Development specialists have called for a more scientific approach to deciding how aid money should be spent. The call came in response to a report by the World Resources Institute recommending that aid should be invested in environmental protection.
Developing countries have neglected their rural poor, says the report, and have put little money into helping them protect the marine and agricultural resources they rely on for income.
Governments must realise that poverty and the environment in which people live are inextricably linked, adds the report, which was backed by the UN and the World Bank.
Using aid to help local communities to manage natural resources sustainably would be beneficial, say researchers, but decisions must be based on scientific evidence for the approach to have any impact.
This would allow aid agencies and governments to monitor methods and identify which work best, they say.
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