Zero Hunger

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Alternative Livelihoods Framework: Beyond the Risks and Stress Relief

  • Suzana Djordjević-MiloševićEmail author
  • Jelena Milovanović
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69626-3_8-1




The word “livelihood” can be used in many ways. The following definition captures the broad notion of livelihoods understood here: “A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks and maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base.” (Adapted from Chambers and Conway (1992) Sustainable rural livelihoods: Practical concepts for the twenty-first century, IDS Discussion Paper 296. Brighton, IDS) (DFID 2001).

Alternative livelihood

It is a term for solutions that aim to provide sustainable way of living to individuals, families, and communities with at least equivalent benefits comparing with the current ones (Noronha 2019).

Alternative Livelihoods Framework

It is a way of looking at the complexity of people’s livelihoods, especially the livelihoods of the poor in both rural and urban areas. It seeks to understand the wider contexts of the alternative livelihoods instead of looking for any kind of solution to mitigate risks imposed by an individual but critical problem such as poverty or an urgent need for conservation and similar.


The above-mentioned definition of a livelihood can be applied to different hierarchical levels, although it is most commonly used for the household one. It is of utmost importance to recognize variations in wellbeing and access at an individual or internal level, as well as at the broader contexts of the, for example, extended family, the social group, and the community in general to which they belong (DFID 2001).

A livelihood could be explained through the assets (natural, physical, human, financial, and social capital), the activities, and the access to these (mediated by policies, institutions, and social relations) that together determine the earnings gained by the individual or household (USAID 2017a). Following this logic, livelihood could be diversified. Diversification refers to those individual, household, and community level strategies which are based on traditional way of generating income (activities for securing food for instance) which, if diversified, can be less risky and susceptible to new challenges imposed by the changes in the environment (climate change, policy change, or changes on the market, for instance). Livelihoods diversification of rural households, for instance, is the approach promoting more than one income stream across on-farm, off-farm, or a nonfarm work, etc. (USAID 2017b) or an alternative to livelihoods which are either not providing sufficient income, or it is not welcome anymore since compromise the future of the community thanks to degradation of resources they depend on or are simply subject of social agreement to ban them due to adverse effects of various kinds.

This term Alternative livelihood is used in many contexts and most commonly refer to:
  • 365体育网站Shifting population from illegal to legal activities

  • Substitute existing legal livelihood activities with new ones that are less threatening to the environment (mitigating risks of natural resources degradation – water, soil, and air or impoverishing and overexploitations of flora and fauna, extinction of species and similar

  • 365体育网站Add value to raw materials to reduce pressure on local resources or simply increase income of individuals, families or communities managing certain natural and human capital, etc.

  • 365体育网站Mitigate poverty and improve the nutrition, health of the local population, etc.

Alternative livelihoods often encapsulate various broad categories and approaches which, if related to farming communities for instance, might include (Noronha 2019):
  1. 1.

    365体育网站Pursuing multiple, diversified income streams

  2. 2.

    Moving from cultivating illicit or harmful crops to legal sources of income and

  3. 3.

    Replacing agriculture-based income with other sources (USAID 2016).


For the purposes of various situations, alternative livelihoods might include various incomes. Alternative livelihoods approach has a cross-sectoral character which is much more complex, than sectoral one. For instance, in rural areas agricultural on-farm incomes-based livelihoods are supplemented by, mainly nonagricultural to enable individuals, households and communities to have economic options ensuring they are more resilient when shocks and stresses occurs.

Solutions chosen within the alternative livelihoods framework do not necessarily take care about the other aspects of importance. For instance, nature conservation alternative livelihoods were not always selected and promoted while taking care about societies that survive on targeted natural resource or a fighting against poverty was not always counting the environmental capacity to support new livelihoods. The newer sustainable livelihoods approach, however, is looking for the complex trilateral sustainability as it is by its nature, to provide longevity of solutions to be implemented.

Rights and Livelihoods Approaches

Humanity is still arguing about the relation of human rights and livelihoods approaches. The simplified approach insists on the benefits of indigenous rights over the conservation, exposing rights and livelihood approaches on to the environmental battlefield. However, the rights approach to development is often criticized since its framework provides limited guidance for prioritizing between the rights of present and future generations. This is mainly because human right approach brings absolute right as an acceptable standard of living for poor, meaning that they can also choose livelihood strategies that exploit their environments to reduce poverty unsustainably. This makes critical that rights and livelihood approaches converge and evolve to support creation of sustainable livelihoods, which will be capable of not just mitigating but eradication poverty while conserving future of the humanity (USAID 2016).

Livelihoods Strategies

Livelihood strategies are the range and combination of activities and choices that people make in order to achieve their livelihoods goals/outcomes (Manlosa et al. 2019). Dependent on their resource base and their understanding of the options available, different categories of households develop and pursue different livelihood strategies (Roche 2007). Design of alternative livelihoods strategies starts with external view identifying what people lack without analyzing strengths and potentials. In the opposite, the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach combines different assets that are available to them. This includes financial assets, but human, social, physical, and public or natural assets are also considered. The ways in which people combine their assets to support themselves and their families, and the decisions and choices that they make within the context in which they live, are what make up their livelihood strategy. The approach sets out to understand these strategies and the impact of both internal and external factors upon them. The final stage of the approach is to identify the constructive steps that could be taken to improve an individual or family situation further up the livelihood ladder, starting from their own experiences and building upon their existing strategies, to enable them to make their livelihoods more secure and sustainable.

People’s livelihood strategies depend on the range of social, financial, human, physical, and natural assets that they possess, or have access to, as well as the context within which they live. Poorer people are likely to have a smaller and less diverse asset base and are more vulnerable to the impacts of shocks, seasonality, and negative trends. They are also less able to engage in or influence policies, decision making, and other factors in the external context that can affect their access to assets and their vulnerability (Fauna & Flora International 2013).

Sets of economic and other development activities which must be identified as the operational part of a livelihood strategy should follow rather territorial than sectoral framework and be oriented to maximize the retention of benefits within the local territory by valorizing and exploiting local resources – physical and human. That means that applying of holistic approach and then developing sectoral strategies (such as sustainable agriculture or tourism strategy) out of the overall local economy development process is much more appropriate. Alternative livelihood activities should reflect and be focused on the needs, capacities, and perspectives of local people, which means that ownership and responsibility for bringing about its own socio-economic development is with creators of the strategy. Objectives of the strategy should be realistic, which does not mean that they should not be challenging. Collaborative arrangements between public, private, and voluntary sectors should be included with clear responsibilities over every single activity. While certain individual actions could be planned by individual experts, strategic planning requires full bottom-up participatory approach, based on a participatory process in full consultation with local communities and organizations (Djordjević-Milošević and Milovanović 2014).

Alternative Livelihoods Projects

Alternative livelihood project interventions that aim to reduce the prevalence of activities deemed to be environmentally damaging by substituting them with lower impact livelihood activities that provide at least equivalent benefits (Wright et al. 2016365体育网站). A large number of short-terms and long-terms programs or projects focused on the poor and related to alternative livelihoods, sustainable livelihoods, livelihood diversification, and similar issues have been implemented or are being implemented in the world. There is no consensus among the relevant stakeholders on which of the aforementioned leading terms most fully encompasses the complex, often contradictory, requirements and conditions of the local population, the legal system, and the environment, ensuring the realization of successful sustainable projects. There is neither much reliable data nor analysis of the effectiveness of the realized projects and their sustainability after that, yet some lessons learned could be observed.

An essential prerequisite for designing the successful project related to alternative livelihoods is the realization of a strong independent analysis at all levels – regional, national, and international, of: key socio-economic trends; way of shifting political, economic, and institutional pressures; social relations – conflicts and inequalities, which significantly determine the opportunities and constraints for different social classes within and beyond the population currently in focus (Fauna & Flora International 2013).

Designing the project involves defining goals, objectives, and processes. The project goals may be shaped by the country and local/regional strategies and as much as possible to build the existing strengths, activities, and relationships.

During designing process of the project, it is necessary to (Townsley et al. 2014):
  • Pay attention to the livelihoods of those who are not poor using livelihoods research to study poverty

  • 365体育网站Pay attention to the time-scale which is relevant for an assessment of whether particular combinations of modes of livelihood are indeed “sustainable,” for whom and by what criteria

  • Reflect explicitly throughout on the respective advantages and disadvantages, the potential and the limitations, of applied method or methods of research, appropriate for the effective conduct of livelihoods research

  • Pay attention to the views of a range of stakeholders, including local people

The clear goals, objectives, entry points, processes, and principles and values of engagement of partners should be defined, based on the previous analysis and identified gaps and in collaboration with partners and other relevant stakeholders.

Application of Alternative Livelihoods Contexts

365体育网站The Alternative Livelihoods Framework is used in numerous and diverse projects around the world. The following examples are a brief presentation of several main areas of application.

Shifting Population from Illegal to Legal Livelihood Activities

The concept of alternative livelihoods has been utilized extensively by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as well as the international community as a basis for their work in shifting local population from illicit drug crop cultivation to the alternative source of income. The aim of a project in Afghanistan was to identify market opportunities for livestock and livestock products and constraints to producers receiving higher returns from livestock products as a viable alternative to poppy production. As a result of the previous worst drought, livestock numbers have decreased dramatically and cheap imported frozen chicken share for almost one-third of the meat sold. It is concluded that there is considerable scope for the livestock subsector to contribute to the economy in Afghanistan. There is a need to design effective restocking schemes with appropriate credit packages. There is also considerable scope to add value to animals by feeding them to higher live weights and selling them at times of the year when prices are high. To achieve this effectively, there is a need to provide short term credit and to conduct on-farm trials with different breeds and diets (Euan et al. 2005).

Recent increases in illegal wildlife hunting and trading have attracted international attention, particularly of high-value endangered species vulnerable to illegal international trade. A recent report by the United Nations Environment Programme notes that illegal hunting of different species demand diverse strategies, including demand reduction campaigns, use of anti-money laundering regulations, development of surveillance networks, and increased use of force (Nellemann et al. 2014). Previous studies have concluded that people hunt illegally because they are financially poor or lack alternative livelihood strategies. However, there has been little attempt to develop a richer understanding of the motivations behind contemporary illegal wildlife hunting (Duffy et al. 2016).

Illegal logging is one of very important causes of deforestation. The development and promotion of alternatives is one of the main community-based initiatives to address unsustainable utilization of forest resources. The major alternative livelihood activities promoted in forest communities can be grouped into three broad categories, namely forest-based, forest-related, and nonforest-based activities. The forest-based activities include, but not limited to, agroforestry technologies, medicinal plants gathering, nursery production, and forest enrichment planting. Other activities can include snail rearing, mushroom cultivation, bee keeping, grass cutter rearing, and similar. Forest-related livelihood activities may also involve temporary or permanent employment opportunities such as forest guards, boundary cleaners, plantation developers, load bearers, and stock survey laborers (Euan et al. 2005).

Substitute Existing Legal Livelihood Activities with New Ones that are Less Threatening to the Environment

Expansion of primary sector is still possible with introduction of environmentally friendly livelihood activities that involve sustainable management of land, waters, pastures, and forests. Indigenous knowledge is very important for that purpose. Struggling to survive, traditional people have built strong awareness of environmental issues important for the modern society which have lost the track. Indigenous knowledge has few very important aspects. One is traditional relation with nature – respect towards natural resources which are providing their survival. Another one is represented by variety of techniques for providing efficient management of resources to satisfy own needs (Milovanović and Djordjević-Milošević 2016). Some alternative livelihood activities developed thanks to the indigenous knowledge are described below. Alternative livelihood projects have been implemented at the community level to reduce hunting through the provision of protein and income substitutes to wild meat. However, there is scant evidence of these projects’ impact on hunting practices and wildlife populations (Wicander and Coad 2018).

High Nature Value Farming (HNVF) combines several factors that have influenced the evolution of farming and led to the highly diverse vegetation, habitats, and landscapes (Matin et al. 2020). These are predominantly based on low-intensity farming systems which often involve a relatively complex interrelationship with the natural environment. They maintain important habitats both on the cultivated or grazed area (e.g., cereals steppes, and semi-natural grasslands) and in features such as hedgerows, ponds, and trees, which historically were integrated with the farming systems. The semi-natural habitats currently maintained by HNV farming are particularly important for nature conservation (Djordjević-Milošević and Milovanović 2014). Environmentally friendly agriculture providing livelihoods for rural population can maintain social structures as well as cultural landscapes, flora and fauna – all results of a symbiotic relationship between nature and human activities (Nemes 2005; Marja et al. 2014).

Genetic Resources Conservation is very closely related to alternative livelihoods framework. Preservation and protection of biological diversity, including genetic diversity, in addition to preserving the environment, represents the most important mission in the global environmental and nature protection on Earth. Loss of agrodiversity is followed by abandonment of traditional farming practices, making lots of landscapes and belonging biological diversity within semi-natural plant communities shaped through NHVF practices vanish or degraded (in particular those linked to extensive grazing). The most critical are situations in lowland and mountain zone due to agriculture intensification and abandonment of grasslands. Negative ecological impacts associated with the decline of traditional types of farming can be recorded as following negative effects (Milovanović and Djordjević-Milošević 2016): loss of grassland biodiversity, changes in wetlands vegetation, and loss of autochthonous animal breeds. Increasing extensive livestock production has been identified as one of the key tools for reversing biodiversity loss and ecological degradation. Maintaining of the traditional animal husbandry is also necessary due to the threat of pollution for water courses which is deriving from modern agriculture. Well-adapted old livestock breeds fit in local farming low-input traditional systems and are capable of providing of raw material for attractive traditional products with exceptional taste and get premium prices in niche markets and agrotourism. Raising awareness of forest owners and users about the importance of conserving genetic diversity can significantly contribute to environmental protection and rural livelihood improvement. Conservation priorities set by the community represent the best strategic approach for forest genetic resources management especially when we have in mind various threats such as climate changes (Milovanović et al. 2019; Šijačić-Nikolić et al. 2014).

Nonwood forest products or NWFPs include “goods of biological origin other than wood, derived from forests, other wooded land and trees outside forests” (FAO 1999). As such, these are mostly seen as medical and edible plants, aromatic herbs, mushrooms, berries, honey, resin, moss, sand, peat, etc. (Pettenella et al. 2006) but it also includes wildlife management and hunting and recreational and sports fishing. Limitation of traditional collection practices while intensification of agriculture is impossible due to scarce natural resources has caused in general two processes – degradation made by illegal exploitation of natural resources or abandonment of marginal rural areas. Pressure imposed on fragile nature was decreased, yet ecosystems dependent on human presence and activity started dying out. Numerous rural landscapes have lost their diversity and beauty, making rural areas less attractive and productive. These phenomena in modern times require new models for managing wildlife. Strong emphasis should be given on helping local peoples to obtain secure rights to their territories and the corresponding natural resources, while identifying appropriate practices to manage them in sustainable manner. Connecting better local natural and wildlife utilization with local nonfarm economy through rural tourism might be a key for success of small subsistence farmers on marginal lands with limited agriculture production which are living in valuable natural environment (Milovanović and Djordjević-Milošević 2016; Harbi et al. 2018; Shanley et al. 2016).

There are many examples of the promotion of alternative livelihoods for coastal communities and small-scale fishers, especially the introduction of various forms of mariculture. Alternative livelihood as a solution to overfishing has been proposed for more than two decades. For example, alternative income sources such as seaweed farming as one type of incentive to reduce fishing pressure as long as they are attractive enough to reduce full-time fishing (Crawford 2002). Tree plantations are also an example of a threat-based livelihood alternative to the felling of trees for fuelwood in natural forest areas (Yanggen 2006).

Organic production basic standards of International Organization of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) clearly define agro-ecological principles, based on establishment of dynamic biological correlations within ecosystem (energy flow, water circulation, mineralization) and ecosystem which include high agro-biodiversity and high natural biodiversity in general. Organic agriculture is by default multifunctional which besides food production also include nonagricultural products and services (old handcrafts, summer schools, holidays, recreation) which all represent fundaments for development of agro-bio-tourism with elements of cultural, recreational, health, and gastronomic tourism (Janiskee and Radovanović (2004) through Lazić 2010; Qiao et al. 2018).

Rural Tourism is defined as a tourism that offers visitors a “rural environment,” enabling him to experience a combination of nature, culture, and people. This implies that a visitor enjoys the authentic, original experiences and return to the roots, or the essence of the rural way of life. Rural tourism involves a range of activities and services that organize the population in rural areas. It is based on the principles of sustainability and a set of elements that contain the country’s environment, natural resources, and the traditional hospitality and environmental values of local residents of various nationalities and religions that have developed a specific way of life, culture, and relationship with nature. It is a personal contact with nature that makes the adventure of rural tourism so unique (Djordjević-Milošević and Milovanović 2014).

Add Value to Raw Materials to Reduce Pressure on Local Resources

There are a line of aspects which could help upgrading production ranging from improvement of production conditions, equipment and tools, raw materials and additives, knowledge and skills, organization of production, standardization of production, control and harmonization, provision of sufficient qualities, continuity of the offer, packaging and declaration, provision of specific quality, branding, optimization of distribution channels, and decrease of expenses. The optimization is connected to establishment of diverse partnerships, although other mentioned aspects in large extent could be solved or improved if partnership is engaged on different levels.

According to Lowe et al. (1995) through Nemes (2005) “closely networked relations between local farms, processors, distributors and retailers make for flexibility in adapting to technological and market changes, but at the same time, allow value-added in the non-agricultural aspects of the food chain to remain within the regional economy, rather than being captured by exogenous, and often multi-national, food companies” (Cooke and Morgan (1999) through Nemes 2005).

On-farm processing365体育网站 for better valorizing agriculture products could be in the focus of small-scale farmer intending to increase profit from his limited possession of agriculture land and other resources instead of specializing in few agriculture crops for increasing efficiency in production which still cannot bring too much. Local networks of farms and households dealing with processing and those dealing with tourism could be further upgrade of the system.

Foodsafety standards and certification scheme365体育网站 performance can give farmers access to key markets and add value for producers, although this effect varies from scheme to scheme. Certification leads to price increases in all parts of the chain and it can be most successful when adequate marketing management capabilities are present.

Waste lands are suitable for more intensive production of timber and nontimber forest products, medicinal plants and wild fruits, fastgrowing agro-energy crops (such as perennial grasses and fastgrowing willow clones, Arandjelovic et al. 2014; Jurekova et al. 2011; Milovanović et al. 2011), mushrooms, and other para-agriculture products deriving from bee-keeping, growing of wild animals (game), fisheries in open waters (lakes and rivers). But some areas cannot stand intensification of agriculture/they require traditional sustainable farming to be kept to preserve the nature and offer some opportunities with introduction of tourism, for instance, and the one is required to be sustainable too not to disturb fragile balance of local community relation with nature.

Mitigate Poverty and Improve the Health of the Local Population

Survival and rehabilitation of the local population is crucial for sustainable development. In many parts of the world, rural livelihoods are closely linked to agriculture, often performed at a smallholder and subsistence level. Nevertheless, rural food producers are ironically and tragically the most food-insecure demographic group (Windfuhr and Jonsen 2005; Lemke et al. 2012365体育网站). Introduction of alternative livelihood activities is providing environmental services at diverse rural areas of tremendous value for its biodiversity conservation as much as represent an important space for creating new employment and eradication of poverty. Diversification of fragile rural economies is the only sustainable way of providing additional income in small rural households through adding value to small farm products as much as though provision of additional employment for households members and better use of available assets.

Small farming households are mostly characterized as poorly endowed with land, capital, and human capital but they dispose of plenty of labor. They are often characterized by the high share of net nonfarm income and the certain higher level of formal education than other strictly farm oriented households, which represent a precondition for nonfarm employment, but also for diversification of on-farm economy which might be more appropriate. They traditionally produce wide range of agriculture products, mostly to meet family food needs, yet the selection of products might not be completely adequate to local environmental conditions to make this production economically and ecologically justified. Small farming households should not be observed just from the economic point of view, but also to look at noneconomic factors which they are also driven by. It is assumed that small farming households act rationally within their given constraints in rural areas, so additionally, socio-psychological aspects should be considered too. Variety of existing types of households which could be identified – rural nonfarm oriented households, rural retired people households, small subsistence, and semi-subsistence farm households – make this job even more complicated (Djordjević-Milošević and Milovanović 2014).

Effectiveness of the Alternative Livelihood Projects

Alternative livelihood projects are used by a variety of organizations as a tool for achieving conservation results. Yet these interventions, including their objectives, vary a great deal, and there is no single accepted definition of what constitutes an alternative livelihood project. In addition, very little is known about what impacts, if any, alternative livelihoods projects have had on biodiversity conservation, as well as what determines the success or failure of these interventions. Reflecting this concern, a resolution was passed at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2012 calling for a critical review of the benefits to biodiversity of alternative livelihood projects (Roe et al. 2015).

Wright et al. (2016365体育网站) recommend use of a sustainable livelihoods approach to: understand the role and function of environmentally damaging behaviors within livelihood strategies; differentiate between households in a community which have the greatest environmental impact and those most vulnerable to resource access restrictions to improve intervention targeting; and learn more about the social-ecological system within which household livelihood strategies are embedded. They recommend to use livelihood-focused interventions that establish a clear link to conservation as a means of building good community relations. According to the authors, the term “alternative livelihood project” should be replaced by the broader term “livelihood-focused intervention.”

Similar Concepts

Beside the alternative livelihoods framework, there are other concepts also well represented in projects and in theoretical considerations. They all have their advantages and limitations. Here are some of the most common contemporary concepts referring to alternative livelihoods.

Sustainable Livelihood Framework

The sustainable livelihoods idea was first introduced by the Brundtland Commission on Environment and Development as a way of linking socioeconomic and ecological considerations in a cohesive, policy-relevant structure. The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) expanded the concept, especially in the context of Agenda 21, and advocated for the achievement of sustainable livelihoods as a broad goal for poverty eradication. It stated that sustainable livelihoods could serve as an integrating factor that allows policies to address development, sustainable resource management and poverty eradication simultaneously (Krantz 2001; Serrat 2017365体育网站). Most of the discussion on sustainable livelihoods so far has focused on rural areas and situations where people are farmers or make a living from some kind of primary self-managed production.

The sustainable livelihoods thinking begun to influence development agencies practice since the 1990s. UNDP was one of the early participants and contributors of this conceptual framework. In 1995 it established a unit in the Poverty Division and the Sustainable Livelihoods Programme remained operational until the late 2000. It is important to note that the livelihood focus still remains in the ongoing Strategic Plan 2014–2017, with emphasis on assets and vulnerability (UNDP 2017).

Sustainable Livelihoods and Poverty

Household livelihood security is defined as adequate and sustainable access to income and resources to meet basic needs (including adequate access to food, potable water, health facilities, educational opportunities, housing, time for community participation, and social integration). For example, livelihoods can be made up of a range of on-farm and off-farm activities which together provide a variety of procurement strategies for food and cash. Thus, each household can have several possible sources of entitlement which constitute its livelihood. These entitlements are based on the household’s endowments and its position in the legal, political, and social fabric of society (Drinkwater and McEwan 1992). The risk of livelihood failure determines the level of vulnerability of a household to income, food, health, and nutritional insecurity. Therefore, livelihoods are secure when households have secure ownership of, or access to, resources and income earning activities, including reserves and assets, to offset risks, ease shocks, and meet contingencies (Chambers 1989; Olsson et al. 2014).

365体育网站The sustainable livelihoods as an asset-based approach to poverty are an ultimate alternative to any of concepts changing livelihood strategies. This approach takes as its starting point not deprivation but assets: the strengths and capabilities of people living in poverty and the strategies they use to “get by” through drawing on these different assets.

The Sustainable Livelihoods Approach has been developed by organizations working in the global South and has been brought to the UK by international development organizations such as Oxfam and the UK government’s Department for International Development (DfID) (May et al. 2009). The approach seems to be relevant within rich and poor countries and with numerous advantages in comparison to simple alternative livelihoods approach.

365体育网站The important aspect of sustainable livelihoods is not viewing poor people as passive and vulnerable people “in need” of external ad hoc assistance, but utilize participatory approach which support them as active agents in shaping their lives. Sustainable livelihoods approach appreciates local knowledge and local people views and explores existing policies and institutional frameworks and their impact while seeking ways to support people to achieve their livelihood goals in a way suitable to their cultures and capitals including the nonfinancial assets on their disposal. Upgrading wherever is possible their existing, endogenous livelihood strategies. The strengths of this approach lie with involvement of people and their experience in coping with poverty to research whether their capacities, skills, health, social networks and access to services, as well as their financial situation can be better utilized or should be improved through a focused and well dimensioned action. The approach is linking efficiently microlevel (people’s daily lives) and the macrolevel (the regional and national policies, institutions, and processes) that have the most impact upon them which makes them create realistic livelihood strategies.

The framework has been developed to help understand and analyze the livelihoods of the poor. It is also useful in assessing the effectiveness of existing efforts to reduce poverty. The full diversity and richness of livelihoods can be understood only by qualitative and participatory analysis at a local level.

Livelihood Restoration Framework

365体育网站The Livelihood Restoration Framework, in principle, sets out the relevant state body program for ensuring that users and/or owners of land or other material goods which the state will require, permanently or temporarily, are fully compensated for their losses of income and/or assets, the livelihoods and standards of living of affected communities are improved or at least restored and all relevant information are disseminated to stakeholders.



  1. Arandjelovic M, Drazic G, Milovanovic J, Aleksic S (2014) Miloproduction of viable Miscanthus gigantheus rhizomes at fertile and degraded soil. Bulg J Agric Sci 20:1189–1194
  2. Chambers R (1989) Editorial introduction: vulnerability, coping and policy. IDS Bull 2(2):1–7
  3. Chambers R, Conway G (1992) Sustainable rural livelihoods: practical concepts for the 21st century. IDS discussion paper no. 296. Institute of Development Studies, Brighton
  4. Crawford B (2002) Seaweed farming: an alternative livelihood for small-scale fishers? Coastal Resource Center, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, USA
  5. DFID (The Department for International Development) (2001) Sustainable livelihoods guidance sheets, UK
  6. Djordjević-Milošević S, Milovanović J (2014) Linking rural livelihood diversity and sustainable development. Faculty of Applied Ecology Futura Singidunum University Belgrade, Serbia 193 p. ISBN 978-86-86859-35-8
  7. Drinkwater M, McEwan M (1992) Household food security and environmental sustainability in farming systems research: developing sustainable livelihoods. Paper presented to the adaptive planning research team bi-annual review meeting, Mangu, Zambia, 13–16 April
  8. Duffy R, St John FAV, Buscher B, Brockington D (2016) Toward a new understanding of the links between poverty and illegal wildlife hunting. Conserv Biol 30(1):14–22
  9. Euan FTh, Chabot P, Wright IA (2005) Production and marketing of red meat, wool, skins and hides in Afghanistan. Macaulay Research Consultancy Services and Mercy Corps, Aberdeen, Scotland
  10. FAO (1999) Towards a harmonized definition of non-wood forest products. Unasylva 50(198)., 1999/3
  11. Fauna & Flora International (2013) Why not “alternative livelihoods”?, Conservation, Livelihoods and Governance Programme
  12. Harbi J, Erbaugh JT, Sidiq M, Haasler B, Nurrochmat DR (2018) Making a bridge between livelihoods and forest conservation: lessons from non timber forest products' utilization in south Sumatera, Indonesia. Forest Policy Econ 94:1–10
  13. Jurekova Z, Drazic G, Kotrla M, Marisova E, Milovanović J, Tothova M, Končekova L (2011) Biological factors influencing the growth and biomass production of willows planted in southern Slovakia. Acta regionalia et environmentalica 2:47–52
  14. Krantz L (2001) The sustainable livelihood approach to poverty reduction – an introduction. Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Stockholm, Sweden
  15. Lazić B (2010) Organska poljoprivreda – zalog za budućnost (Organic production – pledge for the future, Organic news 1, novembar 2010, Serbia organic
  16. Lemke S, Yousefi F, Eisermann AC, Bellows AC (2012) Sustainable livelihoods approaches for exploring smallholder agricultural programs targeted at women: examples from South Africa. J Agric Food Syst Community Dev 3(1):25–41.  
  17. Manlosa A, Hanspach J, Schultner J, Dorresteijn I, Fischer J (2019) Livelihood strategies, capital assets, and food security in rural Southwest Ethiopia. Food Secur 11(1):167–181
  18. Marja R, Herzon I, Viik E, Elts J, Mänd M, Tscharntke T, Batáry P (2014) Environmentally friendly management as an intermediate strategy between organic and conventional agriculture to support biodiversity. Biol Conserv 178:146–154
  19. Matin S, Sullivan C, Finn J, Daire A, Ó hUallacháin D, Green S, Meredith D, Moran J (2020) Assessing the distribution and extent of high nature value farmland in the Republic of Ireland. Ecol Indic 108.  
  20. May C, Brown G, Cooper N, Brill L (2009) The sustainable livelihoods handbook. An asset based approach to poverty, Printed by Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam GB. or . Accessed 2 Sept 2019
  21. Milovanović J, Djordjević-Milošević S (2016) Biodiversity and Rural Livelihood in the Western Balkans. Faculty of Applied Ecology Futura Singidunum University Belgrade. 244 p. ISBN 978-86-86859-52-5
  22. Milovanović J, Babović N, Đorđević A, Spasić S, Marišova E, Končekova L, Kotrla M, Tothova M (2011) In: Jurekova Z, Drazic G (eds) External and internal factors influencing the growth and biomass production of short rotation woods genus Salix and perennial grass Miscanthus. Fakultet za primenjenu ekologiju Futura, Belgrade, Serbia 177 p
  23. Milovanović J, Šijačić-Nikolić M, Nonić M (2019) Climate change aspects in forest genetic resources conservation in Serbia, Forests of Southeast Europe under a changing climate: conservation of genetic resources. Springer International Publishing AG, Switzerland pp 319–332
  24. Nellemann C, Henriksen R, Raxter P, Ash N, Mrema E (eds) (2014) The environmental crime crisis – threats to sustainable development from illegal exploitation and trade in wildlife and forest resources a UNEP rapid response assessment. UN Environment Programme and GRID-Arendal, Nairobi/Arendal
  25. Nemes G (2005) Integrated rural development, the concept and its operation. Discussion papers. Institute of Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest
  26. Noronha T (2019) Alternative Livelihoods Working Glossary. Produced by Mercy Corps as part of the SCALE Award.
  27. Olsson L, Opondo M, Tschakert P, Agrawal A, Eriksen SH, Ma S, Perch LN, Zakieldeen SA (2014) Livelihoods and poverty. In: Field CB, Barros VR, Dokken DJ, Mach KJ, Mastrandrea MD, Bilir TE, Chatterjee M, Ebi KL, Estrada YO, Genova RC, Girma B, Kissel ES, Levy AN, MacCracken S, Mastrandrea PR, White LL (eds) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: global and sectoral aspects. Contribution of working group II to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK/New York, pp 793–832
  28. Pettenella D, Ciccarese L, Dragoi S, Hegedus A, Hingston A, Klöhn S, Matilainen A, Posavec S, Thorfinnsson T (2006) NWFP & S marketing: lessons learned from case studies in Europe. In: Niskanen A (ed) Issues affecting enterprise development in the forest sector in Europe, Research notes 169. University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, Joensuu, pp 367–403
  29. Qiao Y, Martin F, Cook S, He X, Halberg N, Scott S, Pan X (2018) Certified organic agriculture as an alternative livelihood strategy for small-scale farmers in China: a case study in Wanzai County, Jiangxi Province. Ecol Econ 145:301–307
  30. Roche R (2007) Livelihoods approaches as a conservation tool.
  31. Roe D, Day M, Booker F, Zhou W, Allebone-Webb S, Kümpel N, O Hill N, Wright J, Rust N, Sunderland T, Redford K, Petrokofsky G (2015) Are alternative livelihood projects effective at reducing local threats to specified elements of biodiversity and/or improving or maintaining the conservation status of those elements? Environ Evid 4, Article number 22. Available on . Accessed 6 Aug
  32. Serrat O (2017) The sustainable livelihoods approach. In: Knowledge solutions. Springer, Singapore.  
  33. Shanley P, Pierce AR, Laird SA, Binnqüist CL, Guariguata MR (2016) From lifelines to livelihoods: non-timber Forest products into the 21st century. In: Pancel L, Köhl M (eds) Tropical forestry handbook. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg
  34. Šijačić-Nikolić M, Milovanović J, Nonić M (2014) Conservation of forest genetic resources. In: Ahuja MR, Ramawat KG (eds) Biotechnology and biodiversity. Springer, Cham, pp 103–128
  35. Townsley P, Whittingham E, Booker F, Ford R, Turner R, Cattermoul B, Campbell J, Forster J, Morrish N, Marsh J (2014) Guidance on supporting processes of livelihood enhancement and diversification. Report prepared as part of the future of reefs in a changing environment project.
  36. UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) (2017) Application of the sustainable livelihoods framework in development projects – guidance note. Regional Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean, Panama City
  37. USAID (2016) Office of food for peace. Food Assistance and Food Security Strategy 2016–2025,
  38. USAID (2017a) Feed the future. GFSS technical guidance: diversifying livelihoods, resilience, and pathways out of poverty.
  39. USAID (2017b) Livelihoods Diversification Analysis(LDA): literature review. USAID, Senegal, Washington, DC,
  40. Wicander S, Coad L (2018) Can the provision of alternative livelihoods reduce the impact of wild meat hunting in west and Central Africa? Conserv Soc 16(4):441–458
  41. Windfuhr M, Jonsen J (2005) Food Sovereignty: towards democracy in localized food systems.
  42. Wright JH, Hill NA, Roe D, Rowcliffe JM, Kümpel NF, Day M, Booker F, Milner-Gulland EJ (2016) Reframing the concept of alternative livelihoods. Conserv Biol 30(1):7–13.  .
  43. Yanggen D (2006) The role of alternative livelihoods in achieving a people-centered approach to conservation: lesson learned from the CARPE program.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzana Djordjević-Milošević
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jelena Milovanović
    • 1
  1. 1.Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentSingidunum UniversityBelgradeSerbia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mohammad Sadegh Allahyari
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural ManagementRasht Branch, Islamic Azad UniversityRashtIran