Research and advocacy

Fisherman repairing his nets on the beach. Mozambique.
Fisherman repairing his nets on the beach. Mozambique. Photo by Eric Miller/ World Bank.

Where possible the Learning Group will support – or engage in – research and other activities around three key thematic areas: policy processes, governance and impacts. Our own research in these areas is currently very limited; however by working with and supporting our Learning Group members, we hope to increase our range of activities under these themes.

Current projects

Linking Great Ape Conservation and Poverty Alleviation

This project builds on previous support by the Arcus Foundation and the Poverty and Conservation Learning Group (PCLG). The first phase of Arcus funding enabled the PCLG to bring a great ape focus to its work including ape-specific information products and learning activities. The PCLG also established two national groups in Uganda and Cameroon, which started tackling great ape conservation-poverty priorities within their individual context. The purpose of this project is to further build the capacity of the existing country groups to engage with development processes that affect great apes and their habitats, establish more national PCLG groups (possibly in Rwanda and DRC), and further develop ape-specific information products.

Project leaflet

Completed projects

Biodiversity-Poverty Evidence

A searchable database of studies on biodiversity-poverty linkages.

There is an explicit assumption that conserving biodiversity can help in efforts to tackle global poverty. But the evidence for this assumption is surprisingly weak. In 2010, IIED together with the African Wildlife Foundation and the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre organised the 2010 PCLG Symposium at the Zoological Society of London, to explore the state of the evidence base. A report detailing the findings of two “state of knowledge” reviews was published by the CBD Secretariat while a book based on the symposium is available from Wiley-Blackwell.

IIED and UNEP-WCMC worked together in 2012 and 2013 to systematically “map” this evidence base. Supported with grants from the ESPA Evidence and Impact Research Grants scheme (EIRG) and UKAid, the first phase of the project entailed identifying, collecting and analysing the body of literature on biodiversity-poverty linkages. A second phase involved consulting a wide range of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to see how to increase the utility of the research outputs.

Publications and documents related to this project

Please contact us if you have any comments or feedback.

A searchable database of studies on biodiversity-poverty linkages can be accessed here.

The results of this work were presented at the 2015 Oxford Biosymposium. This presentation is summarised in a Storify.


South-South learning on Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation 

At the PCLG workshop in Masindi in 2010, human wildlife conflict emerged as a key issue to be addressed in order to improve poverty conservation relationships on the ground. While previous research carried out by the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) and others have focused on physical prevention and mitigation measures, much less has been done on financial mitigation mechanisms. We developed a standard analysis framework and commissioned a number of case studies to explore current financial and insurance schemes.·        

Project outputs:


Other relevant documents include:


Social Assessment of Protected Areas (SAPA Phase 1, 2007 – 2009)

The Protected Areas, Equity and Livelihoods (PAEL) Taskforce, the UNEP-WCMC Vision 2020 project, the Poverty and Conservation Learning Group (PCLG), CARE International and The Nature Conservancy worked together over the period of 2007 to 2009  to identify methodologies for assessing the social impact of protected areas, with the potential to incorporate these assessments into national and international protected areas policy.

For more information on this process, see the documents below.


Following up on this project, IIED is now co-ordinating a three-year project funded by the Darwin Initiative that intends to develop, test and roll out a methodology for rapidly assessing the social impacts of protected areas.


Biodiversity in Development Policy

In 2010, the PCLG Secretariat worked to track the degree to which biodiversity is integrated into national and international development policy and poverty reduction strategies. For more information on this work, see the following documents


Conservation and Poverty Principles

The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) organised a workshop on the Isle of Vilm in November 2006 to discuss the links between nature conservation and poverty reduction. During this event, practitioners identified the need for a set of principles to guide conservation activities in relation to poverty reduction initiatives. A second meeting was held in 2007 where a draft document for guiding principles on the interface of nature conservation and poverty reduction was developed and their potential integration into key policy processes.

About us

The Poverty and Conservation Learning Group is an international network of organisations that promotes learning on the linkages between biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction.

More about us

IIED The Poverty and Conservation Learning Group is a project coordinated by IIED.

UK AidArcus foundation

This website is funded by UK aid and the Arcus Foundation. The views expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of these organisations.

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