Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - LIVEDIVERSE (Sustainable Livelihoods and Biodiversity in Riparian Areas in Developing Countries)

Executive Summary:
As a three-year coordinated action, funded by the European Commission through its Framework 7 programme, the LiveDiverse project sought to examine three different forms of vulnerability in and around protected areas within Vietnam, Costa Rica, India and South Africa. Conditions in these case areas are representative of a wide variety of challenges facing both livelihoods and the protection of biodiversity in developing countries. The project used a methodology based on an identification of biophysical, socio-economic and cultural-spiritual vulnerability, combined through GIS methods and interactive mapping, followed by the construction of scenarios and the identification of possible future policy options.

The main results of the project were:
1. The development of new interdisciplinary methodologies to identify and analyse different forms of vulnerability.
2. The refinement of methods to actively engage policy-makers, stakeholders and the public in the formulation of possible future developments, through participatory scenarios.
3. The formulation of policy recommendations for combinations of increasing livelihoods while protecting biodiversity.

While the main conclusions of the project differ somewhat from case study to case study, the general conclusions drawn are:

1. If livelihoods for local people are to be increased, while at the same time protecting biodiversity, then local people must be not only included in discussions about the management of protected areas,
but also provided with concrete, short-term benefits which are funded and included in management plans.
2. Proposals to increase livelihoods must be backed up by schemes that provide training and funding for small-scale projects such as sustainable and eco- tourism development.
3. If the depletion of ecosystems that are attractive for sustainable tourist development is to cease, local people must be offered alternative sources of income.
4. Measures to protect local ecosystems must include stronger monitoring and implementation of legal and policy systems. For this to be effective significant investment in law enforcement is necessary.
5. Local authorities need to provide active and genuine support for small-scale developments as well
as larger improvements of infrastructure.
An important policy-relevant conclusion is that while research projects such as LiveDiverse can help to identify potential sources of sustainable development and provide the scientific expertise that can motivate such developments, they need:
• To be tied into potential funding schemes from the outset.
• To be given the mandate and provided with funds from research funders (such as the EU) to actively engage in the implementation of project results.
• To include partners who are willing and able to engage actively with policy-makers, stakeholders and the public.

Project Context and Objectives:
The necessity of increased legitimacy for decisions and policy is especially important in the fields of sustainable ecosystem governance and biodiversity, where the implementation of policies is often dependent on their acceptance by stakeholders and the public. Participation by these groups therefore becomes more and more necessary as problems diversify and become more spatially diffuse.
Furthermore, the move to sustainable ecosystem governance also necessitates a greater understanding of the processes of institutions in governance, and involves analyses of the institutions (formal and informal) within which governance can be developed. The future state of ecosystems will be the result of a combination of societal, economic and ecological influences. Yet our ability to predict the future is handicapped by our present state of knowledge, as well as by present values, norms and beliefs.
The main focus of the ’LiveDiverse’ (LD) project was to develop new knowledge on the interactions between human livelihood and biodiversity in riparian and aquatic environments within four developing countries (Costa Rica, India, South Africa and Vietnam) so as to improve policy-making capacity for biodiversity and livelihoods. A crucial element of the project was the high level of importance levied on knowledge dissemination and the constructive engagement of a broad selection of social groups and their governmental and non-governmental representatives. The project adopted vulnerability as a unifying concept, based on the analysis of biodiversity values, sustainable use and livelihoods (biodiversity governance). Vulnerability in this project was considered from a combination of bio-physical, socio-economic and cultural/spiritual perspectives, where human ability to conserve and husband biodiversity while at the same time achieving sustainable livelihoods is of vital importance. Maps of these three perspectives were then constructed for each case study area and incorporated into a Geographic Information Systems (GIS). These maps identified biodiversity and livelihood ‘hot-spots’, that is, places where both high risk (according to natural science criteria) and low capability (according to the socio-economic, legal and policy criteria) were present. Finally, integrated and participatory biodiversity and livelihood scenarios were developed. These scenarios took into account the following main drivers and perspectives: biological diversity risk, cultural perceptions and socio-economic ability plus the ability to cope with the effects of identified risks.
Working within a 15 year perspective, the scenarios examined future possible trends, threats and developments in order to formulate strategies and policies to meet the needs of both biodiversity and livelihoods.
From the onset, collaboration with major stakeholders was a central and integral part of the LiveDiverse project in order to enable the serious consideration and uptake of the information generated. The project’s aim was to contribute to the design of policies that take into account the true social (economic and non-economic) value of diversity. Society is faced with a wide range of problems and dilemmas that need attention; however, economic, political and administrative resources are limited and need to be focused on the most central issues, where they also have the potential to achieve their goals. It is therefore necessary to improve understanding of and capacity to deal with conflict, including conflict over the multifunctional uses and preservation of ecosystems and components of biological diversity. LiveDiverse has therefore contributed to the development of policy instruments and tools to aid conflict reconciliation, conflict prevention and conflict resolution. The project’s understanding is that the loss of diversity that we now face has both biological and cultural causes. Decreases in biological fauna are matched by decreases in cultural diversity.
Globalisation has resulted in both improvements and problems for nature and society. Native species and cultures have been threatened, by the spread of species from other parts of the world, and by global cultures that have developed during recent decades. On the other hand, influences from outside the study areas have also, in many cases, been positive. Increases in education and knowledge of central issues such as agricultural techniques have led to increases in standards of living, even if they are still low by both national and international standards. It is therefore important to understand the links between the global and local levels and to gain more knowledge of how biological and cultural diversity can be retained, while at the same time making use of the advantages that globalisation can present.
The project’s main objectives were:

1. To increase knowledge of the social, economic, cultural and spiritual values of biodiversity, and of their interaction with ecological biodiversity.

2. To contribute to the development of an integrated methodology that takes into account bio-physical, socio-economic and cultural-spiritual aspects of biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods.

3. To improve understanding of public belief systems regarding biodiversity through the development of a biodiversity belief systems scale.

4. To contribute to the development of GIS based assessments of combinations of ecological, socio-economic and cultural-spiritual vulnerability.

5. To develop and improve methods to facilitate the communication and uptake of information and the participation of social groups.

6. To develop and implement methods to engage end-users, stakeholders and the public in the move to sustainable livelihoods and diversity, and to secure their involvement and empowerment in the LiveDiverse project.

7. To provide an analytical framework for better understanding the role of beliefs, values, and attitudes in perceptions of biological, socio-economic and cultural-spiritual vulnerability.

8. To develop practical recommendations for reducing vulnerability to environmental change at each of the various levels and in a fashion that is sensitive to relevant environmental, cultural, etc. contexts.

9. To explore coping mechanisms and policies for dealing with cultural and spiritual vulnerability through scenarios and stakeholder, end-user and public participation.

10. To analyze and evaluate the role of formal and informal institutions in promoting biodiversity, socio-economic sustainability and cultural-spiritual diversity, and in securing sustainable livelihoods for people in rural areas in developing countries.
11. To examine existing value-based strategies and to develop new strategies that take into account potential and existing conflicts between differing values.
12. To categorise existing policy instruments and analyze their effectiveness and to formulate new recommendations’ for policy instruments and combinations of policy instruments for sustainable livelihoods and diversity (biological and cultural).
13. To contribute to the development of policy instruments and tools for conflict prevention, resolution and reconciliation.
While existing studies of biodiversity, public perceptions, and conflict reconciliation in the EU partner countries were used as reference data the empirical work was carried out via case studies within the international cooperation countries. As the project focus was on the development of an innovative approach only case areas where some existing information was already available were chosen, as the collection of completely new data would not have been feasible during the three year project. The motivation for limiting the studies of biodiversity and livelihood to aquatic and riparian environments are as follows:

• Threats to sustainable livelihoods are often most acute where conflicting interests exist over water and in riparian areas.

• Riparian areas often play a dominant role in supporting a diversity of species.

• Water is necessary for irrigation, fish production and household needs in rural marginal areas, while at the same time competing interests may also exist for energy production etc.

The concept of vulnerability was the key focus of the LiveDiverse project. When determining vulnerability it is important to distinguish between the characteristics of the potential disturbance and the characteristics of the system in question as these interact in producing a certain level of vulnerability. Subsequently not every system will be equally vulnerable to the same disturbance.
Categorization of disturbances is possible through different sets of overlapping distinctions. Some disturbances will be external to the system, others internal. Disturbances may: (i) be of a social, cultural, religious, economic or ecological nature; (ii) take place at various jurisdictional scales (local, regional, provincial, national, continental, and global).

The LiveDiverse project innovatively included cultural/spiritual vulnerability and diversity into the framework for analysis. The ecological criteria, needs and threats to biodiversity are relatively well-known, and in many places data exists on this aspect of biodiversity. Much less is known about other aspects of sustainability, such as socio-economic sustainability, which includes livelihoods, especially for rural populations, and cultural, social, and spiritual aspects. The project’s remit was to increase knowledge of all of these aspects through an integrated study of the ecological, socio-economic and cultural/spiritual vulnerability of aquatic and riparian biodiversity, carried out within the following four case study areas:

1. The Ba Be / Na Hang Conservation Complex in northern Vietnam
2. The Warana River basin in India
3. The Terraba River basin in Costa Rica
4. The Greater Kruger Area in South Africa

The concept of vulnerability and the driving forces of vulnerability defined from the analysis were used as inputs into interdisciplinary, participatory scenarios that combined biophysical, socio-economic and cultural-spiritual vulnerability. A scenario is a description of how the future may unfold, based on an if-then proposition and typically consists of a representation of an initial situation and a description of the key driving forces and changes that lead to a particular future state. Thus, these participatory scenarios are stories about the future designed to find out more about the mental maps that stakeholders hold. Most importantly, in the LiveDiverse project many different stakeholders were involved and the scenarios were used to create a shared space for dialogue about an issue, in our case about sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity in water systems.

Scenarios offer multiple versions of an unknowable future (Scenario report WA – 2010, p2). The scenarios used in this project explored possible and plausible cause and effect links and illustrated events and consequences through narratives (storylines) in each of the four study areas. Much of the content of these scenarios was based on the input from stakeholders and the public, information presented in the ‘Second Report on Drivers’ and other sources from the field work carried out. Those scenarios were based on existing conditions and expectations of future developments of those conditions and were divided into three sets: biophysical, socioeconomic and cultural (D8.1 Scenario Report, p3). Legal, policy and strategy recommendations for each case study area were then formulated, based on scenario outputs.

Project Results:
Description of main S&T results/foregrounds
1. Introduction
LiveDiverse sought to examine three different forms of vulnerability in and around protected areas in Vietnam, Costa Rica, India and South Africa and the resulting interplay between vulnerability, livelihood and biodiversity. The case study areas within these countries were chosen as they represent a wide variety of the challenges facing livelihoods and the protection of biodiversity in developing countries.

The methodology used was based on an identification of biophysical, socio-economic and cultural-spiritual vulnerabilities, which were then combined via GIS methods and interactive mapping, which led to the construction and use of participatory scenarios, culminating in the identification of possible future policy options. These scenarios took into account the following main drivers and perspectives: biological diversity risk, cultural perceptions and the socio-economic ability to cope with the effects of the risks identified. Working within a 15 year perspective, the scenarios examined future possible trends, threats and developments in order to formulate strategies and policies to meet the needs of both biodiversity and livelihoods. The expected final results of the project included: the development of integrated and participatory scenarios in collaboration with key stakeholders; a greater understanding of the processes by which laws and polices (national and international) are developed and implemented; scientific input into policy-making and management; and capacity-building through the interaction with policy-makers and managers, and the training of young researchers within the project.
The main results of the project were the:
(i) Development of new interdisciplinary methodologies to identify and analyse different forms of vulnerability;
(ii) Refinement of methods to actively engage policy-makers, stakeholders and the public in the formulation of possible future developments, through participatory scenarios;
(iii) Formulation of policy recommendations to combine an improvement in livelihoods while protecting biodiversity in each of the four case study areas.
Within the following report reference is made to the project’s work packages (WPs) and their documentation, where the main S&T results and conclusions presented here are further described and referenced.

2. Development and refinement of methodologies
2.1 Methodologies to identify and analyse different forms of vulnerability The overlying methodology for the project can be exemplified in the following way. A region may be faced with significant problems of biodiversity loss, yet because of a good economy, competent management systems, and political will, the potential threats can be managed without major problems for the population. On the other hand, biodiversity in an area may be considered less threatened than in the first example, yet constitute a much larger challenge if the area does not have the capacity to respond to such threats in an equitable and sustainable manner. A third form of vulnerability to consider is when areas are believed as sensitive and valuable from a cultural/spiritual perspective; for example, in parts of the world trees, water bodies, mountains are seen as vitally important from a religious and cultural perspective. The LiveDiverse project innovatively included cultural/spiritual vulnerability and diversity into the framework for analysis. Three forms of vulnerability assessment were therefore considered and combined to produce an integrated biodiversity analysis consisting of the following:
(i) A bio-physical analysis of the case area through which biological diversity could be assessed; (ii) A livelihood (socio-economic) analysis, through which human capacity to both manage biodiversity threats while also providing livelihoods for the local population, was assessed; (iii) A cultural/spiritual analysis, through which human perceptions of the cultural/spiritual value of biodiversity were assessed.
The bio-physical based analysis of vulnerability carried out by WP5 (i) involved the evaluation of existing data on areas considered vulnerable according to natural science criteria. Key variables here included land use, land cover and topography, the location of nature protection areas, data on biological diversity and non-human population levels, existing species and existing and possible future threats. The methodology to assess environmental vulnerability for the LiveDiverse study sites was based on SOPAC’s appoach which provides guidelines to assess environmental vulnerability caused by human and natural factors, including the effects on physical and biological ecosystem, diversity, the community size and species, and growth at various levels, from global, regional, national to study areas. In general, the approach requires a set of 50 indicators for overall EVI calculation. However, in all of the four case study areas, some of these indicators were not applicable or relevant and required refinement. The LiveDiverse project collected all information about natural, cultural, social, economic conditions and major factors which impact on the environment, biodiversity and its recovery. Almost 37 EVIs among 50 EVIs were used in WP5’s calculation, involving spatial or geographical aspects. The GIS database contains thematic map data, statistics, related reports, deliverables on natural, socio-economic conditions, etc. of each case study area. This database represents the spatial distribution of factors which impact on biodiversity and environmental vulnerability, thus illustrating all their temporal variations. Such information and data are useful to help researchers and stakeholders in knowing mutual correlations of these factors, which then support the policy-making process as well as relevant reactions in time for mitigating environmental vulnerability. LiveDiverse’s GIS database covers more than 130 thematic information layers with various satellite images (Landsat, SPOT, ASTER, MODIS) which integrated in the reference system of UTM-WGS 84 in the format of ESRI Shapefile.
The livelihood (socio-economic) vulnerability assessment (ii) involved an assessment of population of the region, including ethnic groups; administrative divisions and maps; education levels and training programmes; economy (distribution of wealth and income, employment); literacy; urban-rural divisions; economic policies; ownership patterns; activities of civil society (levels of participation); infrastructure (roads, trains, canals, river navigation); possible future developments; recreation and tourism. An analysis of the relevant laws and policies – as well as the mechanisms in place to implement such instruments – also constituted part of the livelihood vulnerabilityassessment. Existing data was complemented by research activities resulting in identification of vulnerable areas from a livelihood perspective. While ecological and livelihood assessments are necessary, they are not sufficient to allow formulation of strategies that take into account the role of values in biodiversity management.
The third assessment (iii) was based on the identification of the main areas of cultural and spiritual concern, which included studies of public beliefs, perceptions, attitudes and preferences regarding biodiversity and drivers of biodiversity change. Through individual and group discussions and interviews existing ‘mind maps’ of these areas of concern were constructed and compared with the areas of concern produced in the other two vulnerability assessments for each case study area.
Interactions between the cultural-spiritual practices of a community and bio-diversity may be broadly classified into two types of interaction. In the first type of interaction, inter-linkages may be traced through cultural-spiritual practices which depend upon biodiversity. In the second type of interactionthe inter-linkage may be traced in the other direction, that is, how biodiversity depends on inter-linkages through which cultural-spiritual practices help or hinder biodiversity conservation.
There are also different degrees to which dependence on local ecosystems and surroundings can cope with change and this depends on the cultural-spiritual profile of that community (see D7.1 report).
Individual interviews were used as the primary data collection tool to capture the various cultural spiritual practices of vulnerable communities within each of the case study areas. Altogether 78 interviews were conducted in the four case study areas with the following break up:
• Costa Rica: Altogether 10 interviews were conducted from the two vulnerable communities of Ajuntadera and Sierpe
• South Africa: Altogether 12 interviews were conducted; a couple of them were actually group discussions
• Vietnam: Altogether 25 interviews were conducted within the eight vulnerable communities of Hmong (5) Muong (2) Dao (Red) (5) Nung (3) Tay (5) Cao Lan (1) Hoa (1) and Kinh (3)
• India: Altogether 31 interviews were conducted from the six vulnerable communities of Dhangar (7) Burud (6) Bhoi (5) Kaikadi (5) Gosavi (4) and Bagadi (4)
Efforts were made to interview both men and women.
2.1.1 Development of a vulnerability matrix While methods for identifying and quantifying vulnerabilities in the case of bio-physical and socio-economic aspects are well established, there are no such accepted methods in the case of cultural-spiritual vulnerabilities. The data collected was therefore used to develop a vulnerability matrix as an analytical tool for the assessment of cultural and spiritual vulnerability of communities (D7.1 report). The drivers identified in the BAU scenarios per case study area (for an example see Table 2) were incorporated into the vulnerability matrix (Table 1). The rows of the matrices represent different cultural and spiritual practices, institutions or values. The columns of the matrix represent drivers or affective factors. Each cell contains a value or description that summarises the level of vulnerability. The cell can contain qualitative terms or ordinal values. Thus one possibility of denoting the degree of vulnerability is using the scale [None, Slight, Mild, Moderate, High, and Very High], which could also be replaced by an equivalent ordinal code, for example [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. For example, raab-like practice in rice production is unlikely to have an effect on funeral practices but may moderately affect livelihood aspects and patterns. Displacement however is likely to affect both strongly. It is a moot point whether and how to develop an overall vulnerability index for a particular: a) aspect of cultural spiritual practice; b) driver/factor; and c) community. At present, for purely illustrative purposes, the overall values are worked out as equal weight averages rounded off to the nearest integer across columns or rows.
[Table 1: Proposed Cultural-Spiritual Vulnerability Indicators/Matrix for the Tay community in the Vietnam Study Area]
It should also be noted that each of the columns is a conjectural and in that sense historically contingent factor/driver. Also, the component of observer assessment and related subjectivity is comparatively higher. 2.1.2 Development of scale for biodiversity and livelihoods
Beliefs, values and attitudes are complex in nature and embedded within the individual and social make-up of people and their communities. WP4 developed the Emergent Analytical Framework (EAF) that provides guidance on methods for data collection, what data to collect, and how to analyse the data (see Figure 1). Of specific importance to this framework is its application in the understanding of the role of beliefs, values and attitudes in perceptions of biological, socio-economic and cultural-spiritual vulnerability. These concepts are universal in occurrence, but not universal in manifestation and as such are influenced by different contextual situations. The approach therefore embraces complexity and deals with multiple contexts. While the idea behind the framework is essentially to guide research, data gathering and data analysis in a particular fashion, the framework is also underpinned by an approach that speaks specifically to the study of beliefs, values, attitudes and perceptions of different people, cultures and contexts. This approach suggests that in order for the framework to be effective it needs to 1) embrace the use of participatory research; 2) be able to include different voices in the research process; 3) create space for different methods to be used in the most appropriate fashion; 4) be able to contend with multiple contexts; 5) create space for researcher reflexivity; and, 6) be iterative in nature.
[Figure 1 Emergent Analytical Framework]
The belief scale adapted by Gooch (2005) from Dillman's (1978) was used in this study. The NEP scale is constructed as a Likert scale, with respondents being asked to indicate agreement or disagreement with the statements. The options were:

01=strongly agree
04= disagree
05= strongly disagree.

The question wording reported by Gooch (2005) was modified to make the statements more comprehensible in the local languages and context. The original questions were:

1. "The balance of nature is very delicate and easily upset by human activities"
2. "The earth is like a spaceship with only limited room and resources"
3. "Plants and animals exist primarily for human use".
4. "Modifying the environment for human use seldom causes serious problems"
5. "There are no limits to economic growth for countries like Sweden
6. "Humans were created to rule over the rest of nature".

The modified questions are:
1. “The balance of nature is so delicate that it is easily upset by human activities”
2. “The earth has only limited space and resources such as water, plants and animals”
3. “Humans may use water, plants and animals as they please”
4. “Only rarely does modifying nature and the world around us for human use cause serious problems”
5. “There are no limits to economic development for your country”
6. “Humans are dependent on natural resources such as water, plants and animals for their livelihood”

The scale is interpreted as an interval scale, with data analysis through multivariate ANOVA analysis, box-and-whisker plots and bar plots. Cases containing missing data, and in which respondents did not answer all items in a scale, were excluded from the analyses.
The application of the modified belief scale demonstrated that the approach can discriminate between views on beliefs about nature. The method discriminated responses between countries, where the cultures and world views were expected to vary widely, but the method was also able to discriminate responses from communities within countries. The results showed similar trends between villages for different questions, for example the reoccurrence of the bimodal distribution for Indian communities.
The research shows that a belief scale can draw from examples in the literature, although adaptation may be required to ensure that the belief scale is appropriate to the context. Such adaptation should take account of language issues, cultural perspectives and the objectives of applying the belief scale.
The application discussed in this report also shows that the scale can be applied in highly diverse contexts (South Africa, India, Costa Rica and Vietnam) and can still provide insights on difference and similarities between countries or communities.
2.2 Methodology for actor engagement and interdisciplinary participatory scenarios The identification and analysis of the relevant institutions and actors drew upon the work carried out throughout the whole project. First, a preliminary stakeholder mapping and analysis exercise was conducted within each of the case study areas. This preliminary exercise sought to identify individuals and organizations that could be considered as stakeholders. These stakeholders were defined as, “any person, group or organization with an interest or ‘stake’ in an issue, either because they will be directly affected or because they may have some influence on its outcome” (EC, 2003, p.11). Drawing upon various methods of stakeholder mapping and analysis exercises (Rieu-Clarke et al, 2010) information was gathered pertaining to the various stakeholders within each case study area. Such information included:
• The type of stakeholder group to which an individual or organization belonged.
• The level of interest the individual or organization might have within the project, both in terms of the scope and nature of their activities.
• The relative priority that an individual or organization should be given within the project (high, medium or low). In this context high, medium and low were defined respectively as: High - those that can significantly influence, or are important to the success of, the project. Influence relates to how powerful a stakeholder is in terms of influencing policy; while importance relates to a stakeholder whose problems, needs and interests are a priority for the project, i.e. the project will not be effective without their active involvement. Such stakeholders must be actively involved throughout the project lifecycle, in terms of participating in stakeholder workshops, focus groups and interviews; as well as reviewing draft project outputs, e.g. scenarios and policy options. Ultimately, such stakeholders should become potential ambassadors for promoting project concepts and outputs.
Medium - those that can influence and/or are important to the success of the project, but are not critical should be classified as medium priority. Such stakeholders should be included in workshops, focus groups and interviews where possible and asked to review draft project outputs, e.g. scenarios and policy options. Low - those with little influence and/or importance who therefore can be classified as low priority. Such groups should be kept informed.
• Future vision or goals of the individuals or organizations.
• The kind of relationship (dependency) on natural resources.
• Existing or potential conflicts with other stakeholder interests.
A range of data gathering techniques were used in order to provide information for each of the categories mentioned above. Initially, the case study partners completed a datasheet that included each category, based on secondary reports, and their existing knowledge of the areas. Secondly, the latter information was complemented by a series of stakeholder interactions within the case study areas, which included a number of interviews and workshops with a range of stakeholders. (see Gooch et al, 2010, pp21-23).

The interdisciplinary nature of the Livediverse project brought about the use of a wide range of participatory tools. As a range of scientific disciplines were involved each of them performed different forms of stakeholder interaction in accordance with their own state-of-the art. A mix of quantitative and qualitative methods, from household surveys to focused-group discussions or interviews, was applied. Among the forms of stakeholder engagement and interaction used were:
• Stakeholder workshops (see D3.1, pp8-10)
• Semi structured interviews (D3.1, pp10-11)
• Household surveys (D3.1, pp11-13)
• Focus groups (D3.1, pp13-14)
• Field experiments (D3.1, pp14-15)
• Case study committees (D3.1, pp15-16)
• Interaction through media (D3.1, p16)
• Identification of the applicable institutions, actors and their policies (Milestone 9.1 report, pp21-23).
Such a process resulted in a diverse set of information and data being gathered from different stakeholders. Indeed, the number and variety of methods and tools was a great asset to the Livediverse project, as it managed to cover all aspects of the project (e.g. socioeconomic, cultural, spiritual, ecological, legal). Figure 2 provides an overview of the different tools used during the three year project. These methods and the experiences of the project when applied are further described in the LiveDiverse report on raising public participation and awareness (D3.1 report).
[Figure 2 Tools used for stakeholder interaction during LiveDiverse project]
2.2.1 Scenario building
The steps used for scenario building in the project were as follows:
• A description of current tendencies: to illustrate conditions within the case study area. This step provided the main elements that allowed the project members and participants to understand the current situation.
• A description of driving forces. These are the determinants that influence future development within each of the four case study areas. For example, the driving forces of greenhouse gas emission scenarios include the assumed changes in population and economic growth.
• A description of changes. This step took into account the future development of the environment and livelihoods within the case study area including: (i) how driving forces were assumed to develop and interact among them; (ii) how these interactions affected the state of the case study area.
• A description of an image of the future i.e. a narrative description of the end-state of a scenario
(D8.1, 2010, p2).

Scenarios were therefore based on existing conditions and expectations of future developments of
those conditions and were divided into three sets:
• Biophysical
• Socioeconomic
• Cultural

Table 2 below provides an example of the type of drivers identified for each of the three sets, in this case from the Costa Rican study site:
[Table 2 Prominent drivers identified within the Terraba River Basin, Costa Rica]
For each of these three sets the following four scenarios were used and discussed within each of the four case study areas
• Business as usual (BAU)
• Fast development
• Crisis
• Policy
Founded on the drivers identified the BAU, fast development, crisis and policy scenarios were explored within a fifteen year time frame. These scenarios were based both on existing conditions and expectations of future developments.
2.3 Opportunities created for young researchers
A number of opportunities for young researchers to gain both practical experience and further academic qualifications were made possible during the lifetime of the project. A list of academic achievements related to the project is provided in Table 3.
[Table 3: Academic achievements related to the project]

3. Formulation of legal and policy recommendations for livelihoods and biodiversity While there are some general recommendations emanating from the project work (see Section 4) the main recommendations of the project differ, to some extent, from case study to case study.
Recommendations are therefore presented separately for each study area within the following section.

3.1 Recommendations for Costa Rica
Firstly, it should be noted that threats to the conservation of the Térraba-Sierpe river basin in Costa Rica are evident along the entire length of the basin: from the upper reaches, where there is increasing dependence on the production of pineapples, to the lower stretches where human exploitation of the wetlands and the likely effects of the El Diquís hydropower dam are obvious.
Furthermore, the growing rise of real estate development in the Fila Costeña not only threatens the forest and water ecosystems, but also the marine ecosystem. The lack of integration between different interactions is considered a major barrier to the implementation of the sustainable management and conservation of this river basin.

Integrated management of water resources is not new to Costa Rica. There are many legal and policy documents which include the concept, to a greater or lesser degree, within their provisions and requirements. Moreover, the river basin is regarded within a number of documents as the main geographical unit to use when managing resources. However, IWRM and IRBM are lagging behind, mainly because the attempts to reform the old water law into a more integrated water resources law is still on-going. Such a law should be strongly encouraged. On the policy level, the few documents approved on the national level are quite recent. These newer documents include the 2008 National policy on integrated water resources management and it is too early to assess its implementation.
Moreover, water is managed on the national level and is divided among different ministries and bodies. IRBM could be the most suitable option for the conservation and management of the Térraba-Sierpe river catchment area. However, the opportunity to extend IRBM to an integrated coastal area and river basin management (ICARBM) should also be seriously considered as “in this catchment, the environmental threats can endanger potential marine and coastal ecosystems of high ecological value” (Programa Estado de la Nación, 2007, p275). Indeed, the coastal area including part of the marine area should be fully integrated in the management of the river basin, as “[t]he coastal area is an essential component of the river basin. The two areas are linked through a number of natural and socioeconomic processes” UNEP/MAP/PAP, 1999, p.vii) such as cycle of water, sediment transport, human activities (either positive or negative). For example, in the case of the Ballena Marine Park, phosphate is carried by the Térraba river into the park along with sediments which smother the corals (Sierra et al, 2006, p.21).

In the case of the wetlands it seems obvious that their integration into a broader framework of the river basin is necessary, as underscored by many documents based on the Ramsar Convention.
Regarding integration of marine protected areas (MPAs), as underlined by Cicin “[c]oastal and ocean governance systems are often designed without consideration of MPAs. On the other hand, MPAs are often designed and implemented without recognition of the larger system within which they are located” (Cicin-Sain and Belfiore, 2005, p848). The integration of the Ballena Marine Park could also be considered, within a potential integral management plan for the Térraba-Sierpe basin.
A strong case should be made for participation and the subsidiarity principle (Global Water Partnership, Technical Advisory Committee, opt.cit, p.33) and for implementing an IRBM plan (Jaspers, 2003, pp83-84). Participation could be included to cover two aspects of IRBM via: participation in specific river basin institutions; participation in different environmental, land-use decision-making processes. Subsidiarity would entail a more decentralised decision-making process to the lowest level to be included. In the specific field of the environment, active and organized public participation in decision-making and action is required by the law on the environment and its implementation is incumbent upon the State and the municipalities. In Costa Rica, the existin g basin commissions lack legal powers and they do not have any decision-making competencies. Most of these commissions are created by decrees, with the exception of the Commission for the river Reventazón (Schramm et al, 2001, p80). This Commission, created by law, has its own legal personality but is attached to the Ministry of the Environment.

In the specific case of the Térraba-Sierpe basin, a commission, PROTERRABA, was officially set up in 2009 after a ten year ‘pre-commission’ existence (Decreto No.34945-MINAET, October 2008).
The main objective of the commission is to promote sustainable and integral development of the Térraba river basin (Article 4, id). At present, this commission only has an advisory role and does not have any real coordination or planning role in the basin. As far as participation of the PROTERRABA commission is concerned, the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders is required during working sessions of the Commission, at least on paper. However in practice this does not seem to be the case, with people being unaware even of this commission’s existence. (See page 52 of M9.2 Costa Rica). (. The new National Development Plan also mentions that only governmental institutions and the UNA have taken part in the commission (Ministerio de Planificación Nacional y Politica Económica, 2010, p210) calling for a strengthening of the institution but without specifying how. PROTERRABA could deliver the impetus required to initiate an effective integrated river basin management, provided that it benefits from robust decision-making competencies. These competencies are required so that it can become both a true participatory mechanism and gain recognition as a key actor within the basin. Different institutions act in the river basin, ranging from the MINAET-SINAC in charge of the different protected areas, municipalities in charge of granting land-use certificates, to the Ministry of Agriculture in charge of monitoring the use of chemicals. Regarding institutional integration, an improvement of the coordination mechanisms (Global Water Partnership, 2000, p45) is desirable so as to avoid inconsistencies and overlapping of competencies within the basin.
Costa Rican people also have the ability to play an effective role in promoting IWRM at national level, through their right to a referendum. This right was recently exercised with respect to the draft law on integrated management of water resources. Facing a major political stalemate, civil society decided to put forward this project to the National Assembly (see www., alas, unsuccessfully.
New planning tools may also be required, such as a strategy clearly identifying the vision and objectives of the integrated river basin management, for both the short and long term, along with a basin action plan (Global Water Partnership and International Network of Basin Organizations, 2009) drawing from the guidelines produced by the Global Water Partnership. The scenarios elaborated under the LiveDiverse project could provide relevant inputs for such documents. One of the main problems that can affect a river basin are the numerous and different sources of environmental threats, which can accumulate along a river. In order to manage, prevent and correct the overall impact of these threats, specific tools need to be implemented. One of the major tools for this purpose is the environmental impact evaluation. Two evaluations are relevant in the context of integrated water resources management: firstly, the cumulative impact evaluation, which takes into account the cumulative effects of a project and secondly, the strategic impact assessments. Both evaluations are provided for in Costa Rican environmental legislation, providing a meaningful tool for assessing the impacts of the El Diquís hydropower project.
From an analysis of the existing law and policy governance system, it is evident that the area is facing a range of issues that have the potential to negatively affect its biodiversity and ecosystems.
However analysis of the present system also demonstrates that Costa Rica has laid down a fairly extensive national legal and policy framework. Clearly, while the existing framework is not perfect in every detail at least it aims at conserving its natural richness and at ensuring the respect of fundamental human rights, such as the right to the environment. Activities likely to impact natural resources negatively are regulated so as to prevent their effects and mitigate their threats, through processes like environmental impact assessment. The one major gap identified is the failure to linkthe applicable laws adopted and their actual implementation. Indeed, despite being a fully-fledged framework, its effective implementation is facing many challenges mainly due to apparent competing interests.
Several barriers to the effective implementation of the relevant laws and policies have therefore been identified, including the following inconsistencies:

(i) between environmental priorities and other matters, particularly economic development;
(ii) further compounded by contradictory political commitments, an incoherent institutional structure and the lack of long-term policy guidance;
(iii) embodied within a legal framework which is outdated in certain areas, resulting in contradictory implementation.
Moreover, even if judicial decisions acknowledge noncompliance or enforcement failure, they suffer from a lack of respect from the administration concerned. With respect to environmental law, the fuzzy allocation of responsibilities between national administration and local authorities in charge of land use planning and access to natural resources has created many conflicts, especially in the coastal zone area. Despite being a critical tool to prevent environmental damage, the environmental impact assessment process pays the price for the conflicting interests among environment and development.
Indeed, both the El Diquís hydropower project and pineapple expansion epitomise difficulties in striking a balance between meaningful respect of environmental and human rights on the one hand and the national economic priorities of a country on the other. Finally, the fragile wetlands ecosystem downstream not only suffers from its own conservation failures, but also from all the above implementation and enforcement issues experienced upstream (M9.2 Costa Rica report).

3.2 Recommendations for India

There are significant problems in Maharashtra and the Indian case area with respect to both the content and the implementation of the existing law, both in regards to livelihood protection and to the conservation of biodiversity. In general, support for the conservation of biodiversity is better entrenched in the legal and institutional framework than the protection of local livelihoods. The main actors identified in the LiveDiverse project are perceived to be more focused on the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of environmental quality; they are also seen to have significant links to national and global networks. However, while environmental protection and biodiversity conservation may be more apparent in legislation, it appears that these strengths are undermined by qualitative problems that limit their effective application. Activities at the local scale escape much of the regulation imposed on larger projects. For example, small scale mining requires no prior environmental clearance unless it sits within the 10km boundary of a protected area. The evaluation of projects requiring the felling of less than 40ha of trees avoid close scrutiny or the application of the factors that may limit the scope for felling permits. Statistically (Mines, 2010), this means that 66% of licensed mines beyond this 10km wide buffer zone require neither full forest felling permits nor prior environmental clearance. The irrigation of sugar cane plantations, other than those linked directly to the construction of the big dams, are also unregulated. Cumulatively, it is impossible to gauge the impact of these projects and activities on water quality in the Warana basin because there is no monitoring network for the entire river and biodiversity conservation is not assessed. The impact of these practices on groundwater resources, those that many in the basin rely on for drinking water, is also uncertain, although concern has been raised about the impact of fertilizers on groundwater bodies in the area by the Groundwater Survey of India.

Part of the problem seems to be that although the Indian authorities are able to draw upon similar enforcement tools to those available in more developed countries, the standards that are encapsulated in the relevant legislation are insufficient to allow effective implementation. The environmental financial assurance scheme, for example, makes no attempt to connect the potential damage from particular mining activities to the funds provided for rehabilitation. This consequently leaves default liability for remediation with the public purse, or instead may simply mean that environmental rehabilitation is not funded and the land remains barren and useless to local people for the long term future. It is also clear that even if the standards of environmental recovery required by legislation were enforced diligently, the re-establishment of self-sustaining ecosystems would still be unattainable in the short to medium term because the quantitative focus on planting simply trees neither reflects best practice nor provides the best basis for environmental regeneration.

Legislation also fails in a number of other key respects. Decision-making criteria, for example, in relation to approval of tree-felling permits, are insufficiently clear, exhaustive or definitive. This is partly a function of the relationship between effective law and clear policy. Policy making in areas related to the conservation of biodiversity, environmental protection and the development of local livelihoods are mutually contradictory, despite the appearance of many integrative statements in these documents. It is clear that there is an awareness that these areas of policy development need to be prepared in a way that brings otherwise mutually antagonistic interests together, but in practice this coordination does not take place in any meaningful way. This may be: (i) because of the lack of cross-sectoral institutional coordination that is so pervasive; or (ii) through the absence of regulatory organizations that have the power to oversee resource management across the board as, for example, caused by the split between the ministry of the environment and forestry resulting in the lack of a comprehensive water resource managing agency. In the latter case the absence of such an agency results in the cumulative impact of intensive agriculture on, for example, watercourses, drinking water and aquatic ecosystems, being ignored from an institutional perspective.

The interests of local people may also be detrimentally affected by what might be described as excessively development-favouring provisions within the legislation that is not fairly balanced regarding the administrative capacity of local enforcement agencies. Where turnaround time of administrative permits is specified in legislation, regulated activities may be allowed to continue despite their damaging effects. This is a difficult area however, as Indian public authorities have acknowledged problems with human and financial resource availability. Binding corporate or public income generation bodies to the capacity of government agencies could potentially strangle economic development. A balance therefore needs to be found that aids financial development in a way that serves both local populations and environmental concerns without imposing undue pressure on enforcement capability. In turn, regulatory authorities must have powers and capacity commensurate with their responsibilities that can be used with the levels of transparency required by existing sectoral legislation and the Right to Information Act.

The major economic actors in the Warana basin are, to some extent, regulated in ways that bear little relation to the protection of the local environment or its inhabitants. It is in encouraging however that recent advances in the mining and forest legislation will allow scheduled tribes to derive greater income from mineral extraction and potentially allow them greater security to stay in the forest.
Whether these safeguards will continue to be effective in the face of increasing external pressures from the national and global levels is more questionable. On balance, national policy favours rapid economic development, believing that existing ecological and social conditions can be replicated over the short to medium term. As has been shown, however, the standards that are being used to achieve these replication objectives are not fit for purpose. Without effective institutional coordination, clear policy signals and transparent regulation, local people will continue to be ill-served by regulation and the deterioration and reduction of critical ecosystems will be prolonged (M9.2 India report pp.44-46).

3.3 Recommendations for South Africa
There are multiple challenges in ensuring that conservation areas within the Mutale River case study area serve the dual purpose of biodiversity conservation and sustaining livelihoods. The LiveDiverse project has also shown that there is a strong connection between the law and policy architecture and the relevant actors’ networks, with both being dependent upon eachother. The ‘perfect‘ law and policy architecture will not be implemented unless it is sensitive to the dynamics between key stakeholder groups and interests. Similarly, actor networks will not be able to develop shared agendas without there being an equitable and legitimate law and policy framework in place by which competing interests can be reconciled. More specifically the analysis has indicated a number of issues where the existing law and policy architecture, and its implementation (through actors and institutions) might be strengthened.
At present Makuya Park, Lake Fundudzi and the UNESCO Vhembe Biosphere all suffer from not having formal status under any national law, either NEMPA or the National Heritage Resources Act. As the analysis shows, there are multiple reasons for the lack of legal status. Within the case of the UNESCO Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, the reserve per se falls out with the criteria of established protected areas under NEMPA. In the cases of Makuya and Lake Fundudzi, both satisfy the criteria for NEMPA, and the Lake would also fall under the National Heritage Resources Act. However, it has been shown that competing interests, lack of capacity in provincial government, and a complex legal process are the root causes by which these sites have not been afforded legal status. The lack of legal status is a serious concern. Evidence shows that without formal declaration, threats from tourist development and mining are omnipresent. Additionally, the lack of legal arrangements between the range of stakeholders within Makuya Park has led to mistrust, tensions and claims of inequitable benefit sharing. Past practices and conflicts amongst Makuya stakeholders make the process of establishing an agreement based on principles of community based natural resources management difficult.
Two key relationships must be addressed for Makuya to be managed in an equitable and legitimate manner. Firstly, a co-management agreement must be established, which pursuant to NEMPA, provides an effective balance between the communities, traditional authorities and government. The need for such an arrangement is not in dispute, but the analysis of actor networks demonstrates that the drive towards agreement has been delayed due to resistance from the communities. For this resistance to be overcome, expectations over who will benefit from the park, and how, must be reconciled. Fundamental to this process will be to establish a transparent and equitable mechanism by which benefits from the park filter down to the entire community. Brokering such agreement may require third party intervention, which is able to reconcile competing expectations from government, traditional authorities and the communities. A further important aspect of this process will be to manage expectations concerning the benefits that might accrue from community based management of the park.
Secondly, a key relationship that must be managed is one between Makuya and the Kruger National Park. As noted in the actor network analysis, different policies – especially relating to hunting – have led to tensions between Kruger and Makuya management authorities. The lack of a clear memorandum of understanding between Kruger and Makuya raises the risk of such tensions.
Addressing the issues will be difficult, whilst hunting is permitted in the Makuya Park. Given that there is no fence between the two parks, trying to manage opposing policies, is inevitably likely to lead to difficulties. If Makuya is promoted, as being part of the Kruger National Park, and the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, the justification for having opposing policies on hunting becomes even more problematic. While at a minimum, a clear memorandum of understanding between Kruger and Makuya is needed, aligning Makuya more closely with Kruger might lead to greater benefits in terms of additional funding, scientific and technical assistance, raised profile, and so forth. Such advantages would have to be outweighed against the loss of hunting concession revenue.

A clear recommendation for Makuya Park and Lake Fundudzi is that they should be formally declared as a matter of urgency. However, as the analysis has shown, power asymmetries amongst key stakeholders, and a complex legal process, means that such a process is still likely to be lengthy even if prioritized – as Makuya has been in LEDET. How therefore can the process be strengthened?
One option would appear to be by raising the profile of the protected areas to national and even international status. Makuya is adjacent to the Kruger National Park, and forms part of the GLTFCA, accentuating these facts may help accelerate the process of declaration. Similarly, a question could be raised over whether Lake Fundudzi might be afforded some international recognition, for example, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Clearly, there are a number of unique characteristics of the Lake, which could be the basis for building a case around.

A further recommendation would be to strengthen the legal protection afforded to conservation areas that are in the process of being formally declared – this would be especially important given that formal declaration is such a lengthy process. One way in which such legal protection could be strengthened, would be to clearly include areas such as Makuya in the category of “an area … regarded as having been declared”, under Section 1 of NEMPA. However, the latter process should not be seen as a means to circumvent the lengthy but crucial process by which the relevant land is vested with the rightful owners, and stakeholders are consulted. A better option might therefore be to provide interim legal protection to areas that are in the process of gaining formal status under the relevant legislation. Such protection could provide a moratorium on activities that would threaten the conservation of the area, at least until the formal process of declaration has been undertaken.

In addition, the analysis of Lake Fundudzi, Makuya Park and the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve has demonstrated that, whilst these areas all constitute conservation areas within the Mutale River Basin, the existing and potential governance frameworks applicable to them vary. The Vhembe Biosphere Reserve is even by its title called a ‘reserve‘ and has received international status through UNESCO.
However, the Biosphere does not receive any protection – in its own right - under NEMPA. The only protection that is afforded to it comes from the ‘core areas‘ that have already been declared under NEMPA, the National Heritage Resources Act, or other relevant legislation. It may be that, because the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve fall outside these legal instruments, the profile of the reserve suffers.
For example, more advertising, signage, active campaigns, etc. would certainly help raise the profile of the Biosphere Reserve, but to date the attention placed on the Reserve has been limited. In the case of Lake Fundudzi, the site could potentially fall under the National Heritage Resources Act or NEMPA, but currently has not been formally declared under either. Similarly, Makuya could fall under NEMPA or the Limpopo Environmental Management Act, but has not been declared under either. This therefore raises the question of whether adopting a more coherent national legal framework for “conservation areas” might help streamline a number of interrelated declaration processes. Ultimately, greater coherency might also shorten the lengthy process of declaring an area protected, and ensure that certain areas do not fall through the cracks (M9.2 South Africa report: pp33-36).

3.4 Recommendations for Vietnam

During the past 20 years, the global trend towards less centralized, command and control processes in protected areas and more subsidiarity and participation of local communities, has been steadily growing, spurred by international organizations and NGOs. Vietnam is not an exception and it has gradually set up a new framework for natural resources management and conservation, opening up new opportunities to individuals and communities (e.g. allocation of forests’ rights). The ongoing trends in the case-study area and in the country are following implicitly the same direction, encouraging and supporting a greater involvement of local communities. As such, the future recognition of Ba Be as a Ramsar site will require better participation of communities in its management. Along similar lines, the implementation of the national policy of payment for environmental services will also call for more involvement of communities. Therefore major changes needs to be introduced, not only to directly increase community participation especially minorities (by finding new or improved mechanisms to overcome the top-down participatory process), but also, indirectly, by providing them with new tools to manage and conserve resources while benefiting from their conservation and management.

Despite progress in its governance and decentralization reform, Vietnam still supports a top-down participatory and representative system, along with a centralized management of resources. These domestic factors need to be kept in mind as they could provide the building blocks for the introduction of new activities or proposals. Despite rapid changes in environmental and social conditions, the process of instigating institutional and legal changes remains slow. The revised legal and policy framework lays down the foundations required to improve governance and management of protected areas, despite loopholes and shortcomings.

Since its ratification of the Ramsar convention in 1989, Vietnam has only declared two Ramsar wetland sites of international importance within the whole country. But Ba Be has been regarded as a priority on the wetlands agenda of Vietnam since the beginning of 2000 (Viet Nam Environment Protection Agency, 2005, p.31). In its decision related to inland water conservation zones, the government mentioned Ba Be among the conservation zones with specific objectives for 2016-2020.
Since 2008, the Environmental Agency with the support of Birdlife International has been preparing the registration of Ba Be as a Ramsar site (Viet Nam Environment Protection Agency (VEPA), 2008, p.8). In November 2010, the government agreed to register Ba Be on the list of Ramsar sites, and in March 2011, Ba Be National Park eventually joined the list of wetlands of international importance, thereby becoming Vietnam’s third Ramsar site (Ramsar Secretariat, 2011).

In the case of the Na Hang dam, there should be some possibility that EVN (Electricity of Vietnam) pays for the environmental services described in the new scheme. Such a proposal has already been made following the PARC project (IUCN, 2002) but so far, local communities have not benefited from any direct support. Nevertheless, the main beneficiaries of PES would be the forests’ owners, (individuals or communities that have been allocated forests rights) but in Na Hang, no forests rights have been allocated in special-use forests. The implementation of PES would first entail the allocation of forests’ rights before those communities or individuals could benefit from the payments.
The second possibility for communities or individuals to benefit from PES, would be through tourism. Pursuant to the new policy on PES, organizations or individuals providing tourism activities would have to pay for environmental services. In both cases, it can be difficult to clearly identify whose communities or individuals are actively acting so as to provide or secure environmental services. Moreover, payments should be an incentive to involve people so that they give up their illegal practices such as illegal logging or wildlife hunting. Greater allocation of forests’ rights to communities should be advocated rather than to individuals. Two main reasons can be posited. First collective action to provide an environmental service is more efficient than scattered individual actions. Secondly encouraging communities to benefit from PES can deter individual illegal behaviours which can result from an imbalance between those who benefit from payments and other who are excluded for lack of forests’ rights. The amount of PES should also be high enough to deter communities from exploiting the resources and to allow them to find alternatives for their livelihoods. PES should primarily support communities living inside the protected areas, as they are (should be) the more active in conserving biodiversity, limiting erosion, compared to communities living in the buffer zones. But communities living in the buffer zones should be offered incentives not to encroach on the park area or exploit its non timber forests products and wildlife to make a living. The integrity of the protected area is dependent on the sustainable conservation and management of the buffer zone. Indeed, the new decree on special-use forests specifies that the management board of special use forest (thus protected areas) takes responsibility to “implement measures to attract buffer zone communities’ cooperation in managing special-use forest and implementing buffer zone investment project” (Article 34.2.a, Decree No 117/2010/ND-CP of 24, December 2010 on the organization and management of special-use forests).

Governance of protected areas can take several forms. The common typology acknowledged worldwide encompasses governance by government, governance by local and indigenous communities, governance by private property owners and co-management (shared governance) (IUCN's World Park Congress, 2003). Within the case-study area, shared governance needs to be further examined as a win-win solution for both biodiversity conservation and livelihoods. The overhaul of the protected areas’ status can trigger new opportunities for a greater involvement of communities in the project (to create a new protected area) and subsequently in the management board of the park. Besides, the recognition of Ba Be as a Ramsar site can also prompt the involvement of local people both in the decision-making process and in the daily management of the park, but the latter will require a greater allocation of forests use of rights to both individuals and communities inside the protected areas and in the buffer zones. This will also be necessary if a meaningful implementation of PES is to happen. But allocating more forests’ rights of use is nevertheless different from improving the ‘shared governance‘ or co-management, of protected areas, even if there is national political will to allocate more forests’ rights use in special use forests and protection forests, to individuals and communities pursuant to the amended Program 661 on reforestation (Decision No.100/2007/QD-TTg of July 6, 2007 amending and supplementing a number of articles of Decision No. 661/QD-TTg of July 29, 1998, on the targets, tasks, policies and organization of implementation of the project on planting 5 million hectares of forests, p.6). (M9.2 Vietnam report: p38 onwards).

4. General Recommendations

As noted in the previous section, the project’s main recommendations differ somewhat from case study to case study. General recommendations based on the project’s outputs include:

1. If livelihoods for local people are to be increased while at the same time protecting biodiversity, local people must not only be included in discussions on the management of the protected areas, but concrete, short-term benefits for them must also be funded and included in management plans.
2. Proposals to increase livelihoods must be backed up by schemes that provide training and funding for small-scale projects such as sustainable and eco- tourism development.
3. If the depletion of ecosystems that are attractive for sustainable tourist development is to cease, local people must be offered alternative sources of income.
4. Measures to protect local ecosystems must include stronger monitoring and implementation of legal and policy systems. For this, significant investment in law enforcement is necessary.
5. Local authorities must provide active and genuine support for small-scale developments as well as larger improvements of infrastructure.

An important policy-relevant conclusion is that while research projects such as LiveDiverse can help to identify potential sources of sustainable development and provide the scientific expertise that can motivate such developments, they need:

• To be tied into potential funding schemes from the very beginning.
• To be given the mandate and provided with funds from the research funders (such as the EU) to engage actively in the implementation of their results.
• To include partners who are willing and able to engage actively with policy-makers, stakeholders and the public.

Potential Impact:
The potential impact of LiveDiverse
LiveDiverse has increased available knowledge regarding the promotion of sustainable management of the environment and its resources, by providing new insights into the interactions between ecosystems and human activities. LiveDiverse has also furthered the development of methodological tools and frameworks that will address, in an integrated way, global environmental issues and their impact at regional and local levels. Emphasis was placed, through the use of integrated scenarios, on prediction of biodiversity and livelihoods systems changes, on tools and on technologies for monitoring, prevention, mitigation of and adaptation to environmental pressures and risks including on health, as well as for the sustainability of both natural and man-made environments.

The outputs of the LiveDiverse project will positively contribute to the implementation of international commitments, protocols and initiatives concluded by the European Union and Member States such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Convention in Biological Diversity, the UN Convention on Combating Desertification, the International Strategy for Natural Disaster Reduction, the Kyoto and Montreal protocols and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Global Earth Observation System of System initiative (GEOSS). In addition the project has addressed the research needs arising from existing and emerging EU environmental legislation and policies, and the implementation of the 6th Environmental ActionProgramme, associated thematic strategies and the action plans, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the EU Water Initiative, the EU Water Framework Directive, the Green paper on Towards a Future Maritime Policy for the Union, the Environment and Health Action Plan (2004-2010), the Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP), the European Climate Change Programme II, and Thematic strategies on air pollution, pesticides, soil, waste, urban environment, marine environment and sustainable management of resources. Especially important is the Commission Communication on Halting the Loss of Biodiversity by 2010 (COM(2006)216).
The project will have a significant impact on the development and implementation of methods to engage end-users, stakeholders and the public. The project has also developed linkages with the scientific community, policy-makers, managers, end-users and the general public. This has demonstrated how solid foundations for the uptake of research results at the policy level can be formed, as the research outputs responded to actual problems identified by the stakeholders themselves, based on a collaborative process between various social groups and the LiveDiverse consortium. LiveDiverse has also made a contribution to improving methods that facilitate the communication and uptake of information and the participation of social groups, both within the context of EU and developing countries. Stakeholder and social group workshops, focus groups, household surveys, and interviews with key stakeholders were all utilised, as appropriate, to ensure constructive engagement. Particular attention was paid to ensuring the effective participation of vulnerable groups, such as women, minorities and the poor, in the process.
Environmental research and activities such as biodiversity, and ecosystems also have an interdisciplinary character which LiveDiverse addressed via cross-thematic activities that contributed to the expectations and objectives of other thematic priorities concerning: research into biodiversity and ecosystem services-related complementary research; in particular, the Theme Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology; the Capacities programme under the Research Infrastructures activity. LiveDiverse further contributed to the sub-activity of assessment tools, where there are strong connections with the Theme "Socio-economic sciences and humanities", particularly in the Cooperation specific programme regarding: sustainable production and consumption patterns; the engagement of civil society; the interplay between the three dimensions of sustainability environmental, economic, and social). The Communication highlights 'The Knowledge Base' as one f the four key policy areas for action in order to meet high level EU commitments to halt the loss of iodiversity and secure the recovery of natural systems and habitats. LiveDiverse WP2 specifically ocused on improving the knowledge base, and the database produced in WP2, together with thework in WP8, provided a valuable contribution to our knowledge of conditions in the four case areas.
As part of 6.2, Sustainable Management of Resources, LiveDiverse has also contributed to the growth of knowledge for the sustainable management of resources, conservation of biodiversity and sustaining of ecosystem services, and the creation of sustainable consumption patterns in order to reduce the environmental impact of resource use. Through the scenarios in WP8 a contribution is made to the prediction of the dynamics of ecosystems and their restoration, and the mitigation of degradation and loss of important compositional, structural and functional elements of ecosystems (for biodiversity, water, soil and marine resources). Research activities during the project have also addressed sustainable forest management and waste management. LiveDiverse also developed and evaluated assessment Tools for Sustainable Development through the: development of the scale for Biodiversity and Livelihoods in WP4; refinement of the Environment Vulnerability Index (EVI) in WP5; development of an integrated approach using GIS mapping and scenarios with inputs from ecological indicators, socio-economic indicators and methods to examine cultural-spiritual vulnerability. LiveDiverse also developed tools and knowledge to support the policy process in its objective to: decouple economic growth and environmental degradation; to promote sustainable production and consumption patterns; and to support the engagement of civil society organisations in research for sustainable development.
Identification of correlation between livelihood and biodiversity in case study areas There are questions of which reasons cause biodiversity vulnerabilities in each case study area and whether livelihood differences are the main reason. In the case study areas, the following livelihoods exist as summarized below:
- Livelihood based on natural resources exploitation: Ba Be-Na Hang Complex (Viet Nam).
- Livelihood based on high intensification of commodity production with high productivity.
- Other livelihoods such as trade, big commodity amount importation in Costa Rica and South Africa are considered as risks of large-scale biodiversity vulnerability.
The study results indicate a close correlation between livelihood and biodiversity. In the developing countries, however, such as Viet Nam and India, livelihoods based on natural resources and natural forestry eco-system exploitations are identified as main reasons of biodiversity vulnerability.
Whereas, in the other countries, biodiversity vulnerabilities are indirectly suffered from the natural resources uses and other livelihood activities such as goods importation, and confliction between purposes of economic development and conservation.
Proposal of relevant policies for case study areas based on environmental vulnerability The LiveDiverse project identifies reasons and aspects of potential vulnerabilities in each case study area. These are much important and necessary information which help the regional and national managers in giving solutions and policies aiming to mitigate environmental vulnerabilities in future.
The study results suggest the key issues which should be more focused for mitigating biodiversity vulnerabilities in specific area. In Terraba basin (Costa Rica), the most important vulnerability issues related to volcano risk, large amount of freight imported, losing unique species, large number of species introduced and excessive use of pesticides. In Mutale basin (South Africa), areas of greatest vulnerability would be large amount of freight imported, endangered species, low proportion of terrestrial reserves, and frequency of conflicts. The main issues that Warana basin (India) might be considered in relation to its environmental vulnerability were: habitat fragmentation, use of agricultural fertilisers and high human population density. Meanwhile, the highest vulnerability issues in Ba Be- Na Hang Complex (Viet Nam) related to endangered species, and extinctions. On the basis of such identifications, the government of each case study area should necessarily release relevant and concrete policies in order to contribute to mitigating the living environment reduction and biodiversity as well.
Emergent Analytical Framework for biodiversity and livelihoods Studies about how the natural environment is used often focus on the utility of the resource rather than the reasoning behind the use of the resource. The reasoning behind why people do the things they do is a dimension which is often more difficult to pin-down and measure as it deals with intrinsically personal and emotional issues such as belief systems. To include this dimension in the research one therefore need to develop a process that incorporates a variety of disciplines from both natural and social sciences that also looks towards the integration of different knowledge types, for example technical and local knowledge. The reason for the inclusion of different types of knowledge in ones research is to specifically ensure that local knowledge is included in solutions for communities. Without local knowledge as a cornerstone of such solutions there, it is very difficult to ensure the community’s acceptance and if need be adoption of said solutions. Yet despite the need described here for integrated research between different knowledge types and disciplines, it is still viewed as a difficult task which needs further investigation.
The Emergent Analytical Framework (EAF) suggests a more efficient and inclusive way of studying beliefs, perception and attitudes in relation to biodiversity and livelihoods. The EAF includes improved methodologies that help researchers include different epistemologies in the creation of knowledge as well as including these different types of knowledge in the analysis thereof. Therefore research being done in this way is inclusive of multiple voices consisting of both science and society.
By doing more efficient research and being able to include different kinds of knowledge and complex social issues, better implementation plans for development options and the like can be developed where one can be assured that knowledge and world views are not imposed and that solutions to these complex problems are internalised and accepted by communities as theirs and not something imposed from the outside.

Belief scale
The Belief Scale (BLS) follows in the footsteps of its forerunners who sought to provide an instrument to examine differences in environmental beliefs across different cultures. The BLS has built on this work by comparing belief systems in four different contexts across the world. The research shows that the BLS is an interesting, and fairly inexpensive tool that can give useful insight to researchers into the way in which people think about themselves, their livelihoods and their ways of doing. Ideally it should be used in conjunction other methods, especially with more qualitative methods.
Potential application of vulnerability matrix
A detailed picture of the cultural-spiritual practices in an area may allow the identification of linkages between those practices and other factors and allow the assessment of ‘if-then’ scenarios with respect to various developments. Vulnerability is in relation to often unstated changes, and here we treat vulnerability as that arising out of or with respect to specific developments important to that particular area. In that case a full bio-physical, socio-economic and cultural-spiritual profile of the community should allow us to assess vulnerability. However, as noted previously, there are well established methods of identifying and quantifying such vulnerabilities in the case of bio-physical and socio-economic aspects, while there are no such accepted methods in the case of cultural-spiritual vulnerabilities. The vulnerability matrix is an attempt to develop such a methodology. What we have here is a matrix with the rows representing different components of the cultural-spiritual practices and the columns representing drivers/factors relevant to that area/community. It may be emphasized that this does not have the same kind of generality that bio-physical indicators of vulnerability have, as it differs from them in the two following ways:
1. Each of the columns is a conjectural and in that sense historically contingent factor/driver.
2. The component of observer assessment and related subjectivity is comparatively higher.
However, such vulnerability mapping could be a useful tool for: (i) supplementing the vulnerability mapping of bio-physical and socioeconomic vulnerabilities; and (ii) devising developmental policies to minimise vulnerability (D7.1 report). As already highlighted, unlike bio-physical vulnerability, there is no tool for quantifying cultural-spiritual vulnerability. Hence the driver based vulnerability matrix was suggested as a possible methodological tool that could go some way towards such quantification and could simultaneously serve as a tool for assessment of scenarios and policies.
Thus it should be seen as an ‘experimental’ and tentative tool that needs further refinement. We need to see the methodology as an evolving one and we have only made a beginning and needs further work. More specifically we need to do the following: a) standardise the factors/drivers, b) standardise the various aspects/dimensions, c) standardise the weights, and d) devise methods to capture perception of vulnerability by the community itself. The vulnerability matrix that has been developed may also become a tool for the assessment of various scenarios and policy options. Interactions between the cultural-spiritual practices of a community and bio-diversity may be broadly classified into two kinds of interactions. In the first kind of interactions, we may trace interlinkages through which cultural-spiritual practices depend upon biodiversity, and in the second kind of interaction we may see interlinkages through which cultural-spiritual practices help or hinder preservation of biodiversity. On the whole we find strong interlinkages whereby cultural-spiritual practices depend on biodiversity, though the degree of this dependence varies between the regions studied and also to the kind of practices. However, at the same time we find that the reverse linkage, that is the dependence of biodiversity on cultural-spiritual values are not correspondingly strong.
Lessons drawn from project regarding stakeholder interactions A number of lessons may be drawn from the range of interactions that took place during the project’s lifetime. Table 4 summarizes the main challenges of stakeholders’ interactions within research projects and how the LiveDiverse project dealt with them.

[Table 4 Main lessons regarding project-stakeholder interactions (from Guignier and Rieu-Clarke, 2011)]

Socio-economic impact
The project’s findings (see Bouma, 2011) suggest that whereas biodiversity protection is currently creating livelihood trade-offs in most of the sites, synergies would be possible when local livelihoods and nature conservation could be more directly linked. For example in Ba Be national park and Na Hang nature reserve in Vietnam, making communities more directly responsible for conservational outcomes, and rewarding them for their efforts through payment mechanisms or a granting of more flexible user rights is expected to help improve biodiversity protection and reduce negative livelihood trade-offs. In the Terraba-Sierpe wetland in Costa Rica, effective representation of local interests in protected area management and the decision making at other levels seems crucial to avoid further conservation-development trade-offs. In Chandoli national park in India, displacement of local communities for park establishment increased socioeconomic vulnerability and created large livelihood trade-offs. Re-granting local communities access to the protected area could help reduce the adverse impacts on local livelihoods, but effective co-management seems unlikely since the perceived legitimacy of the park is low. Finally, in Makuya Park, South Africa, park establishment created trade-offs during Apartheid, but at present the dependence of local livelihoods on the protected area is rather low. Hence, better management of the park is unlikely to generate clear livelihood benefits, although the non-protected part of the ecosystem does play an important safety net role.
In all four sites, income poor and food insecure households perceive the direct collection of products from nature as more important for their livelihoods than non-poor households, and at the same time they feel less able to influence protected area management and decision-making at village scale.
Hence, involving the poor in protected area management and local decision-making is crucial for improving biodiversity protection and avoiding negative livelihood trade-offs.
The findings also indicate that the potential for co-management and direct linking of local livelihoods to conservational outcomes does not only depend on livelihood-nature linkages and the type of park management but also on household ethnicity. Minority ethnicity households are less willing to cooperate with park management, probably because household (and village) ethnicity influences trust in park officials, representation of household interests in decision-making and the perceived legitimacy of the park. Further research is required to elaborate the potential for co-management in the study sites and the factors driving ecosystem degradation and biodiversity depletion at local and regional scale. Given the heterogeneity of the sample and lack of time series data we could not evaluate how people’s livelihoods were affected by protected area establishment and what the causalities between poverty, local livelihood and the use and management of the ecosystem are. Still, the analysis has succeeded in giving a broad overview of the possible poverty-livelihood-nature linkages and an understanding of what it requires to create conservation-development synergies in the LiveDiverse study sites. For more information about the findings of the household survey, please see Bouma et al. (forthcoming).
The main conclusion from the socioeconomic analysis is that the design of biodiversity conservation policies should not follow simple templates – which all trends provide to a degree –but should be much more reflective of the local context. Below we provide some attention points for such reflective design:
• Biodiversity protection and livelihood improvement do not necessarily go together, and when conserving nature special care needs to be taken to avoid negative livelihood effects, especially for the poor. There is evidence that poor people do not benefit from improved resource management, but instead bear most of the costs.
• Community co-management may improve biodiversity protection and help avoid negative livelihood trade-offs, but only if people have a clear incentive to contribute to conservation, if their user rights are formally acknowledged, if they are willing to collaborate with park management, if community interests are well represented at higher governance levels and if the interests of poor and powerless are safeguarded at community scale.
• Stakeholder and community involvement should not serve to sell certain preconceived ideas about biodiversity conservation, but should be used to actually discuss them and tailor them to local circumstances.
• Fixed assumptions about communities should be avoided. Villages are not necessarily communities, and when a community exists one cannot assume that they are unitary actors, but one needs to look for vault lines in communities and take them into account.
Main dissemination activities Dissemination was of central importance to LiveDiverse given that the project pursued an international application. Dissemination activities were conducted at the international level as part of WP1, and at a national level within the case study areas as part of WP4. Reliance was placed on the LiveDiverse partnership due to their contacts within national and international organisations around the world which were utilised in order to ensure that LiveDiverse research activities and outputs were widely disseminated globally. Joint publications, flyers, newsletters, etc. and capacity building were an important aspect of LiveDiverse activities. Through the various workshops and project meetings the project partners aimed to increase general awareness of LiveDiverse, build capacity and demonstrate the applicability of LiveDiverse research to their target groups. A strong focus of the dissemination activities undertaken was to also aid the implementation of EU laws and policies related to sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity, as well as relevant national laws and policies aimed at the promotion of sustainable natural resources. The development of an interactive LiveDiverse website (D1.1) also played an important role in the dissemination and exploitation of project results. The website has proved invaluable to LiveDiverse partners and others as a tool to access research, and also for providing feedback and discussion on LiveDiverse activities. Other dissemination activities included the wider publication of relevant material and collective learning materials.

The LiveDiverse Communication Strategy (December 2009) provided an overall strategy for communication throughout the LiveDiverse project lifecycle. The strategy identified five types of audience, for communication and relevant methodologies, as follows: a) Other scientists; b) Other projects; c) The mass media; d) Stakeholders and the public; e) Policy makers. Full details of the LiveDiverse communication activities and plans at different levels are provided in the WP1 supplementary document, the LiveDiverse Communication Plan (December 2010). See also Figure 3 which provides a graphic representation of the LiveDiverse communication strategy.
The project’s main communication and dissemination outputs included:
• Project communication and advisory processes were established and managed for the LiveDiverse Advisory Boards (LAB) in each of the four case study areas. Preparation, organisation and chairing of the annual LAB meetings, drafting of meeting reports and sustaining a continuous dialogue with LAB, as well as developing progress reports to relevant end-users was maintained throughout the project period..
• Dissemination of results throughout the project period. Development of the interactive LiveDiverse website for project and non-project participants, meetings and discussions with end-users, stakeholders and the public, and the production of printed materials and collective learning materials.
Results uptake and capacity development to ensure the widest possible uptake of the project results, and contribute to capacity development initiatives.
• The development of an efficient and operational interactive project web-site (Month 3).
• A plan for communicating, using and disseminating knowledge (Month 9).
• WP2: developed and maintained a database with ecological, socio-economic and cultural-spiritual data from the four case areas, and facilitated the access of this data to a wide group of users.
• WP 3: developed and implemented methods to engage end-users, stakeholders and the public in the move to sustainable livelihoods and diversity, and to secure their involvement and empowerment in the LiveDiverse project.
• Project-wide development of dialogues and fostering of linkages between the scientific community, policy-makers, managers, end-users and the general public within the context of the LiveDiverse project, in order to ensure effective development and uptake of the project outcomes.
• Three Stakeholder workshops took place, providing two-way information exchange and dissemination with social groups in regional languages.
• WP 8: interacted with the public for the development of the scenarios and aided development of methods to discuss the scenarios with stakeholders, end-users, the public and civil society representatives in a participatory manner (WP4).
• WP 9: Provision of recommendations for policy formulation, implementation and forms of institutional interaction that take into account the true social (economic and non-economic) value of diversity (biological and cultural).

[Figure 3 LiveDiverse – depiction of overall communication strategy]

Consideration of gender aspects
Following on from the intent stated within Annex 1 of the LiveDiverse DOW document (see p79) gender equality was promoted during the LiveDiverse project through actions related to both the project consortium and project activities aimed at a wider public. Within the project consortium efforts were also made during the application process to promote gender equality and continued during the term of the project. Out of the eight project partners, two teams were led by women (CSIR, UNIVDUN) and conscious efforts were made to promote the employment of women, where possible, when recruiting new staff for the project (e.g. PhD students, research assistants, Masters students). Consortium meetings and WP meetings were planned so that both men and women could reconcile work and private life. Awareness raising within the consortium was encouraged through: (i) the inclusion of workshops focusing on gender issues at the consortium meetings and (ii) through the creation of a gender perspective section on the LiveDiverse interactive website. This part of the website was made accessible to others so that the wider public could participate in and contribute to an ongoing discussion.

Exploitation of results
LiveDiverse was a research project and as such has not produced new products that can be exploited.
However, the project has already led to the formulation of project proposals which will directly improve livelihoods and biodiversity protection in the case areas and project partners will continue to apply for funding for the implementation of project results.

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