September 02, 2005

Rural poor and urban rich

The World Resources Institute has just published The Wealth of the Poor: Managing ecosystems to fight poverty (found via Resilience Science). The official press release (Major report stresses natural resources as path out of poverty) says:

"Traditional assumptions about addressing poverty treat the environment almost as an afterthought," said Jonathan Lash, president, World Resources Institute (WRI). "This report addresses the stark reality of the poor: three-fourths of them live in rural areas; their environment is all they can depend on. Environmental resources are absolutely essential, rather than incidental, if we are to have any hope of meeting our goals of poverty reduction." [...]

[N]atural resources -- soils, forests, water, fisheries - managed at the local level are frequently the most effective means for the world's rural poor people to create wealth for themselves.

For the sake of inconsistency I will make a prediction -- those people will move to urban areas and will get rich.


  1. I am trying to think of an example of rural poor getting wealthy from their environmental resources. The American Indian reservations are generating a lot of wealth lately but Casinos hardly qualify as environmental resources.

  2. Note that WRI has just released a 24-page guide to the World Resources 2005 report, "Managing Ecosystems to Fight Poverty":

    It's available free online.