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    Env.Poverty Reduction_Rwanda_AnAssessment.pdf
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    Publish Date:
    March 2006

The importance of environment in development discourses picked its momentum three decades ago. In 1960s the environmental movement was confined to states and focused on conservation and rational use of natural resources. Human ecology and conservation ecology were part of the development paradigm concerned with physical and social environment. Wildlife conservation, wilderness, maritime pollution and possible nuclear disaster were given attention but remained marginal in mainstream inquiries on economic growth and poverty reduction (Clover 2005).

The earliest interest between the environment and growth was the so-called Boserup Hypothesis in 1965(Clay 1990, Clover 2005). The argument advanced by Ester Boserup was that rural communities would over time adapt their environment and cultivation strategies such that increased yields could be obtained without any significant degradation of the resource base. Significantly, this was a signal that marked a shift from conservation of the environment or environment security to the involvement of people. But even then concerns were on human generated environmental degradation such as overgrazing, desertification, wood fuel crisis and soil erosion as a result of population pressure. Technology was one of the solutions to efficiency and use of resources and increased income growth.