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GEO-3: GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT OUTLOOK  
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Human vulnerability to environmental change

Vulnerable groups

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.