Biodiversity for Sustainable Development

Case Studies - Biodiversity for Development

SCBD case studies

The establishment of an on-line database of case studies demonstrating the links between biodiversity, poverty alleviation and economic development is one of the expected outcomes of the initiative. Case studies are an important source of information and knowledge for the environmental community and are useful to the work of the Convention. The Secretariat of the Convention has been compiling a large number of case studies over the years in accordance with various COP decisions.

The user can either consult the SCBD database or contribute to the initiative by submitting new case studies to the Secretariat.

Best practices and lessons learned on the Chennai Guidance for the Integration of Biodiversity and Poverty Eradication

In COP12, the Parties to the Conference welcomed the Chennai Guidance for the Integration of Biodiversity and Poverty Eradication (decision XII/5, Annex). By notification 2016-078 dated 9 June 2016, the Executive Secretary invited Parties, international organizations, indigenous peoples and local communities to submit information on the best practices and lessons learned with respect to the Chennai Guidance. Summary of submissions received synthesis of lessons learned is presented in the document for COP13 (UNEP/CBD/COP/13/10). The full submissions are available from the following link.

Other Resources

Below is a series of hyperlinks to online resources proposing case studies related to biodiversity and development (case study databases and list of case studies). If you are aware of other existing data bases with free access that could be displayed on this web page, kindly contact the Secretariat at

The content and views expressed on these websites do not necessarily reflect the views of the Secretariat nor do they imply any endorsement. Resources are presented in alphabetical order.

Conservation International (CI) and partners

This database is presented in the form of a global map. The information provided summarizes economic valuation activities as they relate to coral reef and surrounding ecosystems estimated at global, regional and site-specific levels. It displays a range of efforts currently underway to value coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses. The website accompanies a 2008 publication titled: “Economic Values of Coral Reefs, Mangroves, and Seagrasses. A Global Compilation”.


Earth Collective eyes4earth
Nature Valuation & Financing Case Study Database

“CaseBase lists numerous “case studies” worldwide aimed at improving our use of natural resources. The studies in the database support eyes4earth's aims of increasing awareness and understanding of the role of “ecosystem services” (…) to health, wealth, well-being and livelihoods”.


Earth Trends

The Earth Trends Database is not a case studies database and does not directly touch upon biodiversity. “This resource explores the dimensions of human well-being through a combination of maps, datasets, resources, and short articles on the linkages between poverty and the environment”.



Eldis is a group which aim is to share the best in development, policy, practice and research. It provides selected online documents from more than 7,500 different publishers. Managed by the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex, Great-Britain


Environmental Valuation Reference Inventory (EVRI)

“EVRI's abstracts of valuation studies outline the pertinent valuation issues and results necessary for a researcher to identify the best candidate studies for a potential benefits transfer. There are six main categories of information, contained in more than 30 fields. (…) The infobase is accessible only to registered subscribers who have a valid user ID and password. (…) Residents of Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States are provided with free one-year, renewable subscriptions”.


Equator Initiative

The Equator Initiative is an online tool that provides users with information and resources on innovative community projects working at the interface of biodiversity and poverty reduction around the world. The “Equator Knowledge Zone allows searchable access to the complete network of nominations for UNDP's Equator Prize and highlights the remarkable work being undertaken by communities to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.”


Global Environment Facility's Small Grants Programme

“Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as a corporate programme, SGP is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (…) the overall SGP project portfolio comprises 60% biodiversity, 20% climate change, 6% international waters, and 14% multi-focal issues”. The database can be searched by thematic areas, by region or by country. Descriptions of the project remain very basic.


Growing Diversity

Growing Diversity’s main objectives are: to provide a forum for discussion and sharing of experiences; to contribute to the empowerment and strengthening of the groups involved; to increase awareness on the central importance of biodiversity in rural livelihood systems; to promote the local management of biodiversity within the wider context of rural development and policies. The database is structured by region: West Africa, North Africa, Southern & Eastern Africa, Asia and Latin America.


Indigenous and Community Conservation Areas (ICCAs) Database IUCN

“(…) detailed information is being generated concerning location, natural resources, cultural values, etc. of individual ICCAs accross the world. There are, as of now, 140 entries in this database”.


IUCN (list of case studies)

IUCN’s Forest Programme proposes a short list of case studies


IUCN biodiversity economics online library (list of case studies)

“This site is devoted to the economics of biodiversity. The site is sponsored by IUCN and WWF and aims to promote economic approaches to the conservation of nature by providing access to key documents, a calendar of events, and a database of practitioners around the world. (…) The Biodiversity Economics library provides an archive of documents on a range of environmental economic issues”.


Katoomba Group (list of case studies)

“(…) The East and Southern African Katoomba Group embarked on an assessment of existing payment for ecosystem service (PES) deals that could be expanded or replicated in other sites (…). The purpose the assessment was to improve the understanding of the development and potential for PES initiatives in select countries within the East and Southern Africa region (…). The end goal is to contribute both to conservation and rural economic development, including poverty alleviation objectives”.


LEAD (Economic development, Poverty alleviation, Natural resource management & biodiversity)

Economic development (list of case studies)

“The case studies expose a variety of different programs and often, a review of their impact on policy making in developing countries. Issues related to intergovernmental cooperation and private/NGO involvement are revealed”.

Poverty alleviation (list of case studies)

“Explores a number of opportunities and challenges for programs that work in the area of poverty alleviation. From the Canadian Territory of Yellowknife to the rainforests of Brazil, a number of innovative programs are displayed. The case studies attempt to provide an overview of the actions initiated by various governments and non-governmental organizations to reduce poverty”.

Natural resource management & biodiversity (list of case studies)

Proposes a number of case studies related to natural resource management & biodiversity.


Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (SANREM) Collaborative Research Support Program

“The SANREM Knowledgebase (SKB) is a collection of information resources (books, reports, journal articles, videos, movies, presentations) produced or identified, classified, and summarized by SANREM CRSP researchers”.

“The SANREM CRSP has negotiated an Associate Award with USAID/EGAT to conduct a study of payments for environmental services (PES) programs in developing countries in collaboration with the BASIS CRSP”.


Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment (SAIEA) - Impact Assessment Case Studies From Southern Africa (list of case studies)

"Twenty case studies are presented here as examples of best practices in Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment. The examples are drawn from six southern African countries and cover a range of projects including mining and exploration, power generation and transmission, water developments, industrial and rural development programmes, marine telecomms and wildlife conservation".

Access SAIEA's list of Impact Assessment case studies

University of Manitoba Centre for Community-Based Resource Management (CBRM)

The CBRM Case Study Database, a gateway to selected literature on community-based resource management. “This online tool provides searchable access to hundreds of cases including papers in scientific journals, book chapters, case studies, and Masters and PhD dissertations”.



“Tools presented (…) include step-by-step (HowTo) instructional guides; analytical and decision-making analysis framework & modeling tools; case studies and best practices; social and economic assessments or approaches; and monitoring, evaluation and research tools. Links to tutorials regarding the basic science or theory behind a tool are also provided”.


Watershed Markets

“On this site you can view and and download a number of case studies from affected regions, and a detailed analysis of the results of those studies. The site also contains links to further resources, and contact details for further information”. Case studies focus on the services provided by watersheds and on market mechanisms set to increase these services.


WBCSD Ecosystem case studies

The WBCSD's Ecosystem Focus Area promotes the development and uptake of best practice mitigation and market-based approaches that support the sustainable management and use of ecosystems services. Information provided in each case study is complete and well structured.


World Fish Centre (list of case studies)

Proposes a list of case studies and success stories. The WorldFish Center, an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization, carries out research-for-development to improve small-scale fisheries and aquaculture.


World Tourism Forum (WRI)

“The World Tourism Forum brought together 302 concrete cases of best practice in 82 countries which illustrate that it is possible to use the transforming force of tourism to generate Peace and Sustainable Development”.