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The Wealth of the Poor - Managing ecosystems to fight poverty

What do we know about the links between environment and poverty and how can we use this knowledge to reduce poverty?

What do we know about the links between environment and poverty and how can we use this knowledge to reduce poverty?

09.30-12.00 hrs - 30 January 2006
Venue:  Ministry of Foreign Affairs
7. juni-plassen/ Victoria Terrass,  Oslo
Big meeting room, 5th Floor (Main entrance) 

World Resources Institute and GRID-Arendal would like to invite you to the above mentioned seminar in connection with the presentation of ” World Resources 2005 – The Wealth of the Poor”.  The seminar will focus on the links between environment, poverty and governance and how this might influence international development co-operation. 

Ecosystems are – or can be – the wealth of the poor. For many of the 1.1 billion people living in severe poverty, nature is a daily lifeline – an asset for those with few other material means. This is especially true for the rural poor, who comprise three-quarters of all poor households worldwide. The recently published report “World Resources Report 2005 – Wealth of the Poor”, a publication of the World Resources Institute, argues that the generative power of nature—the bounty of ecosystems—can act as a fundamental stepping stone in the economic advancement of the rural poor. 

Harvests from forests, fisheries, and farm fields are a primary source of rural income, and a fall-back when other sources of employment falter. But programs to reduce poverty often fail to account for the important link between environment and the livelihoods of the rural poor. As a consequence, the full potential of ecosystems as a wealth-creating asset for the poor – not just a survival mechanism – has yet to be effectively tapped.  The question remains how can this knowledge become an inherent part of international development programmes for poverty reduction? 

Attached you find the programme of the seminar and information about World Resources Institute. The World Resources Report 2005 is available online at:

Registration for attending the seminar (by the 24th of January)
to Karen Landmark , Information Officer 
Tel: +47 3703 5717 

Questions and/or more information about the seminar
to Marianne Fernagut, Environment and Poverty Project Manager
Tel: +47 3703 5758 

We look forward to welcome you at our seminar. 

Best regards,

Steinar Sørensen
Managing Director


09.30 Welcome Svein Tveitdal, Special Advisor UNEP
09.35 Environment to eradicate Poverty and Hunger Erik Solheim, Minister of International Development (Norway)
10.05 The World Resources Report 2005 and Millennium Ecosystem Assessment – Key findings Jonathan Lash, President of World Resources Institute (USA)
10.35 Making the case in India: More water, more health Marcella D’Souza, Director of the Watershed Organization Trust (India)
11.05 Activities of GRID-Arendal in the field of Poverty & Environment Steinar Sørensen, Managing Director GRID-Arendal (Norway)
11.35 Discussion: How does the knowledge on Poverty& Environment linkages influence international development co-operation. Facilitator: Svein Tveitdal
12.00 – 12.15 Questions from the press  

About World Resources Institute:
World Resources Institute (WRI) is an environmental think tank that goes beyond research to create practical ways to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. WRI’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment for current and future generations.

Jonathan Lash has led the World Resources Institute as its president since 1993 and co-chaired the President's Council on Sustainable Development and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development's High-Level Advisory Group on Environment. During the past ten years under his leadership, WRI has pioneered the use of digital technologies to solve environmental problems, engaged the business community in helping to foster development that is sustainable, and created new mechanisms to empower civil society groups.  In June, Mr. Lash  was named one of the 100 most influential people in finance by Treasury and Risk Management Magazine.
More information:

About World Resources Report:
World Resources 2005: The Wealth of the Poor: Managing Ecosystems to Fight Poverty is the 11th in a series of biennial reports on global environment and governance issues published since 1984. This particular report’s focus on poverty issues follows upon conclusions from the previous two reports – the first was about ecosystems and the second was about governance. Since 1996, the series has been published jointly by The World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the World Resources Institute.  Other support has been provided by Sida, USAID, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian and Finnish Trust Fund for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development,  and the MacArthur Foundation.

GRID-Arendal was partner for the development and production of the Report.

World Resources 2005 stresses the urgent need to look beyond aid projects, debt relief and trade reform and focus on local natural resources to address the crisis of poverty in all parts of the globe. This report challenges conventional approaches and is being released at a critical moment in the battle against poverty.

Available online at:

Wednesday 18 Jan 2006
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