The LiveDiverse Project Concept: Sustainable Livelihoods and Biodiversity

Society is faced by a plethora of challenges; from poverty reduction, health improvement, conflict resolution, biodiversity protection, retaining cultural diversity and achieving sustainable livelihoods. In many parts of the world these issues come into conflict with each other, and mechanisms for conflict reconciliation need to be developed. LiveDiverse concentrates on the interface of livelihood and biodiversity, and as such it will produce knowledge that will contribute to improving and assessing value- based strategies to promote sustainable livelihoods and lifestyles. It will also contribute to understanding of how the vulnerability of livelihoods can be reduced, especially in rural marginal areas, while at the same time conserving and husbanding biodiversity. This includes securing income for people in these rural marginalised areas. LiveDiverse will develop new knowledge on the interactions between human livelihood and biodiversity. The number of participants and the volume of resources have been determined in order to maximise the overall objectives of the project, and are compatible with the manageability of the whole endeavour. LiveDiverse is primarily a medium-scale focussed research action with a strong emphasis on dissemination and the constructive engagement of a broad selection of social groups and their governmental and non-governmental representatives. Collaboration with the major stakeholders is a central and integrated aspect of LiveDiverse from its first initiation in order to enable serious consideration and uptake of information generated in the project. The aim of LiveDiverse is 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. 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 will therefore contribute to the development of policy instruments and tools for conflict reconciliation, conflict prevention and conflict resolution. The loss of diversity that we are now faced with is both a biological and cultural issue.

Deceases in biological fauna are matched by decreases in cultural diversity. Globalisation has resulted in both improvements and problems for nature and society. Original species and cultures have been threatened by the spread of species from other parts of the world, and by the global cultures that have developed during recent decades. 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. LiveDiverse takes a sustainable approach to research and development, and dissemination activities, and the training of young researchers within the project, have a high priority. It is our ambition that each individual LiveDiverse participant will inspire and educate at least one to two new individuals who will continue the LiveDiverse work after the termination of the project.