EU Development Policy - Protecting the Environment to Reduce Poverty

 / ©: Europaid
Seventy per cent of the world’s poor live in rural areas where their daily lives depend on access to natural resources and to the environmental services that nature provides.
© Europaid

Freshwater, soil fertility, clear air, fisheries, plants and forests provide the very basis of human well-being. Seventy per cent of the world’s poor live in rural areas where their daily lives depend on access to natural resources and to the environmental services that nature provides.

Climate change impacts first and foremost on the poorest and most vulnerable communities but healthy ecosystems can improve resilience.

By investing in the maintenance of ecosystem services, supporting new livelihood opportunities in natural resource management, and promoting good environmental governance, conservation activities can help contribute towards long term poverty reduction and sustainable development.

However, policy makers often fail to consider the real value of biodiversity and ecosystems in economic and development plans leading to unforeseen social and environmental costs.