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Biodiversity, Development And Poverty Alleviation: recognizing the role of biodiversity for human well-being

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The implementation of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and to combating poverty. For this reason, the 2010 biodiversity target adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development has been integrated into the Millennium Development Goals. Poor rural communities depend on biodiversity and ecosystem services for health and nutrition, for crop development, and as a safety net when faced with climate variability and natural disasters. Urban dwellers the world over depend on water provision and purification performed by forests and wetlands. Healthy ecosystems like forests and bogs contain massive carbon reservoirs and are vital to regulating the global climate. Biodiversity loss threatens to increase poverty and undermine development. Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed at the margins of the ninth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) held in May 2008 in Bonn, Germany, the United Nations Development Programme and the CBD Secretariat are collaborating to share knowledge and experience in the mainstreaming of biodiversity in development. This collaboration aims to ensure that the production practices employed by large, medium, and small enterprises in major economic sectors such as forestry, agriculture, fisheries, and tourism are compatible with biodiversity conservation objectives. A key focus is strengthening the management and economic benefits derived from the world’s protected areas and indigenous and community conservation areas. This involves policy development, support to institutional strengthening, investments, and enabling on-the-ground activities to showcase effective biodiversity management approaches. This booklet on biodiversity, development and poverty alleviation aims to encourage development outlooks and practices that conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and promote access and benefit sharing arising from the use of genetic resources.

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