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German development policy

Protecting natural resources


Jaraqui, Brazil: a boy sitting on a bench near a settlement in the rainforest.

Environmental degradation has a direct impact on people's lives and future prospects; this par­tic­u­lar­ly affects the human rights of young and future generations. Every year at least three million children under the age of five die from en­vi­ron­ment-related diseases. A third of all illnesses that frequently result in dis­a­bi­li­ties are caused by en­vi­ron­ment­al risk factors.

The impacts of climate change pose a growing threat. Loss of biodiversity means that potential for de­vel­op­ment and for growth and em­ploy­ment is also lost. The risk of social conflicts, armed conflict and massive popu­la­tion movements is growing.

Preserving de­vel­op­ment opportunities

Through its de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion Germany is involved in efforts to preserve biodiversity. These efforts are also aimed at preserving de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for young and future generations. Children and young people should be able to enjoy their fair share in the bounties of nature and they should be protected from the dangers that arise as a result of environmental degradation.

In the fields of education and municipal de­vel­op­ment Germany is in­creas­ing­ly sup­port­ing activities that help young people to lobby for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and for their rights in this regard. One particular focus of these activities is on the human rights dimension of climate change and its impacts. In order to increase aware­ness of these issues, however, additional research and information campaigns are needed.

The rights and potential of young people are also receiving greater con­si­der­a­tion in German projects for rural de­vel­op­ment. On the one hand, de­vel­op­ing rural areas is the key to over­coming hunger in a sus­tain­able manner. On the other hand, Germany is sup­port­ing young people who are working in rural areas as micro-producers and entre­pre­neurs. One way in which they can be helped is if Germany en­courages and enables local authorities to provide more support for these young entrepreneurs.

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