Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Asian miracle

"In rural areas, degradation of natural resources is a growing problem, caused by competing demands on land and other natural resources.

Many poor people are being relegated to marginal land, which provides diminishing returns in response to increasing use and pushes many of the rural poor to urban areas in search of better opportunities.

But most urban areas are not yet prepared for the influx, and are being fouled by congestion, smog-filled air, fetid water, and mounting waste.

About 1.9 billion people in Asia are living on incomes of less than US$2 a day, including 620 million living on less than US$1 daily.

Most of the poor live in rural areas where they are highly dependent on ecosystems for their needs. Yet unsustainable exploitation and conversion are severely straining the forests, coastal systems, and lands from which they make their livings."

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