Saving species doesnt harm the worlds poor

August 12th, 2008 - 4:17 pm ICT by ANI  

London, August 12 (ANI): A new research has rubbished the charges made against environmentalists that they destroy the lives of poor people in rainforests and other wild areas by taking over their land in the name of conservation.

According to a report in New Scientist, the research, which maps poverty and human environmental impact around the world, has been conducted by Kent Redford of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The vast majority of the worlds poor people live in extremely urban areas. Only a small percentage live in areas that are somewhat or extremely wild, said Redford.

Even the rural poor mostly live in grasslands, while biodiverse forests are largely empty, he added.

WCS and other conservation groups are often accused of taking land from its rightful occupants in the name of conservation.

Some observers, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature, have called on greens to do more to combat rural poverty in areas where they work.

Redfords study suggests that neither of these concerns is particularly justified.

However, critics say that even if relatively few poor people live in the most biodiverse areas, their needs must still take priority.

Security of livelihoods is still vitally important for people that do live in such areas, said Simon Counsell of the Rainforest Alliance UK.

Like it or not, conservation groups are going to have to improve the lot of local people if they want their programmes to succeed, he added. (ANI)

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