The Environment and Sustainable Human Development
Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world; over eighty-five percent of the population live in rural areas where economic and social development are extremely low, with life expectancy less than forty-eight years, adult literacy only seventeen percent and infant mortality 123‰. The NHDR 1999 investigates the impact of Niger's difficult environment on levels of human development. For example, the report attempts to identify the link between desertification, food security and environmental degradation and human development indicators such as childhood malnutrition, access to drinking water and life expectancy. The authors argue that this link between the environment and human development should be taken into consideration when calculating the human development index in order to allow a better understanding of the process of poverty and to improve strategies for increasing sustainable human development.