'A valuable contribution to our collective knowledge about governance, poverty and the environment' Frances Seymour, World Resources Institute 'Detailed and realistic documentation of contemporary development and governance relationships and trends' Melissa Leach, Institute of Development Studies There are growing signs that development work by governments, aid agencies and non-government organisations ignores the fact that environmental quality matters to the poor. There are also indications that some environmental work is pushing 'people-out' protection methodologies. Yet recently, an extensive range of project, programme and policy level activities has focused attention on the important links between poverty and the environment, and the benefit of entrenching these links in policy-making processes at all levels. The role that politics plays in all of this is of overriding importance. This volume is the first to address the role of politics in environmental issues that matter to the poor through a series of case studies. It describes experiences at regional, national and local levels in low and middle income countries including China, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, Pakistan, Colombia, Peru, India, Saint Lucia and countries in East Africa. Ultimately the book demonstrates how understanding the national and local political context is crucial for addressing poverty-environment issues such as environmental health, access to natural resources for livelihoods and security, and coping with environmental disasters. The editors advocate ways in which political processes can be used to make positive changes - from the perspectives of both poverty reduction and the environment.