Impact of poverty on the environment in southern Africa
Poverty is a major cause and consequence of the environmental degradation and resource depletion that threaten the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Major environmental challenges include deforestation, soil degradation and desertification, declining biodiversity and marine resources, water scarcity, and deteriorating water and air quality. Urbanization is an emerging issue, bringing with it the range of human health and environmental problems well known in urban areas throughout southern Africa and the world at large. Growing “environmental debts” in many countries are a major concern because the cost of remedial action will be far greater than preventative action.
This paper addresses the link and impact of poverty on the environment in southern Africa and also looks at causes of poverty and resource utilization. Finally it addresses policy and strategies for poverty alleviation in southern Africa/SADC region.