The Poverty-Environment Nexus:

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Nov 9, 2013 (3 years and 7 months ago)

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The Poverty
-
Environment Nexus:

How the Nexus impacts policy


WHY

1)
Traditional political
p
hilosophy has focused on issues of
liberal egalitarianism (social justice/inequality) within the
confines of the state, not the entire population of the world.
Global actors today are seeking practical ways to close the
‘gap’ at the global level. Understanding the nexus can inform
practical methods.


2)
“Although there is a considerable body of research of the
links between poverty and environment, perhaps too little
attention has been given to politics”


Reducing Poverty and
Sustaining the Environment: The Politics of Local Engagement



What is the NEXUS

In 2003 two publications are epitomes of the nexus:


1)
David
Satterwaith
:

The Links between Poverty and the
Environment in Urban Areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America




… there is little evidence of urban poverty being a
significant contributor to environmental degradation
but strong evidence that urban environmental hazards
are major contributors to urban poverty…
environmental degradation is more associated with the
consumption patterns of middle
-

and upper
-
income
groups and the failure of governments to implement
effective environmental policies

The Same Year:

Jack M. Hollander gives the other side of the
nexus in:
The Real Environmental Crisis: Why
Poverty, Not Affluence, Is the Environment’s
Number One Enemy.

POVERTY: A Complex Term

How the Nexus has Evolved


History of environment in policy
:


Prior to United Nations Conference on the
Human Environment, held in Stockholm in July
1972, environmental issues were not a part of
most national policies. For example in the
Treaty of Rome (1958) there was no mention
of the
environment.
-

McCormick
, 368.


Where is the Nexus Now?


The new paradigm is that poverty and the
environment are

perceived as dependant
,
albeit in different ways by different
institutions and regimes. The Millennium
Goals (wherein poverty reduction and
sustainable development hold the first and
seventh spot respectively) occur in most of
the recent literature.


How to deal with the Nexus at the
Global Level


Nicolas J. Lucas argues that greater
cooperation
among organizations and individuals working in
the field of human development, poverty
reduction and ecosystem management should be
the objective of a range of actors in the field. This
range of actors includes international
NGO’s

such
as Oxfam, WWF, IISD, IIED and IUCN; local
NGO’s
;
governmental representatives; international
agencies like the World Bank, UNDP, UNEP, WHO
and FAO; and donors.


THE UNITED NATIONS


The UNDP (UN Development Program) and UNEP (UN Environment
Program) address the poverty
-
environment nexus in initiatives at
global, regional and national levels. In 2010 the UN published an
evaluative report on contributions to environmental management
for poverty reduction: the poverty environment nexus. However in
this report itself it states: “poverty [is] one of the greatest threats to
the environment, stating: “In poor countries, poverty often causes…
poor sanitation and polluted and unsafe water.”




Need to be careful. As quoted on the 3
rd

slide
Satterwaith

argues
that the misconception that poverty causes environmental
degradation can lead to ‘anti
-
poor policies’.


A Non
-
Uniform Conception of the Nexus


Further, the report states that despite the
recognition of a poverty
-
environment ‘nexus’ the
articulation of this awareness is uneven and
somewhat haphazard throughout the
organization. “At regional and headquarter levels,
the understanding of the nexus… is rarely
translated into a consistent articulation of
principles and practices in strategies or
guidance.” The report also states that there is a
lack of cross
-
sectoral

initiatives in national
offices.


Problems with the
MDGs


At the Global level, Patrick Bond finds the following
weaknesses in campaigns such as the
MDGs
: they were
generated non
-
transparently by the UN; itself moving
since the early 2000s to embrace the Washington
Consensus and co
-
operate with the World Bank, to

bluewash
’ the world’s largest corporations with its
Global Compact, to endorse ‘Type 2’ public
-
private
partnership
privitization

strategies, to condone US
militarism and to reject even elementary democratic
reform. He states that the main decisions at summits
have been biased against poor people, workers and the
environment.



The Nexus at the European Level

PREM


PREM (Poverty Reduction and Environmental
Management) is a project which is an extension
of the CREED
programme

based in Amsterdam
that addresses the role of policy in the poverty
-
environment nexus in developing countries.


“The main objective of CREED
programme

was to
strengthen developing countries capacity to
undertake… research and policy analysis on
environmental and natural resource management
issues.”


www.prem
-
online.org

PRIVATE SECTOR


A possible beacon of light

CASE STUDY


World Bank Funded Slum Sanitation
Programme

in Mumbai: Participatory
Approach and Lessons Learnt


Summary of Lessons Learnt


Mumbai’s Slum Sanitation
Programme

that seeks
community responsibility and its involvement in
the setting up of sanitation facilities in living
areas holds out important lessons for similar
organizations and affected communities. While
such a broadly
participartory

approach ensures
the accrual of benefits to the beneficiaries, it can
only function effectively if methods of
implementation are transparent and key
members play a facilitating role.




RN SHARMA,
Amita

Bhide



Comparative Literature Review


Michael:


Amanda:


Mary:


Lucy:

Book for Poster:


Reducing
Poverty and Sustaining the
Environment: the politics of Local Engagement