Global poverty is a multi-faceted issue, and unless all its dimensions are addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated way, the problem will never be solved. Poverty encompasses hunger, disease, lack of economic opportunity, inadequate education, inadequate health services, inadequate housing, water and sanitation. Often accompanying poverty are environmental degradation and natural resources limitations such as pollution, desertification, inadequate rainfall and loss of biological diversity. Together, these conditions contribute to a cycle from which people are hard-pressed to escape. Poverty in all its manifestations is self-perpetuating, and is passed on from generation to generation. It breeds despair, lack of hope for a better life in the future, and political unrest. The greatest tragedy concerning poverty, however, is that todays society has the ability and the means to eradicate it, yet it does not fully commit itself to this vital task. Rather, society are racing to gain economic wealth, political power and social advancement in a short-sighted manner that is often more harmful than beneficial.
According to recent estimates, world population will have exceeded 12 billion by the year 2080. This dramatic increase is contributing to the rapid depletion of natural resources, and is jeopardising the entire concept of world “food security.” Countries of the North should therefore adopt a new consumer-attitude so as to ensure a fair distribution of natural resources. Overpopulation in the South can only be controlled by a more balanced economic development, which will also contribute toward improving living conditions, and holding health and environmental hazards in check.
Since its inception, B.I.O. emphasises that the environment and poverty are closely inter-related. Problems of environmental degradation and large-scale poverty stem from humanitys failure to place respect for life on earth as a priority. To raise awareness of these issues, B.I.O. held a Hellenic-Indian Symposium, in Athens, in 1993, in cooperation with the Indian Embassy. The Symposium was themed Population growth, food security and equity, and Dr. Kamla Chowdry was the keynote speaker. Policy concerns for the eradication of poverty have also been discussed at B.I.O.s international conferences, and several articles on curbing poverty and hunger have been published in BioNews. An e-learning course on Food and Agriculture, where issues of world food production and hunger are extensively addressed, is available on the B.I.O. website. These issues are also addressed in educational modules prepared by B.I.O. within the framework of the European Unions Leonardo da Vinci vocational training programme.
- POPULATION GROWTH, FOOD SECURITY AND EQUITY A. Vlavianos-Arvanitis, Editor. Proceedings from a Hellenic-Indian Symposium, Athens, April 1993 (English, 47 pp.) 1993
- BIOPOLITICS – THE BIO-ENVIRONMENT – VOLUME IV A. Vlavianos-Arvanitis, Editor. Professor Rusen Keles, Co-Editor. Fifth B.I.O. International Conference – Poverty, Environment and Development Deonanan Oodit, Udo Simonis
- BIOPOLITICS – THE BIO-ENVIRONMENT – VOLUME V A. Vlavianos-Arvanitis, Editor. Sixth B.I.O. International Conference International Sakharov Festival – Forestry: Reconciling Poverty and Equity Concerns Kamla Chowdhry
- Bio News 30 – Page 8, Eradicating poverty and fighting hunger
- Bio News 34 – Page 6, Global Poverty and Hunger – Page 7, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – Page 14, The Ethics of Food and Agriculture: Reducing Poverty and Hunger
- Bio News 42 – Page 1, Biopolicy – Eradicating the poverty in values: Building a society of vision and hope – Page 1, Bioethics and social justice – Page 8-9, Forests and the alleviation of poverty
- Attendance at a Turkish meeting together with partners from Ankara in view of the “Educational program for the Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development and Reduction of Poverty” program, Ankara, Turkey
- Participation in the World Bank’s Research Alliance for Development
- Participation in the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics, sponsored by the World Bank, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Participation as academic liaison in the World Bank’s European Academic Action Network for Development
- Participation in the Annual World Bank Conference on Development Economics, Brussels
- Participation in the Seventh German World Bank Forum, Munich
- Keynote speech, Fairer World Forum, Bibliotheque Solvay, Brussels
- Participation in the meeting of the World Bank’s European Academic Action Network for Development, Paris
- Participation in the Sixth German World Bank Forum, Petersberg, Germany
- “Rio+10 urgent steps beyond sustainable development,” roundtable discussion in view of the upcoming Earth Summit in Johannesburg, Athens Money Show. BioNews no. 30 April 2002, p. 1 , BioNews no. 32 Oct. 2002, p. 5.
- Keynote speech and chairing of the session on “Food in the World,” World Bioethics Congress, Gijon Spain. Programme
- Keynote presentation at the Wilton Park conference on Human Rights and Global Economic Governance: How Can We Build Equity?, Wiston House, UK. BioNews no. 22, April 2000, p. 3
- The B.I.O. President joins the Board of Trustees of the National Foundation for Research and Development, Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Uganda
- Biopolitics seminar at The World Bank, Washington DC, USA. Programme
- Hellenic-Indian Symposium on Management Strategy and the BioEnvironment in honour of Dr. Kamla Chowdhry, leading professor and policy-maker of the Government of India, with the participation of the Ambassador of India Mr. Aftab Seth, Athens. BioNews no. 6, April 2003, p. 21, Programme