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.
This report has been produced by Ben Daley and William Acker for Evidence on Demand with the assistance of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) contracted through the Climate, Environment, Infrastructure and Livelihoods Professional Evidence and Applied Knowledge Services (CEIL PEAKS) programme, jointly managed by DAI (which incorporates HTSPE Limited) and IMC Worldwide Limited.
Daley, B.; Acker, W. A horizon scan of environmental drivers of poverty. Evidence on Demand, UK (2015) iii + 29 pp. [DOI: 10.12774/eod_hd.March_2015.Daley_et_al]