If such are the realities in the most prosperous nation on earth, what kind of future awaits underdeveloped nations? A majority of the poor live in rural towns and villages, where local ecosystems such as water bodies, forests, soil fertility, etc are under unprecedented strain. The Asian Development Bank notes that for more than half a billion Asians living below the poverty line “local ecosystems and the natural resources associated with them are essential to daily health and wellbeing” (Allen, 2005, p.144). Women and children are especially vulnerable, as they it is usually their responsibility to collect resources such as water and firewood – a process that exposes them to polluted water and air. Sub-Saharan Africa is identified to be on the verge of a major catastrophe. Statistics from rural regions in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka further reinforce the fears of human rights activists and environmentalists. The situation is equally grave in some parts of China and Mongolia. In this scenario, the governing authorities across borders need to work in concert and remedy the precarious human condition in vulnerable ecosystems. (Dixon, 1998, p.125)
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