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Library Natural Capital, Ecological Scarcity and Rural Poverty

Natural Capital, Ecological Scarcity and Rural Poverty

Natural Capital, Ecological Scarcity and Rural Poverty

Resource information

Date of publication
January 2013
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

Much of the rural poor -- who are
growing in number -- are concentrated in ecologically
fragile and remote areas. The key ecological scarcity
problem facing such poor households is a vicious cycle of
declining livelihoods, increased ecological degradation and
loss of resource commons, and declining ecosystem services
on which the poor depend. In addition, developing economies
with high concentrations of their populations on fragile
lands and in remote areas not only display high rates of
rural poverty, but also are some of the poorest countries in
the world today. Policies to eradicate poverty therefore
need to be targeted at the poor where they live, especially
the rural poor clustered in fragile environments and remote
areas. The specific elements of such a strategy include
involving the poor in payment for ecosystem services schemes
and other measures that enhance the environments on which
the poor depend; targeting investments directly to improving
the livelihoods of the rural poor, thus reducing their
dependence on exploiting environmental resources; tackling
the lack of access of the rural poor in less favored areas
to well-functioning and affordable markets for credit,
insurance, and land; and reducing the high transportation
and transaction costs that prohibit the poorest households
in remote areas from engaging in off-farm employment and
limit smallholder participation in national and global markets.

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