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Poverty Vs Environmental Sustainability

Autor:   •  October 1, 2016  •  Thesis  •  5,219 Words (21 Pages)  •  344 Views

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“Poverty is the environmental villain; poor people are its victims. Impoverished people often do plunder their resources, pollute their environment, and overcrowd their habitats. They do these things not out of willful neglect but only out of the need to survive.”


Since the time of Imperialism and colonization the central goals of almost all states have been globalization and economic growth. Unfortunately few have reached these goals successfully, and it has often been at the demise of those less fortunate. Within the last few decades the world, as an international sphere, has become aware of the consequences of the globalization movement. It has created a very broad economic gap within states and between states, making such things as poverty a part of the negative aftermath. “Around the world, inequality is increasing, while the world is further globalizing.” The environment has also been gravely affected by globalization and economic growth. Environmental degradation is a relatively “new” phenomenon, which affects the whole system, and in turn, everyone within it. Although the problems of poverty and environmental degradation are two very different problems, they are very closely interlinked and do have an effect on one another.

This paper is meant to illuminate the relationships between poverty and environmental sustainable development, and how these two issues can and do have an effect on one another. By implementing environmental sustainable development plans, poverty is not necessarily addressed; however, by tackling the issue of poverty, environmental sustainable development may be advanced. Throughout this paper, I will address this issue by first discussing poverty and how it places constraints upon the environment; what the causes of poverty are; and lastly the ways to alleviate poverty through environmental sustainable development programs. I will then discuss the issue of sustainable development and what it is exactly, more specifically, what environmental sustainable development is; what the sources of environmental degradation are; and what economic values underpin a sustainable development plan. The paper will then turn to the linkage between poverty and environmental sustainable development; why environmental sustainable development does not necessarily alleviate poverty; and what the future holds, or what it possibly could hold for that relationship. In conclusion, this paper hopes to prove that a vicious circle between poverty and environmental degradation does not exist, but instead that a network of prevailing interconnections, an on-going chain of causes and effect is the real vicious cycle.

I. Poverty

Absolute poverty is one form of poverty and can be defined as, “Absolute poverty in developing countries characterized by inadequate provisions of food, shelter,


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