Lecture 12: Environment and Development

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Lecture 12: Environment and Development
12/16/12 9:22 AM
Trade offs between environmental sustainability and development
Depletion of fisheries
Destructions of tropical coral reefs
Costal Forest destruction
Destroyed forests
Loss of global bio-diversity
Degradation of environmental lands
Bringing marginal lands under production
Irrigation and wells
Mining
Road Building
Countries focusing on development want FDI. FDI wants to set up in their
countries because there are weaker environmental laws. Environmental
laws, even if they have them, are not well enforced.
Nigeria – Shell: oil extraction, joint venture projects, small amount
of monitoring, pipe lines bursting, pollution of agricultural lands
Cambodia: local people being pushed away from their lands for
rubber plantations
Canadian Mining Projects – Guatemala
Hydro-Electric Dams
National Development
Can provide water
Can provide electricity
World Bank promotes them
Conservation
Flooding of biodiversity
Changes in the flows of rivers
Impact the movement of fish
Reservoirs can emit greenhouse gases
Roads
Pollution
Forestry industry
Development Displacements
Displaces local and indigenous people
Lands and livelihoods
Health impact
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Not always a lot of local involvement. Social, environment and ethical
problems with these dams. These usually cause a lot of opposition. There
was such a back lash that the World Bank stopped doing this, until the Nam
Theun 2 dam. Considered the one way to get money into Laos and give
them economic benefits. They can sell the electricity and reinvest in the
infrastructure, social and environmental part of Laos. Trying to make this an
“ethical” and “sustainable” dam. Can use the money from the dam to
conserve other parts of nature in Laos. Being seen as the main way to
alleviate poverty in Laos.
Trade-Offs
Large scale economic benefit Vs. People Vs. Environment
Changing Perspectives on Environment and Development
Limits to Growth (1972) – Club of Rome
“carrying capacity”: the idea that there are a limited amount of
people that can be supported on a given amount of land and
resources
o ethical issues
o social control and coercion
o human rights
curtail population growth, production and consumption
Malthusian argument (influencer of Harden)
Sustainable Development
1983: World Commission on Environment and Development
(WCED)
o international and interdisciplinary body
1987: Brundtland Report “Our common future”
o development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the lives of people in the future
o not only development on the environment but also on poverty
o Poverty can contribute to environmental degradation
Poverty and the Environment
1992: UN conference on Environment and Development (The “Earth
Summit”
o people being at the center of the problem
o the worlds poor are dependent on natural resources for
survival
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o conservation for poor people is not a priority ! need to meet
their livelihood needs
o Marginal lands, sensitive to environmental destruction
o Poverty and environment is a downward spiral
Rio Agenda 21
Link between poverty and environmental degradation
o Women problems: further for clean water, crops not growing
as well, travel further for fire wood
Property Rights: What is property?
Social relationship, not “things” or owned resources
Must be recognized by others
Owning something means nothing if others do not respect this
Competing rights for property
Social contract
Obligations
Rights
Types of Property important for rural livelihoods:
Private Property: house, garden, farm owned by one family
State Property: national forests
Common Property: governed by social institutions
o “Regularized patterns of behaviour between individuals and
groups in society” that influence how people interact and
make decisions about resource use. Constrain some activities
and facilitate others.
o Not static – subject to negotiation and change through
everyday practice (structure vs. agency)
o Bounded area/territory
o Defined membership
o Rules and regulations to manage access and use of resources
o Processes for enforcement of rules and sanctions against
violators
o Ability to exclude non-members
Open Access: not really property, tragedy of the commons
o Harden calls it “common property” but is wrong
o Pasture
o Costs shared, benefits private
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