Poverty and environmental degradation 'are linked in a vicious circle in which people cannot afford to take proper care of the environment' (SARDC, IUCN and SADC 1994). Poverty has been and remains a major cause and consequence of environmental degradation and resource depletion.
1. Poverty results from the political instability of many countries over the past few decades. Where such instability has resulted in civil war, the human and environmental effects have been even more devastating.