Natural Resources and Pro-Poor Growth

The Economics and Politics

image of Natural Resources and Pro-Poor Growth

This publication demonstrates that natural resources can contribute to growth, employment, exports and fiscal revenues in low-income countries, where natural capital constitutes a quarter of total wealth. It highlights the importance of policies encouraging the sustainable management of these resources. Moreover, it emphasises the need to address the political challenges of natural-resource management for long-term pro-poor economic growth. Part I provides an overview of the economics and politics of natural resources. It describes the unique features of natural resources and resulting management challenges, the role of sustainable natural resource management in supporting pro-poor growth, and the politics and governance of natural resources. It then offers recommendations for policy makers on how to support the approaches advocated in the paper. Part II examines these issues with respect to seven specific natural-resource sectors: fisheries, forests, wildlife and ecotourism, soil productivity, water security, minerals and renewable energy.

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Renewable Energy and Pro-Poor Growth

Access to energy is one of the keys to development and economic growth, as it provides light and heat, and powers productive machinery and telecommunication equipment. Yet in spite of admirable accomplishments in providing energy for human purposes, it is increasingly clear that current systems are unable to provide energy to all people in a sustainable and affordable way. It is estimated that 1.6 billion people (Flavin and Aeck, 2005; ITDG, 2004) do not have access to modern forms of energy, most of them living in rural areas in developing countries, far from centralised energy systems. Fossil fuel-based energy systems also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Hence recognition is growing that new patterns of energy supply and consumption are needed to move towards more sustainable development.

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