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Poor nations at bottom of environment ladder

By By Peter Makwanya ~ NewsDay ~

THE poor, normally referred to, as the “common people” seem to be cursed or ostracised, as a result of not having recognition, no rights, and little freedom, in the societies they live in. Due to their placement in society, the poor normally derive their survival from the environment, in particular, the forest resources near them. When they cut down trees for building houses, cattle kraals, firewood, poles as fencing materials and for heating charcoal, they are labelled ex-mongers, eco-freaky or forest invaders.

Whenever issues of land degradation are discussed, it’s normally the poor who are found unreasonable and short-sighted in this regard, they are labelled careless, reckless and destructive.

But in the eyes of the poor, it’s only the forest which is an institution resource in which they can find something to make them survive, and possibly make their day. The other reason is that the poor invade the forests simply because there aren’t any other meaningful sources of food to make a living.

Even if the poor are to come up with some conservation movements, and besides not being normally listened to, they are also not heard in as much as they would like.

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