Poverty has a high negative impact on the environment. In developing countries, while the poor to relative unproductive areas while the rich live in the most productive areas. To sustain their livelihoods in such unproductive areas, there will be little consideration for the environment leading activities like cutting of trees or planting on riverbanks.
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This will lead to industrialization that will create an emerging middle class; a demand by the middle class for local agricultural and manufactured products will create an internal cycle of growth, eventually moving the country from a developing country.
Economic growth, which favors the rich, will not reduce poverty in a developing country. A focus by the government on equitable growth through income redistribution will improve the quality of life of the poor through serving their essential needs of housing, healthcare, education or even food security. Further, economic development should not lead to vulnerability to crises.
This includes natural crises like hunger, floods and drought as well as market crises such as fall in prices. To ensure this, developing countries should have long-term development plans that will cushion its citizens especially the poor from such crises. Example is storing food after harvests in silos to store food, which help avert hunger. (Our common future 1986)
Use of appropriate technology such as use of energy efficient modes of industrial production will reduce energy use in production thus cut back on energy use, which is a significant factor of environmental degradation through pollution. Use of proper technology practices in farming in developing countries can reduce the poverty levels.
Modern farming technology will increase productivity of agriculture thus increase returns. Secondly, it will use of appropriate technology in storage and production can reduce waste especially in agricultural activities thus increase food security.
Reduction of pollution by industries specifically air, land and water pollution through recycling of effluents to environmentally manageable levels are a step in the right direction. Use of sources of energy such as wind power or geothermal power that have a less environmental impact will improve environmental conservation efforts.
Further, sustainable mining especially of non-renewable sources while taking environmental impact assessment will reduce their footprint on the environment. (Bauman, H. & Tillman, A., 2004)
A successful agricultural policy is a combination of economic self-interest and environmental conservation. The introduction of commercial tree planting on hill slopes and dry areas can improve the water retention of the soil and reduce soil erosion.
Further, focus on long-term agricultural development instead of short term growth will, for example, embracing organic farming will attract higher sales income and maintain long term agricultural productivity. (Our common future 1986)
An economy’s productivity is in the form of gross domestic capita (GDP). In developing countries, the economy is not be able to sustain the basic needs of the population.
This will push the population to environmentally degradation with no conscience since they have no other options of sustenance. The millennium development goals (MDGs) include apart from the basic needs items such as universal healthcare and universal education, which classify the level of development of a nation.
In addition to this, a population growth that exceeds the economic growth will further reduce the resources available. It is in this light; that it is necessary for governments to have policies to manage population growth, which includes policies that promote family planning or education on family health. (Curran, M., 1996)
Bauman, H., Tillman, A., (2004) The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To LCA: An Orientation in Life Cycle Assessment Methodology and Application Professional Publishing Svc.,
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Curran, M., (1996) Environmental Life-Cycle Assessment McGraw-Hill
World commission of environment and development (1986) Our common future www.un-documents.net/our-common-future