China is a country of contradictions. Its 27 years of economic boom have brought 400 million people out of poverty and created large urban centers bustling with trade. Many Chinese urbanites live in very comfortable conditions. Yet, in much the countryside, poverty rates of rural citizens remain high, for farmers are increasingly losing out in China’s economic reforms. According to an October 2006 Gallup WorldPoll, between 2004 and 2006 the incomes of urban dwellers rose by an average of 4,000 Yuan while rural residents saw an increase of only 3,300 Yuan.
Pollution and Health
Kampala is sitting on a sewerage system that has not expanded in over 40 years and now threatens to dangerously pollute Lake Victoria, a key source of the city’s water supply, according to the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NW&SC).
According to NW&SC, Kampala is one large open sewer that has turned Nakivubo channel – originally intended to help drain rain and flood water out of the city – into a carrier of waste and industrial effluent emissions into the lake.
On a recent trip into the rainforests of the Indonesian part of Borneo Island, our team got first-hand accounts of the effects, causes -- and the possible solutions -- to rampant illegal logging.
Indonesia has nearly 70 million people living in or near forest land, many of them living on less than US$1 per day. Illegal logging operations cause widespread destruction of forests and, although it does earn short-term gains for a few, it destroys the livelihoods of people who depend upon the forests.
Severe water scarcity presents the single biggest threat to future food production. Even now many freshwater sources-underground aquifers and rivers--are stressed beyond their limits. As much as 8 percent of food crops grows on farms that use groundwater faster than the aquifers are replenished, and many large rivers are so heavily diverted that they don't reach the sea for much of the year. As the number of urban dwellers climbs to five billion by 2025, farmers will have to compete even more aggressively with cities and industry for shrinking resources.
Forestry plays a diverse and significant role in reducing poverty in South African rural areas, ranging from direct cash payments to more intangible improvements in rights, capabilities and representation.