Linking livelihoods and conservation: a conceptual framework and scale for assessing the integration of human needs and biodiversity

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Although there has been increasing interest in trying to link the livelihoods of people living near natural resources, there has been little attempt to systematically assess or measure this linkage. A conceptual framework for defining the linkage between livelihood activities and conservation is developed and then a scale to assess the strength of linkage across five dimensions: species, habitat, spatial, temporal and conservation association. Evaluating 39 project sites in the Biodiversity Conservation Network tests the framework and scale. Finally, the relevance of linkage to designing appropriate conservation strategies is discussed.

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