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‘Economic progress need not come at the expense of wildlife’

Growing national economies need not spell bad news for the wildlife of low and lower-middle income countries, according to new research

Growing national economies need not spell bad news for the wildlife of low and lower-middle income countries, according to new research

A study by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and University College London compared bird and mammal populations in 33 countries against their wider socio-economic trends over the last 20 years.

The analysis of the developing nations found consistently positive relationships between economic growth, gender-parity in governments, and abundance of wildlife. The study’s lead author, Judith Ament, said the research indicates that economic progress need not come at the expense of conservation. It “underlines the need for further integration of sustainable development strategies” she added.

Not all wildlife saw benefits. Dr Chris Carbone of ZSL noted that improved water sanitation and treatment had a negative impact on water bird populations, for example. “It’s only by understanding these relationships that we can mitigate them,” he said.

Image: Monika P

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