Meeting social goals is widely considered essential for effective biodiversity conservation. The dominant approach to meeting social goals has focused mainly on support for local livelihoods, but this has often proved inadequate for achieving either social goals or conservation effectiveness. A priority for the global conservation community now is to rethink its approach to social goals. This will require a shift in framing from livelihoods to equity, where equity integrates issues of protected area costs and benefits with protected area governance. This briefing explains why an equity framing is important and how, in broad terms, a move from a livelihoods framing to equity might be achieved.