The role of ecological theory and practice in poverty alleviation and environmental conservation
This review emphasized the roles and tools of ecologists that would be helpful in poverty alleviation internationally. Specifically, knowledge of sustainable sources of energy, provision of clean water, functional traits of vegetation, and design of agro-forestry systems were cited as examples of knowledge that would be helpful for cross-disciplinary strategies.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The paper made explicit the notion that ecologists must integrate social needs with interactions among ecosystems and similarly, development experts should understand environmental management is critical to developing strategies for social development. Freshwater, disease, energy, and disasters were used as examples that show how ecological knowledge of species and ecosystem functions and ecological tools can be employed to improve livelihoods. Underlying themes in the review suggest that restoration and enhancement efforts require knowledge before implementation and efficiency through ecological knowledge. For example, increased malaria cases as a result of development of irrigation. And, several examples highlight ecological theory applications benefitting livelihoods such as multiple use species plantings for fuelwood, mangrove restoration thwarting natural disaster, and succession/facilitation to expedite restoration efforts post disaster.
The role of ecological theory and practice in poverty alleviation and environmental conservation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 2006;4:533–540. doi:10.1890/1540-9295(2006)4[533:troeta]2.0.co;2..
- The Earth Institute, Columbia University
- Ecological Society of America