At present there are about 13 global Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and/or conventions and about 500 international treaties or other agreements related to the environment. This proliferation of agreements has created concern among international and national communities regarding overlap and duplication of goals and programs. Lack of coherence results in high transaction costs and inefficiencies in achieving convention objectives and the need for coherence is obvious. While several MEA initiatives have yielded a more integrated approach towards environmental management, little is currently being done to find coherence between environmental agreements and development initiatives, especially the recently designed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
This publication sets out to demonstrate how human well-being is dependant upon ecosystems and ecosystem services and to identify barriers and drivers that prevent the poor from using these ecosystem services to improve their well-being, in essence perpetuating poverty. It identifies policy response options to remove the barriers, re-design or even introduce new intervention strategies to allow the poor to improve their well-being through an ecosystem approach.