At the start of the 21st century, fighting poverty and protecting the environment are two of the most urgent challenges facing the international community. Environmental changes will jeopardize people's survival to an even greater extent in the future, and will hit the poor hardest. To meet these challenges, it will be essential to breathe new life into the partnership between industrialized and developing countries. It will be equally essential to combine poverty reduction with environmental protection in an integrated policy structure spanning all levels from local to global. In this report, the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) shows that global environmental policy is a prerequisite for global poverty reduction. WBGU analyses the relevant policy processes and delivers recommendations charting the way forward. 'With its interdisciplinary approach, providing a complex and systematic analysis of the poverty-environment nexus, WBGU's latest report breaks new ground. Indira Gandhi's old, convenient maxim was 'Poverty is the biggest polluter'. Put forward at the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, it has been sorely misused ever since to override environmental precaution and prioritize economic development strategies instead. The new WBGU report maps out a way to shape a coherent environment and development policy. This report revitalizes the Rio spirit and gives it a robust scientific base'. Prof Dr Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Member of the German Bundestag (MdB)
Table of Contents
Part I: Introduction * Part II: Integrative environment and development policy � The Rio vision * The Rio process * Concerted environment and development policy at a global scale * Principles of sustainable development in international law and ways to render them operable * Part III: Poverty, vulnerability and environmental change � The settings and trends * Conceptual fundamentals * Dimensions of poverty * Environmental change and poverty * The global setting: Key factors * New approaches towards an integrated analysis of regional vulnerability: Case studies on Burkina Faso and northeast Brazil * Implementing, financing and advancing international goals * Part IV: Linkages among international environment and development policy spheres * The new setting of global politics * Assessment of key policy processes and institutions * Socio-political obstacles to sustainable policies and the role of interest groups * R�sum�: Challenges in shaping the institutional framework * Part V: Reducing poverty and protecting the environment: Recommendations for integrated policies * Linking environment and development policy * Rio strategies: Examples of self-reinforcing dynamics * Global governance: Reforming the multilateral institutional architecture * Implementing international agreements * Fostering good governance in developing countries * Financing * Part VI: Reducing poverty and protecting the environment: Research recommendations * Knowledge for orientation * Knowledge for action * Part VII: Core messages *
The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) comprises 12 leading experts working on issues of global environmental change.