Biodiversity conservation requires balancing trade-offs between biodiversity protection and economic activities. This applies both to protected areas, where the supply of various ecosystem services (e.g. carbon sequestration, water regulation) is seen as an important co-benefit, and not-protected areas, which also contain important elements of global biodiversity.
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Integrating local residents – especially poor households, indigenous communities and women – into the protected area economies of the developing world via concessions compensates for losses, alleviates poverty, drives local economic development and builds conservation incentives. Integrating locals is important not only as a principle of natural justice but also on pragmatic grounds.
Five minutes walk from the World Parks Congress venue, you leave the urban landscape behind and find yourself in one of Australia’s largest urban parklands – a place that supports forest, saltmarsh, wetlands and wildlife. Over a quarter of the birds found in Australia - 200 different species – have been recorded in the Park, as well as many species of frogs, reptiles and bats.