"Biodiversity Convention and the Millennium Development Goals" by Jeffrey Sachs et al.
The idea: Increasing global challenges call for further integration of poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation agendas.
A. Assertions re: connections between poverty and the environment
1. …Are complicated.
2. Attempts to delineate relation between biodiversity and poverty have had mixed results.
3. Links between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and biodiversity and poverty must be identified and quantified.
4. Tackling root causes of both biodiversity and poverty can lead to complementary positive results.
Complex trade-offs, esp. short-term, may result.
Ex: Trade liberalization possibly leading to increase in food commodities may result in decreased stress on habitat on of importing countries; or increased production may result in increased stress/vulnerability of ecosystems in exporting countries.
Strategies must be sensitive to human needs.
B. Recommendation: Scientific and development policy communities must focus on "jointly articulating and addressing critical research questions" pertinent to poverty alleviation and conservation efforts to produce win-win outcomes, or at least minimize harm to either agenda.
1. Create new biodiversity target for remainder of MDG period and beyond.
Must be: more specific, similarly time-limited, reasonably achievable, recognize biodiversity loss implications for the global system and esp. for most vulnerable people and societies.
Supported by small set of indicators that measure trends in the state of biodiversity and ecosystem services, drivers of biodiversity loss and activities to safeguard diversity.
2. Need "evidence-based" interventions to address environmental sustainability and poverty reduction.
Ex: In ag, more efficient land-use; pursuit of development that protects biodiversity; improve productivity institutionally through better access to seeds, markets, and expertise, combined with adaptive applications of technology.
Ex: Finance and technology for adaption, disaster management, and reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation esp. key in helping developing countries deal with climate change.
3. Future projects must explicitly monitor impact poverty alleviation efforts have on ecosystems and their services, while conservations must better document their works' impact on the poor. Ideally: work integrated and interdisciplinary.
4. Agendas must be jointly presented to policymakers.
5. Platforms must bring policymakers and scientists together: proposed Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and existing Globe International Commission on Land Use Change and Ecosystems. Subnational initiatives necessary as well.
C. Looking ahead: In 2010 UN summit will consider second five-year review of the MDGs and catalyze action ahead of the 2015 MDG target year.
D. My related questions
1. How was intervention characterized before, if not as "evidence-based?" Or was that simply weak?
2. What insight if any can be drawn by reviewing a history of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety with regards to incentivizing sustained engagement and investment of countries, civil society and industry?
3. What are examples of different interpretations of the definition of biodiversity culturally, politically, and economically as revealed in countries' commitments to the Convention?