Sunday, May 21, 2006

poverty reduction & environmental health
need each other

Jeffrey D. Sachs and Walter V. Reid, in a short Science "Policy Forum" article, "Investments Toward Sustainable Development," write:
"Sustainable development, meaning economic growth that is environmentally sound, is a practical necessity. Environmental goals cannot be achieved without development. Poor people will circumvent environmental restrictions in their desperation for land, food, and sustenance. Nor can development goals be achieved and sustained without sound environmental management. Environmental catastrophes will undermine economic life, whether in New Orleans or Nigeria. Therefore, investing in poverty reduction is crucial for environmental policy, while investing in the environment is vital for successful poverty reduction [See figure in the 1-page article]. Yet the world underinvests in both, and rich-country and poor-country governments overlook the policy links between poverty reduction and the environment...."
Science, May 19, 2006 (312:5776, p.1002) 

J. D. Sachs is director of the U.N. Millennium Project and director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University. W. V. Reid was director of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and is with the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University.