A horizon scan of environmental drivers of poverty

A horizon scan of environmental drivers of poverty

This report presents the results of a rapid desk-based study of the environmental drivers of poverty, based on a review of peer-reviewed and grey literature for the last 10 years. The major non-climate environmental drivers of poverty are identified: biodiversity loss (at the global scale) and a variety of pollution and resource degradation issues at smaller scales. The relationship between environmental degradation is not a straightforward one, but is complex, multifaceted and highly context-specific. Although in principle environmental protection and poverty alleviation are twin objectives that can and should be pursued simultaneously, evidence to date suggests that this has not always occurred, for a variety of reasons.

Whether efforts to improve environmental management actually lead to poverty alleviation depends very much on how policies and projects are implemented, as well as on a host of other factors. Several crosscutting themes – including valuation of natural resources, country systems, and crime/legality emerge. It is also important to acknowledge that other overarching issues, including conflict, gender inequity, globalisation and
population growth interact with both environmental degradation and poverty reduction.

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