The latest Human Development Report from UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) focuses on the link between sustainable and equitable development. The economic growth that developing countries need to reduce global inequality has historically been accompanied by severe environmental degradation, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
As the report says, sustainability and equity are inextricably linked. The poorest people are often those who rely most on the natural environmental (for fuelwood, subsistence farming, etc), and are therefore the most affected when it suffers. According to the report, around 350 million people rely on forests for their livelihoods, and around 45 million people fish for a living, both resources face overuse and damage from climate change. We can’t simply restrict access to these resources, as people depend on them for their livelihoods. Solutions that are both sustainable and equitable must be found.
Encouragingly, one of the solutions most strongly advocated by the report is expanding access to renewable energy, as illustrated below.
Posted by Emily Haves at Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Tags: renewable energy
, sustainable development