The links between the environment and poverty are complex and often invite misunderstanding. Catchy titles such as Poverty is pollution and Healthy environment, prosperous people are misleading: they generalize the intricate interrelationships between poverty and resource mismanagement and fail to say that environmental degradation is an inevitable consequence of economic growth, that it is driven by predominantly commercial interests and is a major cause of poverty.
The Environment & Poverty Times aims to explain the complex links between poverty and the environment. It shows, through short texts, maps and other illustrations, some of the manifestations of poverty and environmental conditions. It explains how environmental degradation contributes to poverty and how poor people are trapped in such a cycle. And it provides references to key publications and initiatives on sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
This first issue of the Environment and Poverty Times may cover too many issues and seem gloomy. This is because of the complexity of the issue, and because the world does continue to sink deeper into environmental and poverty decline. While the overall trends are dismal, there are clear opportunities for achieving much greater progress at all levels of action and several success stories to point to.
We expect future periodic issues of the Environment and Poverty Times to focus on approaches being used to tackle environment and poverty issues and on initiatives that are successfully dealing with reducing poverty and improving the environment. We hope that the Environment & Poverty Times will increase understanding of the links between poverty and the environment, stimulate debate and provide a basis for action. This issue is intended to provide impetus for negotiations during the WSSD (World Summit on Sustainable Development) and help set priorities for subsequent initiatives to reduce economic and environmental pressures.
All pages are in PDF format. The Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available free of charge.
page 1 (0.3 MB)
Expressions of poverty
page 2 (0.6 MB) - page 3 (2.2 MB)
Assessing the environment
page 4 (2.5 MB) - page 5 (1.6 MB)
How environment means poverty
page 6 (2.7 MB) - page 7 (0.7 MB)
Degraded environment, fewer choices
page 8 (0.7 MB) - page 9 (2.0 MB)
Pollution means bad health
page 10 (1.4 MB) - page 11 (0.9 MB)
Natural disasters, insecurity
page 12 (0.9 MB) - page 13 (4.4 MB)
Restricted land, disempowerment
page 14 (0.3 MB) - page 15 (0.9 MB)
The use of poverty maps, poverty in Johannesburg
page 16 (4.7 MB)
Complete paper in one file (PDF 14 MB)