Everyone is vulnerable to environmental impacts of some kind but the
ability of people and societies to adapt to and cope with change is very
varied. People in developing countries, particularly the least developed,
have less capacity to adapt to change and are more vulnerable to environmental
threats and global change, just as they are more vulnerable to other stresses.
Poverty is generally recognized as one of the most important causes of
vulnerability to environmental threats, on the basis that the poor tend
to have much lower coping capacities, and therefore they bear a disproportionate
burden of the impact of disasters, conflict, drought, desertification
and pollution. But poverty is not the only reason.