The new millennium raised hopes for a better future for humanity through a new spirit of international cooperation. Participants at the United Nations Millennium Summit agreed on an ambitious agenda for international cooperation that singled out, among other issues, environmental protection and development as key objectives.
The increasing degradation of our planet continues to emphasize the need to conserve and preserve natural resources. Yet with more than half of the global population still living on $2 dollars a day or less, there is also a glaring need for development initiatives to combat poverty.
This book draws on contributions to the People and the Environment lecture series at Fordham University, organized in partnership with the United Nations Development Program Equator Initiative and The Nature Conservancy. The essays offer a wealth of fresh perspectives and strategies to promote both environmental conservation and poverty eradication. Reflecting a range of disciplines, issues, and settings, they cover four interrelated topics: the link between poverty reduction and the environment and encouraging integration of environmental management and development; environmental disasters, their impact on poor people and
ways to prevent and mitigate their consequences; conservation knowledge and the role of information and education in sustainable development; and legal empowerment of the poor.
Each part offers an overview of the theme and introduces the perspectives of leading experts and scholars—from the lessons of Katrina and the Tsunami to model agricultural policies for sustaining the environment while strengthening local economies. Demonstrating the roles the environment can and should play in poverty alleviation, the essays deepen our understanding of the some of the world’s most difficult challenges—and provide a toolkit of ideas and techniques for addressing them.