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Climate Change, Environmental Destruction Threaten Improvements Among World’s Poorest, UNDP Report Warns

“Unchecked environmental destruction will halt — or even reverse — the huge improvements seen in the living conditions of the world’s poorest people in recent decades,” the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) warns in its 2011 Human Development report, which was released on Wednesday, the Guardian reports (Carrington, 11/2). “[T]he annual report, titled ‘Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All,’ said that environmental sustainability can be ‘fairly’ reached if disparities in health, education, income and gender are addressed,” Xinhua writes (11/2). VOA News adds, “It says inaction on climate change and habitat destruction is jeopardizing health and the pursuit of higher income in developing countries” (Schlein, 11/2.)

“Each region of the world faces unique challenges between now and 2050, the report warns, but most are linked to environmental complications arising from climate change,” according to the New York Times “Green” blog (Nuwer, 11/2). “The report says half of all malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa is caused by environmental factors,” VOA notes, adding, “It says environmental degradation is expected to cut agricultural productivity and cause food prices to soar by up to 50 percent in the coming decades” and “environmental deterioration could undermine decades of efforts to expand water, sanitation and access to electricity to the world’s poorest communities” (11/2).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.