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Natural resources provide jobs for hundreds of millions of people, and sustain billions more. When managed well, nature can provide the foundation for sustained inclusive growth, food security, poverty reduction, and human wellbeing.

The triple environmental crises of climate change, nature loss, and pollution are beginning to reverse decades of development progress in some countries, and slow progress in others. The "grow now, clean up later" mindset is no longer an option. Addressing environmental degradation and the loss of nature is essential to ending poverty on a livable planet. 

A healthy environment is also key to ensure that people can lead healthy and productive lives, and that public and private resources can be invested in advancing development instead of remediating pollution. The world’s ecosystems regulate the air, water, and soil on which we all depend, and form a unique and cost-effective buffer against extreme weather events and climate change.

Achieving sustainable growth requires better integrating environment, climate, and development actions, as highlighted in global commitments, such as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) approved in December 2022 at CBD COP15. To make this happen, countries need better natural resource management, environmentally friendly fiscal policies, greener financial markets, and effective waste management programs.

In particular, the nature and climate change agendas are complementary: the benefits of nature-smart policy increase substantially when the carbon sequestration services of nature are factored in.  

Investing in nature is smart development. What we do across the entire land and sea matters, from ridge to reef. This means we need to prioritize nature when working across all development sectors.

Last Updated: Apr 04,2024

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