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Seminar 1 - Why an Interest in the Links between Natural Resources Management and Poverty

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Seminar 1: Why an Interest in the Links between Natural Resources Management & Poverty?

Seminar 1 will introduce the seminar series with a presentation by USAID Assistant Administrator Emmy Simmons on definitions and links between poverty reduction and the effective management of natural resources in developing countries. She will discuss emerging lessons from community-based natural resource management, and the role of gender in natural resource management and poverty reduction/prevention. She will be followed by a panel of experts who will speak to various aspects of the linkages.

Jan Bojö from the World Bank will link poverty and natural resource management. Sara Scherr, Director of Ecosystem Services at Forest Trends, will address the poverty-resource degradation cycle and policies and strategies to provide protection to resources while improving the local economic base in developing countries. Andrew Warner of the Millennium Challenge Corporation will look at the natural resource “curse” — linking natural resources and economic development.

A discussion session will follow, allowing participants the opportunity to raise issues and questions that have surfaced through Office and Bureau policies and activities.


Reading List


  • Bojö, J. and R. Reddy. 2003. Status and Evolution of Environmental Priorities in the Poverty Reduction Strategies: An assessment of fifty poverty reduction strategy papers. Environment Department Paper No. 93 (208KB PDF). World Bank. Washington, D.C. 48p.
  • DFID, EC, UNDP and World Bank. 2002. Linking Poverty Reduction and Environmental Management: Policy challenges and opportunities. World Bank. Washington, D.C. 94p.
  • Vedeld, P, A. Angelsen, E. Sjaastad and G. Kobugabe-Berg. 2004. Counting on the Environment: Forest Incomes and the Rural Poor. Environment Department Paper No. 98 (499KB PDF). World Bank. Washington, D.C. 114p.
  • McNeely, J. and S. Scherr. 2001. Common Ground, Common Future: How ecoagriculture can help feed the world and save wild biodiversity. IUCN and Future Harvest, Washington, D.C. 24 p.
  • Scherr, S. 2000. A Downward Spiral? Research evidence on the relationship between poverty and natural resource degradation. Food Policy 25: 479-498. (This journal is available at USAID's Information Center Library.)
  • Scherr, S. 1999. Poverty-Environment Interactions in Agriculture: Key factors and policy implications. 3, Poverty and Environment Initiative. New York: United Nations Development Program and the European Economic Commission.


  • Chronic Poverty Research Centre. 2004. Chronic Poverty Report 2004 - 2005. Chronic Poverty Research Centre. Manchester, England, 152p.
  • Ford Foundation. 2002. Building Assets to Reduce Poverty and Injustice. Ford Foundation. New York City, NY. 29p.
  • Woodhouse, P. 2002. Natural Resource Management and Chronic Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa: An overview paper. Working Paper no.14. Chronic Poverty Research Centre. Manchester, England. 24p.
  • World Bank Poverty Net website:


Seminar Series

1: Links between NRM & Poverty?

2: Power & the Social Dimensions

3: Assets, Poverty Traps and Rights

4: Markets and Trade

5: Migration, Marginal Lands

6: Key Macro and National Level Issues

7: Programmatic Issues and Tools

8: Conflict, Corruption, NRM & Poverty Reduction


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