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Making Poverty Reduction Irreversible: development implications of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

Steve Bass

IIED Briefing, 6 pages

Development is achieved through growing and managing the ‘portfolio of assets’ available to a household or a nation. Soils, water, plants and animals often make up the biggest chunk of poor people’s assets. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) has taken stock of these environmental assets worldwide. It reveals that fully sixty percent are being degraded – with poor people disproportionately suffering the consequences such as shortage of clean water, floods and droughts. Yet the MA also identified instances of effective asset management – proven ‘Response Options’ that deserve scaling up. This briefing note identifies the major developmental implications of the MA, and calls for action in four areas. Information, Institutional Reform, Internation Cooperation, and Invesment Vehicles and Budgets.

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