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Poverty and Reefs

4.2 Responding To Changing Livelihoods

Livelihood security of the poor and vulnerable dependent on reefs can be split into three component parts: (1) the diversity of alternative livelihood opportunities the poor have access to; (2) the strength of livelihood support systems, such as government welfare or health, which provide a safety net in times of hardship or crisis; and (3) the health of the reef system that the poor are dependent upon. Each of these three components exist as a continuum as shown in Figure 30. The poor are frequently faced with a situation where there are few alternative livelihood opportunities available to them, support systems or safety nets are weak and the reef benefits on which they depend are eroding. The effectiveness (in terms of poverty reduction) of the intervention approaches discussed below need to be viewed in terms of the changing circumstances of the poor. As the livelihoods of poor reef stakeholders become increasingly vulnerable, interventions to address poverty and reef-related issues need to consider each of these three components of livelihood security in order to make a meaningful and sustainable impact.

The following sections examine current reef-related interventions and discusses how successfully they have addressed the causes of increasing vulnerability and enhanced the livelihood security of poor reef stakeholders.
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