The general scientific objectives of LiveDiverse, supported by the European Commission under FP7 Biodiversity values, sustainable use and livelihoods, are to develop new knowledge on the interactions between human livelihoods and biodiversity in riparian and aquatic contexts in four developing countries (Vietnam, India, South Africa and Costa Rica). There is strong emphasis on dissemination and the constructive engagement of a broad selection of social groups and their governmental and non-governmental representatives. The analysis of biodiversity values, sustainable use and livelihoods (biodiversity governance) within the project adopts vulnerability as a unifying concept, taking the point of departure in the concepts of biodiversity and livelihood vulnerability. Vulnerability will be considered from a combination of bio-physical, socio-economic and cultural/spiritual perspectives, where human ability to conserve and husband biodiversity while at the same time achieving sustainable livelihoods is of vital importance.
The analyses of areas will analyse vulnerability in terms of biophysical, socio-economic- legal, and cultural/spiritual issues. Maps of these three perspectives will then be constructed in each case study and incorporated into a GIS system. These maps will identify biodiversity and livelihood hot-spots, that is, places where there is a high risk (according to natural science criteria), and a low capability (according to the socio-economic, law and policy criteria). Finally, biodiversity and livelihood scenarios will be developed. These scenarios will take into account the main perspectives; biological diversity risk, socio economic ability and cultural perceptions to cope with effects of this risk. Working in a 15-year perspective, the scenarios will examine future possible trends, threats and developments in order to formulate strategies and policy to meet the needs of both biodiversity and livelihoods.