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While fashionable rhetoric threatens to overwhelm clear thinking sustainable development, the authors of this study believe that serious and difficult questions need to be asked if we are to move to a concept and practice of development which really integrates the needs of people, the economy, the environment and the practical world of decision-making. In particular, it is too easy to assume a positive relation between poverty reduction and an improved environment. Instead they argue that the alleviation of poverty and sustainable development are only likely if the idea of empowerment and it practical institutionalization in the law, the education process and the machinery of government becomes a reality. This innovative book explores some of the multiple ways in which this approach could become a reality, as well as the difficulties that stand in the way.