The environment-poverty nexus: an institutional analysis

The environment-poverty nexus: an institutional analysis

While there are clearly hypothesized links between poverty and degradation, attempts to demonstrate such links empirically have yielded mixed results. This paper aims at determining the nature, causes and impacts of poverty in Pakistan. It analyze the linkages between human rights and poverty, the effectiveness of formal and informal social safety nets, the poverty-environment nexus and document existing theoretical and empirical literature on the subject. The impact of environmental degradation on poverty will be assessed in relation to four key areas of concern, namely, air and water pollution, solid waste management, deforestation and land degradation. In turn, the impulses and imperatives created by poverty, which further degrade the environment will be examined. The paper will look at policy and institutional initiatives, community efforts and collaborative ventures which have attempted to arrest this downward spiral. Based on a critical evaluation of these, the elements of a strategic framework aimed at alleviating poverty and environmental degradation will be presented.

Addressing environmental degradation and conservation concerns requires macroeconomic and social, as well as environment-specific policy interventions. Macroeconomic and social policies, aimed at poverty alleviation have beneficial environmental impacts. Thus, the key policies relate to income redistribution, provision of social services, promotion of rural infrastructure, employment promotion and provision of credit to the rural and urban poor. Additionally, efficient resource use also inhibits the rate of degradation or pollution. By safeguarding natural resources and mitigating the adverse health impacts of pollution, which also contribute to poverty alleviation. Pricing natural resources at their true opportunity cost can (water, energy) can also create financial hardships for the poor, requiring a measure of cross subsidization. 

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.