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Environmental problems in world’s literature–list of literary works compiled by UNCCD Library

Books are invaluable platforms for freedom of expression and the free flow of information –these are essential for all societies today. The future of the book as a cultural object is inseparable from the role of culture in promoting more inclusive and sustainable pathways to development.

Can a novel or a poem make a more sustainable world? The answer is with you… we offer you an annotated list of literary works (among which a few nonfiction ones) that have reflected the major world's environmental problems and disasters. Global environmental challenges are a unifying concern for people around the world. Climate change, loss of biodiversity, human health and welfare, land  degradation, drought, some of the major environmental catastrophes from  the past : the collapse of Maya civilization, the Dust Bowl, the Chernobyl disaster are just a few from a long list of global environmental challenges that cross national boundaries and require international cooperation . Environmental problematic reflected in world’s literary work can prompt more concern, provoke attitude, inspire action.. But it is also true that literature addressing environmental degradation helps us better understand and care more deeply about damage at all scales. Sometimes creative works can even transform our values and behaviors vis-a vis the environment.

Stories from fiction and literature that engage with the ambiguities of ecological problems and their impact on human life and future talked about in many more ways than the science, eco criticism or the news articles used to do and can be valuable and really engaging tools for environmental action.