Half way to the Millennium Development Goals
Poor people depend most on the environment, and degradation of the environment impacts most on them.
Poor people depend most directly on the services delivered by natural resources and ecosystems. They depend on them for food, water, fibres, fuel and income. Natural resources are often the few assets poor people have, and their degradation has a direct negative impact on these people’s livelihoods. It makes the poor even more vulnerable, and exposes them to increased frequency and impact of droughts, floods, landslides and other natural disasters. In the context of climate change, vulnerability increases dramatically in the face of environmental degradation.
MDG 7 is the only Millennium Development Goal where the overall situation is getting worse, with ecosystems being depleted at a rate faster than they can be regenerated.
The Millennium Development Goals agreed in 2000 include MDG 7: ensuring environmental sustainability. But this is the only goal where the overall situation is getting worse rather than better. This is the case across a wide range of ecosystems, particularly forests, freshwater sources, fish stocks and climate regulation. The loss of these natural resources and unabated climate change are putting the achievement of all other development goals at risk, particularly beyond 2015.
For further information:
WWF European Policy Office
Tel: +32 2 740 09 37