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GEO-3: GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT OUTLOOK  
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Dealing with debt and conflict

'Efforts at international and regional levels help provide economic and political support for policy changes needed at national and sub-national levels.'

In terms of foreign debt, many developing countries feel they need and deserve special help to pursue sustainability. Key lenders, including the World Bank and the IMF, work together with borrowers to restructure and - in some cases - eliminate existing debts. Options such as debt for nature or debt for poverty alleviation swaps are explored as options to manage international debts in ways that help achieve sustainability goals. Development aid is increasingly seen as a matter of national and international security, prompting nations to increase contributions progressively to target levels set - but rarely achieved - in the previous century.

Increasingly, regional and international bodies adopt a more direct role in resolving conflicts within and between nations. One of the lessons learned from periodic terrorist activities and the responses to them is that greater cooperation between nations, even where it may involve sacrificing some elements of sovereignty, can bring definite benefits in terms of national security.

Efforts at international and regional levels help provide economic and political support for policy changes needed at national and sub-national levels. Comprehensive environmental and social policy frameworks are established. Where necessary, international actions such as insisting on treaty compliance and limiting aid and capital flows, help to put pressure on governments that are slow to introduce reforms. More often, however, nations are proactive in taking action internally.