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Environmental resources and services are vital contributors to economic growth and people's well‐being. This is particularly the case in developing countries, where natural resources sectors (agriculture, mining, forestry, fisheries and
nature‐based tourism) often are the engines of economic growth. It is estimated that natural capital accounts for 26% of total wealth in low‐income countries, compared to only 2% in industrialised countries (OECD, 2008a).
The condition of soil, water, forests and fisheries therefore has a direct impact on commercial and subsistence activities, as well as on livelihoods. The natural resource base is also an important source of employment and income for the poor, and provides a
valuable safety net, providing supplementary income and food in times of crisis.