Environmental degradation can contribute to poverty because when the land is not taken care of, then the people who live on it cannot reap any benefits from it, agrictulturally or otherwise (unless money can be put into it to use it in different ways). Conversely, poverty can contribute to environmental degradation because if people or a community do not have enough money to tend to their public space, then the land will not be taken care of and will lose its value both economically and environmentally.
Poverty is often considered both a cause and effect of environmental degradation because the poor tend to contribute to and be affected by environmental degradation. They are disproportionately affected by climate change’s effects, such as rising sea levels, and are unable to fund mechanisms to cope with changing climate (droughts, heat waves, etc). The poor can also contribute to climate change by contributing to deforestation, among other things. People will take care of their personal needs before trying to take care of the world around them, in general. It’s tough to ask a starving person to lower their carbon footprint.
Cause: Developing countries are primarily still industrial societies (who seek economic growth through the consumer market and lack funding and technology to implement clean sources of energy). In developed countries, the poor lack available funds to purchase greener, more expensive products and services.
Effect: The poor lack the means to escape environmental degradation through physical relocation or other means. As housing is cheapest in degraded areas, the poor typically are forced to live there.
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