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Livelihoods & Governance library

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Written by: Helen Anthem
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The Livelihoods & Governance library contains a number of documents produced by the Conservation, Livelihoods and Governance team with the following themes:

Our approach to conservation, livelihoods and governance

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) promotes the use of a sustainable livelihoods approach to working with communities to achieve positive outcomes for biodiversity and for people. This approach uses participatory, holistic methods to help understand the reality and complexity of people’s lives and livelihoods.

We recognise livelihoods as being as much about a way of life as they are a means of making a living. Our approach is to support sustainable livelihoods (including diversification of livelihoods strategies where appropriate) to empower women and men to make their own livelihood choices more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

We work to ensure that all those who use natural resources can get involved in decisions affecting the way those resources are managed. This means paying attention to diversity and disadvantage within the communities with whom we work. Men often dominate leadership and decision-making roles in a community and we work to ensure that the roles, knowledge and views of women and other marginalised groups are not overlooked.

Lessons learned from REDD+ and other conservation strategies

FFI has produced a series of outputs from a learning event held in Cambridge in April 2013 to share experience, tools and lessons learned on the social aspects of REDD+ and other conservation strategies. Topics discussed included equitable benefit sharing; free, prior and informed consent; gender; grievance mechanisms; opportunity cost analysis; social impact assessment; sustainable livelihoods; and tenure and resource use rights.

Tools for participatory approaches

FFI’s Conservation, Livelihoods and Governance team has collated and adapted a number of tools to help conservationists facilitate participatory processes with local stakeholders.

These tools can be used to discuss and analyse a variety of issues and perspectives related to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, including climate change adaptation and ecosystem service valuation.

A short summary of all the tools available and some guidance on how to facilitate participatory approaches are also provided.

Assessing cultural ecosystem services

FFI implemented a five-year project to increase knowledge and awareness about the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services in complex agricultural landscapes . One of the outputs of the project is GRACE – Guidance for the Rapid Assessment of Cultural Ecosystem Services. Despite increasing attention to ecosystem services, cultural ecosystem services and the benefits they provide tend to be overlooked in decision making despite their fundamental contributions to human wellbeing. This is due, in part, to the fact that cultural ecosystem services are complex and can be difficult to describe and to measure.

GRACE recommends an approach that combines in-depth interviews and group discussions supported by a number of tools for participatory approaches. The tools have been adapted to provide entry points for discussions with local women and men in order to explore the intangible values that are not captured within standard ecosystem services assessment approaches and to help people appreciate the links between ecosystems and the cultural aspects of wellbeing.

Integrating conservation, livelihoods and governance

The following documents summarise the lessons learnt and insights gained through the support provided by the Conservation, Livelihoods and Governance team to three FFI projects in China, Tanzania and Brazil from 2008 to 2010.

Conservation and livelihoods after crises

FFI’s experience of cross-sectoral collaboration in conflict- and disaster-affected situations are documented in the following case studies, partnership guidance and checklist, and lessons learnt report.

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Helen Anthem

Helen has a Masters degree in Development Studies and an Advanced Diploma in Environmental Conservation. Prior to joining FFI, Helen worked in the development sector and is particularly interested in participatory approaches within conservation, including a consideration of gender and empowerment.

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