As the world contends with swelling populations and an unpredictable, changing climate, the pressures on scarce natural resources are mounting. Demand for water for household, industrial, and agricultural uses is growing, while the functioning and quality of watersheds and irrigated land are deteriorating. Desertification, deforestation, overgrazing, salinization, and soil erosion are increasing as well—especially in developing countries. As a result, precious natural resources—from fertile soil to freshwater streams—are rapidly diminishing, resulting in devastating impacts on the poor, who rely on such resources to generate most of their income and subsistence goods. IFPRI’s research on such issues such as land management, water policy, land degradation, and water resource allocation promotes poverty reduction through more productive, equitable, and sustainable use of resources in developing countries.
Critical assets for the poor in developing countries are land-based resources that generate most of their income and subsistence goods.