Impacts of AIDS on natural resources and conservation capacity

  • Natural resources: There are several reports of impacts on natural resources due to AIDS. When households are caring for AIDS patients they often use more water, fuelwood and medicinal plants. When households lose their main salary earners and agricultural labor, they may turn to natural resources for alternative livelihoods, extracting more resources such as fuelwood and wild foods to sell or consume (e.g. Barany et al. 2005).
  • Land use: AIDS may result in changes in land use – abandoning land, grabbing land (e.g. from widows and orphans), using it in different ways – for example, an increase in fires has been reported because households have lost labor to clear land.
  • Conservation organizations: We know that AIDS is having huge impacts on conservation organizations, who are losing significant capacity. For example, a WWF/government project in Central Africa lost 3 of 10 senior staff. AIDS has financial costs to conservation organizations, for example due to sick leave, funeral costs, and costs associated with new recruitment and training.
  • Communities: We also know that communities are losing capacity for natural resource management because of AIDS – communities are losing community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) champions, and have less time for resource management because of caring for the sick and developing alternative livelihood strategies.
  • Indigenous knowledge: We have verbal reports that indigenous knowledge is being lost, as active adults die before passing their knowledge about land and resource use on to their children.

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Date CreatedTuesday, November 11, 2008 2:56 PM
Date ModifiedWednesday, March 30, 2011 9:24 AM
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