Equity & Livelihoods


The international trade of biological resources is on the rise. Trade in medicinal plants alone is expected to be over USD 800 million per year. A major portion of this is sourced from unorganized sectors that directly support rural livelihoods in a considerable way. Development is conventionally defined in terms of economic growth, and usually does not account for “informal” sectors such as traditional health delivery systems. The specific skills, capabilities and resources possessed by communities can be utilized to achieve development objectives in their contexts. Traditional knowledge and resources from an ecosystem are parts of supply chains of products (e.g. medicinal products, raw materials) and services (e.g. health care, nutrition).

When income is generated and distributed equitably from such activities, it can provide an incentive to conserve such knowledge and resources, while also resulting in better health and nutrition outcomes. This facilitates community-based enterprises that utilize traditional medicinal resources and products and streamline relevant policies related to access to resources and equitable sharing of benefits arising from its utilization (ABS).

Relevance for the Sustainable Development Goals
Links to current proposed goals to

  • End hunger, improve nutrition and sustainable agriculture
  • Attain healthy life for all
  • Promote inclusive and sustainable growth and full and productive
    employment, decent work for all
  • Reduce inequality within and between countries
  • Promote sustainable consumption and production patterns

Relevance for the Aichi targets

Target 2: Integrating biodiversity in multi level development planning
Target 3: Incentives and subsidies for sustainable use
Target 14: Sustain ecosystem services for the vulnerable
Target 16: Equitable sharing of benefits
Target 18: Respect and integrate traditional knowledge, innovations and practices

Case Study: Muliru Farmers Conservation Group

The Muliru Farmers Conservation Group (MFCG)- Kenya from Equator Initiative on Vimeo.