agricultural methods can increase crops and provide more food, but it is also necessary to develop new sources of income. They might include the managed and sustainable collection and sale of plants, fruits and herbs, the development of ecotourism, sale of traditional handicrafts and the development of small-scale tourist accommodation as well as paid involvement in the protection of biodiversity.