Biodiversity Conservation and Poverty Traps Special Feature: Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) links biodiversity conservation with sustainable improvements in livelihoods and food production




In the Luangwa Valley, Zambia, persistent poverty and hunger present linked challenges to rural development and biodiversity conservation. Both household coping strategies and larger-scale economic development efforts have caused severe natural resource degradation that limits future economic opportunities and endangers ecosystem services. A model based on a business infrastructure has been developed to promote and maintain sustainable agricultural and natural resource management practices, leading to direct and indirect conservation outcomes. The Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) model operates primarily with communities surrounding national parks, strengthening conservation benefits produced by these protected areas. COMACO first identifies the least food-secure households and trains them in sustainable agricultural practices that minimize threats to natural resources while meeting household needs. In addition, COMACO identifies people responsible for severe natural resource depletion and trains them to generate alternative income sources. In an effort to maintain compliance with these practices, COMACO provides extension support and access to high-value markets that would otherwise be inaccessible to participants. Because the model is continually evolving via adaptive management, success or failure of the model as a whole is difficult to quantify at this early stage. We therefore test specific hypotheses and present data documenting the stabilization of previously declining wildlife populations; the meeting of thresholds of productivity that give COMACO access to stable, high-value markets and progress toward economic self-sufficiency; and the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices by participants and other community members. Together, these findings describe a unique, business-oriented model for poverty alleviation, food production, and biodiversity conservation.
机译:在赞比亚的卢安瓜河谷,持续的贫困和饥饿给农村发展和生物多样性保护带来了挑战。家庭应对策略和大规模的经济发展努力都导致严重的自然资源退化,从而限制了未来的经济机会并危及生态系统服务。已经开发了基于商业基础设施的模型,以促进和维持可持续的农业和自然资源管理实践,从而带来直接和间接的保护成果。社区保护市场模式(COMACO)主要与国家公园周围的社区一起运作,从而增强了这些保护区带来的保护效益。 COMACO首先确定粮食安全性最低的家庭,并对他们进行可持续的农业实践培训,以在满足家庭需求的同时将对自然资源的威胁降至最低。此外,COMACO还确定了造成严重自然资源枯竭的人员,并对他们进行培训以产生替代性收入来源。为了保持对这些做法的遵守,COMACO提供了扩展支持和进入高价值市场的渠道,否则参与者将无法进入。由于模型是通过自适应管理不断发展的,因此在此早期阶段很难量化模型整体的成败。因此,我们检验了特定的假设,并提供了证明先前野生动植物种群稳定的数据。达到生产力极限,使COMACO能够进入稳定的高价值市场并实现经济自给自足;参与者和其他社区成员采用可持续农业实践。这些发现共同描述了一种独特的,面向企业的减贫,粮食生产和生物多样性保护模式。



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