Ecosystems make up our planet's life support system. They are fundamental to human health and indispensable to the well-being of all people. However, the increasing industrialisation and fast growth does not only pose problems related to the allocation of resources and powers, but also severely challenges the natural environment. Environmental degradation such as contaminated water, sinking groundwater levels, unhealthy soils, and polluted air has become a harsh reality in many parts of India.
Hand in Hand sees the status of the local natural environment as key in the development process. Since poor and marginalised people lack the resources needed to reduce the negative effects of a degraded environment, a damaged natural environment will hit the most vulnerable groups of society the hardest. At the same time, people living with scarce resources are usually directly dependent on their close natural environment for their daily survival. In this light, the links between environmental change and human development form an important priority area for Hand in Hand.
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