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Surviving in a changing world: environment, security and microfinance

This article summarises some of the ways in which environmental change is linked to insecurity. In particular, it draws on two case studies and outlines the current research being conducted on microfinance as a strategy for bolstering the resilience of those who are most vulnerable.

The article summarises the overall research on environmental degradation and security under four categories:

  • insecurity due to resource scarcity
  • insecurity due to conflict over valuable resources
  • vulnerability to environmental hazards due to unsustainable land use, population pressures, and climate change
  • vulnerability related to incremental environmental change due to a lack of adaptive capacity

The two case studies discussed include:

  • the loss of legal and customary land rights in Nepal
  • the conflict in Darfur, Sudan and its connections to climate change

    The conclusion argues that microfinance is a useful tool in promoting sustainable development given the current environmental realities.