Sustainable use and management of natural resources represents a wealth in natural capital for rural population in developing countries. With the right tools and framework this can be a resource for economic development and poverty alleviation. Read more about this in the fifth issue of Environment & Poverty Times, prepared for the May 2008 TICAD conference.
This new edition of the Environment and Poverty Times, focuses on how natural resources can contribute to economic growth that also benefits the poor. The relationship between these two entities – the poor and natural resources – are complex. More often than not it is argued that poor people do not have time to address environmental issues as their first concern is to get out of poverty. But in many cases working with the environment is the way towards increasing livelihoods. Three quarters of the poor are close to natural resources and make decisions about them on a daily basis. They live in rural areas and depend on them for their livelihoods as fishermen, forest dwellers, farmers or small-scale miners. It’s in their interest that the natural resources are soundly managed so they can keep relying on them on the long term.
The right mixture of entrepreneurship, investments and enabling policies at national and international level can create economic opportunities that people moves beyond the subsistence level. This is what this paper is about.
The Environment and Poverty Times presents stories on the complex links between environment and poverty reduction. We are showing, through short articles, maps, charts and other illustrations – also from unexpected sources such as bank notes- some of the potential wealth developing countries have. Further – this issue shows examples on how this wealth can lead to improvement of the lives of poor people. For more in-depth reading on the subject, please see the references to key publications and initiatives on sustainable development and poverty alleviation.