Friday, December 31, 2010

Natural Resources and Poverty: Win-Wins Possible

Pinstrup-Andersen recently presented some work at the International Conference of Development of Dryrlands that he and I did on links between agriculture and climate change. The paper is available here and is based on earlier work we presented at the Global Development Network.

We argue that while most of the debate is about trade-offs between development/economic growth/poverty reduction and reducing harm to the environment, there are areas where it is possible to do both. Reducing poverty or the threat of extreme negative shocks can reduce the extremely poor's need to draw down their natural capital in the form of soil nutrient mining or deforestation. On the other hand, promoting better soil health and forestry practices can provide additional or improved sources of income, helping smallholders emerge from poverty and strengthen food security.

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