Environmental Issues and Poverty Reduction

In order to end poverty, it is vital to look at the big picture. A group of Australian scientists have recently published a study about the importance of environmental issues in the fight against world poverty.

The group declared that world governments need to be stricter when it comes to environmental regulations and limiting pollution. Two of the major concerns they identify are: protecting clean air and radically decreasing the amount of water taken from rivers. Environmental agencies like the EPA are responsible for limiting pollution from industry, and more developed countries follow some type of air protection doctrine but these scientists believe that the regulations are not nearly strict enough. The researchers admit that one of the biggest changes that must be made is not so much a change in policy so much as a change in the public mindset. The global community cannot continue to view the Earth as a provider of infinite resources. While unregulated resource extraction helped many to escape nationwide poverty in the past with materials such as coal and oil, that is no longer the case. The changing climate and ever-growing pollution that the world faces today produce a series of difficulties for those living in severe poverty. Air, water, and soil pollution all pose a threat to food production and sustainability.

The study comes at a time when the member countries of the United Nations are preparing to work out a new fifteen year plan to replace the Millennium Development Goals that will end in 2015. The authors of the study believe that the new plan, that will end in 2030, must view environmental protection and poverty reduction as two issues that must be addressed together, not seen as separate crises.

– Kevin Sullivan

Source: ABC-CBN News
Photo: Promasys