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Side Event

Avoiding negative social impacts: applying the "do no harm" principle to conservation

WCPA/CEESP Protected Areas, Equity and Livelihoods Task Force, CARE International, The Nature Conservancy

Date and Time
23 May 2008 18:15 - 19:45

Ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 9)

Increasing interest in linkages between conservation and poverty is leading to the development of principles and standards designed to maximise the potential for conservation activities to contribute to poverty reduction, and avoid negative social impacts that might exacerbate poverty. These efforts frequently make reference to the "do no harm" principle. Originating in the medical professional, this principle has now been fairly widely applied to humanitarian assistance in the Developing World, particularly in conflict siutations. But what is the meaning, and what are the implications, of the "do no harm" principle when applied to a conservation context? This session addresses this question with an overview of the "do no harm" principle and its application to humanitarian assistance, case studies illustrating different dimensions of social harm in a conservation context, and then a substantial discussion.