The world's biodiversity is in trouble, with wildlife crime, the spread of invasive species, and loss of habitat reducing the number of species. The loss has economy-wide consequences, but biodiversity is especially important for the 870 million rural poor whose livelihoods and safety nets are inextricably linked to natural and semi-natural ecosystems.
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The World Bank is one of the largest international financiers of biodiversity conservation, with a portfolio of 245 projects worth US$1.058 billion in the 10 years from FY2004 to FY2013. These projects have been undertaken in 74 countries, with the majority in Africa and the Latin America and Caribbean region.