Reconciling poverty eradication and quality of the environment

15 April 2011 | News story

Veolia Environment Institute and the Agence Française de Développementare organising the international conference "Reconciling poverty eradication and quality of the environment. What are the innovative solutions?" June 27 & 28, 2011 at the Maison de la Chimie in Paris. Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General will be speaking at the event.

Poverty and environmental damage increasingly go hand in hand throughout the world. Each of these problems can cause the other. Since global population could reach 9 billion by 2050 – including some 2 billion in Africa – demand and requirements could also rise, forcing societies to adapt and devise new development and growth models. For example, they will have to resort increasingly to a rational use of resources and develop a carbon-neutral economy. Considering the complexity and interdependency of both these major issues - combating poverty and preserving the quality of the environment - analysing their interactions will open up the prospect of new innovative solutions and create real opportunities.

Poverty assumes different forms, depending on whether you live in France, Mali or India. If the ultimate objective for women and men is to be respected as fully-fledged human beings, with dignity, moving out of poverty also means having access to food, education, housing, medical care, and essential goods: water, energy, electricity. For people to benefit from these essential services, crucial economic transformations are needed to create more wealth and eventually improve their living conditions. The various forms of development that the peoples of the earth engage in have led to an infinite number of forms of poverty, to which are added other parameters, such as environmental factors, that may potentially worsen the situation. It is useful to explore relevant and adapted solutions that take into account the environmental dimension. 
 
Today, preserving the environment is a major component of sustainable development. Humans, because they interact with the natural environment, must evolve in order to face up to new constraints at international level. These include 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. 

So, for people and the planet to survive, wouldn’t it be necessary to reflect on such an integrated approach and on the economic resources that would allow an efficient transition towards meeting the dual objective of reconciling poverty eradication and quality of the environment?

For more information on the conference please visit the website.