Effects on the environment have a great influence on economic and social development. It is not possible to dismiss the environmental issue as a “luxury problem”. Real development and poverty reduction can only be achieved if measures are also taken to safeguard natural resources and the environment.
The modern ecological sanitation (ecosan) concept represents the culmination of the paradigm shift initiated in response to satisfying the health needs of unserved, mostly poor population groups. Education has a clear role to play, both in acknowledging the paradigm shift in sanitation and in incorporating the interdisciplinary theme of innovative sustainable sanitation systems into teaching curricula.
This paper seeks the links between the issues of poverty and the environment. First it discusses the connections between the two issues, such as how the depletion of natural resources can cause poverty, and conversely, how poverty exacerbates environmental degradation.
Also covered are the environmental problems in rural areas (overgrazing, population growth, health problems), urban areas (transport-related pollution, dumping of hazardous waste), global environmental problems, and interventions that may help avert poverty and environmental degradation.
Studies & Presentations
The Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI) is an Africa-wide environmental-governance research and training program focusing on enabling responsive and accountable decentralization to strengthen the representation of forest-based rural people in local-government decision making. This Working Paper series will publish the RFGI case studies as well as other comparative studies of decentralized natural resources governance in Africa and elsewhere that focus on the intersection between local democracy and natural resource management schemes.
Drylands make up about 43 percent of the region’s land surface, account for about 75 percent of the area used for agriculture, and are home to about 50 percent of the population, including many poor. Involving complex interactions among many factors, vulnerability in drylands is rising, jeopardizing the livelihood for of millions.