Keywords: poverty, sustainability, environment, human development indicators
Environmental resources provide life support and livelihood to the poor. Degradation of the environment, whether caused by rich or poor, affects the poor the most. Today we have different levels of societies, viz., tribal and traditional, rural and agrarian and urban, each of which relates to the environment differently. The environment provides basic necessities such as water, fuel, food materials and other resources. Human development indicators such as life expectancy and infant mortality depend on environmental indicators such as access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Environmentally friendly economic growth and industrialisation are emphasised in modern societies now. East Asian experience may be different from the European experience of the past. Alleviation of poverty is essential for the sustainability of the global environment.