2 November 2011
Health, income advancement in developing countries jeopardized by inaction on climate change, habitat destruction, Report shows
Wealth and gender disparities linked to environmental hazards
Sustainability and social justice
- Expanding reproductive rights, health care and contraceptive access would open a new front in the fight against gender inequality and poverty, the Report contends. Reproductive rights can further reduce environmental pressures by slowing global demographic growth, with the world population now projected to rise from
7 billion today to 9.3 billion within 40 years.
- The Report argues that official transparency and independent watchdogs—including news media, civil society and courts—are vital to civic engagement in environmental policymaking. Some 120 national constitutions guarantee environmental protections, but in many countries there is little enforcement of these provisions, the Report says.
- Bold global action is urgently required for sustainable development, but local initiatives to support poor communities can be both highly cost-effective and environmentally beneficial, the Report emphasizes. India’s Rural Employment Guarantee Act cost about 0.5 percent of GDP in 2009 and benefited 45 million households—one-tenth of the labour force; Brazil’s Bolsa Familia and Mexico’s Oportunidades programmes cost about 0.4 percent of GDP and provide safety nets for about one-fifth of their populations.