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9 th Poverty & Environment Partnership Meeting Washington, DC Environment and Health Session Poverty, Health and Ecosystems: Lessons from Asia David McCauley.

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Presentation on theme: "9 th Poverty & Environment Partnership Meeting Washington, DC Environment and Health Session Poverty, Health and Ecosystems: Lessons from Asia David McCauley."— Presentation transcript:

1 9 th Poverty & Environment Partnership Meeting Washington, DC Environment and Health Session Poverty, Health and Ecosystems: Lessons from Asia David McCauley Senior Environmental Economist Asian Development Bank 14 June 2006

2 Outline of this Presentation l Rationale for joint IUCN-ADB study l Organization and scope of the study l 16 case studies: what they cover and say l Drawing lessons

3 Rationale for the Study l ADB Poverty and Environment Program – structured learning for ADB, other stakeholders l IUCN World Congress 2004 – People & Nature l Widening international interest in the health interface with politics, poverty & environment – including with/through PEP l WHO-UNEP Environment & Health Dialog – primarily to improve health sector planning l Increasing concern in Asia & Pacific over these issues – health and environment challenges

4 Organization & Scope of the Study l Identifying case studies sought l Capturing interesting cases and getting them written l Dialog at IUCN and WHO meetings l Synthesizing lessons – PEP inputs also

5 Case Studies: Poverty, livelihoods and ecosystems l Enhancing sustainable livelihoods in Puttalam Lagoon, Sri Lanka l Poverty-environment linkages in the wetlands of Sanjiang Plain, Peoples Republic of China l Poverty and natural resource degradation: Irrigation tanks in South India l Community-based forest management in Nepal: Reversing environmental degradation and improving livelihoods

6 Case Studies: Poverty, health and ecosystems l Natural resources can be vital for food security and nutrition l The health costs of collecting water, fodder and fuel can be significant for women and children. l Ecosystem change can have important linkages to emerging zoonotic diseases l Responses to zoonotic diseases focus on treatment – preventative measures through better human, livestock, wildlife and ecosystem management deserve much more attention.

7 Case Studies: Poverty and biodiversity l Improving poverty alleviation and conservation outcomes in the grassland ecosystem of Mongolia l Poverty alleviation, forest and conservation in Viet Nam: Understanding the trade-offs l Poverty reduction, increased conservation, and environmental protection through participatory breeding: A case study from India l From field to policy: Linking livelihoods, health and conservation in Baimaxueshan Nature Reserve, PRC

8 Case Studies: Response strategies l Do decision-makers hear and respond to what the poor say about poverty and environment? Recent experience from Pakistan l Overcoming gender inequities in access to natural resources in Asia l Community mangrove management in Pred Nai Village, Thailand l Wetland resource management in Bangladesh to improve livelihoods and sustain natural resources l Institutional reform to link poverty and the environment: Experience from Yunnan Province, PRC

9 Lessons: Poverty, livelihoods & ecosystems l Poor people typically depend more on natural resources, but consume a smaller absolute share than non-poor. l different groups of poor people depend on ecosystems in different ways l Different types of poverty are impacted by ecosystem change in different ways l different ecosystems impact on the poor in different ways and different ecosystem services are useful for poor people. l poor people typically need to be able to receive the economic gains from natural resource based activities and diversity away from their natural resource dependence.

10 Lessons: Poverty, health and ecosystems l Natural resources can be vital for food security and nutrition l The health costs of collecting water, fodder and fuel can be significant for women and children l Ecosystem change can have important linkages to emerging zoonotic diseases l Responses to zoonotic diseases focus on treatment – preventative measures through better human, livestock, wildlife and ecosystem management deserves much more attention.

11 Lessons: Poverty and biodiversity l The variability per se of biodiversity may be important where the livelihoods and health of poor people are dependent on a wide range of different naturally derived products l conservation may have negative impacts on the poor if they lose access to ecosystems and bear the costs of protected areas. l Micro - dependence of poor people on ecosystems may not be sustainable and may negatively impact biodiversity l Macro - escaping poverty and generating pro-poor growth may require some decline in biodiversity, but too much decline may negatively impact growth.

12 Lessons: Response strategies l Major barriers face poor men and particularly poor women in managing ecosystems to reduce poverty l Economic growth, population growth and migration are placing heavy pressures on natural resources – though relations complex. l Coalitions for change are needed to drive the process – including initiatives of the poor and local groups, alliances with civil society and development agencies and engaging government and scaling up. l environmental interventions can help precipitate broader governance reforms l External assistance can play a positive role in supporting locally driven change processes, though not always the case – must support and not undermine national and local efforts.

13 Synthesizing Lessons l General –Poverty, health and natural resources strongly related in Asia – especially among the most marginalized –Complex local realities – but patterns emerging –Poverty a process – forces conspire against escape –Political processes and reforms vital, but not in isolation from technocratic –Largely positive stories told, counterpoints needed l More Specific –Natural resources can provide a route out of poverty – resource rights a key –Ecosystem and biodiversity improvements possible to benefit poor – though heavy resource pressures –Increasing environmental rights of poor generally a political process requiring changes to institutions and power relationships –Holistic approach to poverty, health, ecosystems and governance complex, but most likely to lead to successful interventions –External agencies can support pro-poor environmental change, though need to overcome constraints

14 Thank you


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