|Energy as it relates to Poverty Alleviation and Environmental Protection (UNDP, 1998, 36 p.)|
There are many reasons to feel optimistic about the future. More people are better fed and housed than ever before, global literacy rates are increasing and more people have access to basic health care. Despite these significant gains, however, the need to arrest the increase in poverty while at the same time reversing the current trends of environmental degradation remains one of the world's greatest challenges. It is essential to tackle these two challenges simultaneously, since it is abundantly clear that the poor suffer disproportionately from the ill effects of environmental decline.
As part of the effort to meet these challenges, the United Nations Development Programme and the European Commission have embarked upon the Poverty and Environment Initiative. The goal of the Initiative is to provide a forum for experienced practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and politicians to share their knowledge and identify solutions. Drawing on successful development interventions from all over the world, this effort will result in recommendations for global advocacy, research priorities and practical policies that promote both poverty eradication and sound environmental management, thus creating "win-win" situations for poor people and the environments in which they live.
The Poverty and Environment Initiative allows UNDP and the EC to build upon, and create synergies among, commitments made at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the World Social Summit for Development in Copenhagen in 1995, and other global conferences of the 1990s.
This is one of a series of papers commissioned for the Poverty and Environment Initiative:
1 Links Between Poverty and the Environment in Urban Areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America
6 Forests and the Poverty-Environment Nexus
The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the European Commission, the United Nations, or the United Nations Development Programme.