Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Webinar "Poorer without it? The neglected role of the environment in addressing poverty"

Date: 24 April 2018
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: online

Register now for ESPA's final webinar, exploring conceptual and methodological advancements for measuring environmental dimensions of poverty and wellbeing, and the implications for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

New insights

This webinar will present and discuss the findings of research funded by the UK’s ESPA programme and Global Challenges Research Fund that describes:

  • A new conceptual understanding of the environment as a missing dimension of poverty;
  • Why this is important for allocating resources to poverty alleviation efforts; and
  • Practical ways in which this understanding can be integrated in measuring multidimensional poverty through top-down (e.g. satellite) and bottom-up (e.g. household survey) data collection, and what this means for developing indicators for measuring poverty.

Context: integrating environment and poverty outcomes

There is growing recognition that the environment plays an important role in a holistic picture of wellbeing, but this knowledge has not yet been adequately realised in mainstream international development.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with their emphasis on the interconnected nature of the environmental, social and economic aspects of development, serve as an opportunity for closer environment-poverty policy integration. Indeed, targets for the goal on ending poverty (SDG 1) explicitly refer to poverty in all its dimensions (Target 1.2) and include the role of natural resources (Target 1.4) and resilience from environmental shocks (Target 1.5).

However, whether the environment is seen as means to improve wellbeing versus it being an integral dimension of wellbeing itself has important implications both for how we measure and understand development, and for interventions that are designed to positively impact wellbeing and the environment.

Ultimately, this will affect our ability to achieve the transformative ambitions of the SDGs.

Speakers and the discussion panel

  • Judith Schleicher 
    Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Professor Bhaskar Vira
    Professor of Political Economy, Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, and Director of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute
  • David Smith
    Manager of the UNDP-UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Africa Programme
  • Marije Schaafsma
    Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Geography and Environment, University of Southampton

Please get in touch if you have questions (

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