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Poverty and the Environment
19 Jun 2012 - 19 Jun 2012
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Teatro Tom Jobim - Jardim Botanico de Rio de Janeiro

Since global population could reach 10 billion by 2100, peopleˇ¦s needs (food, basic services, etc.) and requirements could also rise, forcing societies to adapt and devise new development and growth models. At the same time, the world is facing several other challenges: limited and vulnerable natural resources, loss of biodiversity, finite land that is sought for competing uses, need for new energy sources, demographic pressures - particularly in urban areas - and climate change. All those have to be addressed simultaneously if we want to find solutions that will make the future of societies sustainable.

The economic fragility often goes hand in hand with environmental vulnerability and vice versa. Particularly in urban areas, access to basic services for the poor is seriously lacking. Combined with the natural capitalˇ¦s fragility, poverty reduction programs must integrate environmental and social dimensions to go beyond purely economic and short term improvements. Promoting a more inclusive development is also needed on the condition that poor communities are recognized as full partners who have the right to take part in the definition of their future. For example, in the case of access to energy, not only low-carbon solutions should be deployed but it should be done according to local contexts to avoid inappropriate one-size-fits-all strategy. In this context, a number of priority objectives stand out.

They are:
?p To make the poor less vulnerable to climate-related risks;
?p To improve the livelihoods of the poor through the preservation of biodiversity, the sustainable development of natural assets and an improved access to energy;
?p To contribute to improving the quality of life of the poorest, and their access to basic services, particularly in cities;
?p To promote innovations in business models, in modes of funding, and in forms of cooperation between key parties.

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