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Environment and Development

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International Development
INTD 200
Karen Mc Allister

Environment and Development - Contradictions + tradeoffs b/w environ sustainability/management + delve - Early devel focused on increasing productivity in econ growth  Environ implications: cash crops, plantations devel in areas that were forests (deforestation), increase in intensification of agricul (increase chem use, pesticides, tech- focused), focus on resource extraction (mining, logging), industrial fisheries - Coasts:  Depletion of fisheries, overfishing of commercially valuable fish  Destruction of tropical reefs (dynamite fishing, cyanide fishing for aquariums)  Aquiculture devel in areas like Thailand + Indonesia where they have destroyed a lot of coastal forest to make big fish ponds (mainly shrimp cultivation)  Coastal forests imp as breeding grounds for small fish + probs w/salt infiltration into agricul lands, not sustainable produc sys, pollution - Forests:  Destroyed for logging, agricul expansions, overall loss of biodiversity  Degradation of environ lands, soil erosion b/c intensification, bringing more marginalized lands for production  Issues of irrigation + wells, water table decreased/polluted - In a lot of these nats which are focusing on devel: - TNCs going in + setting up factories + indus in areas w/weaker environ laws + soc protections - Lot of govs welcome this b/c interested in FDI to promo econ growth - Even if have sit where req soc + environ impact assessments to look @soc implications of diff projects, not necess strictly enforced if have gov that really wants $ coming in  Ex: Nigeria – Shell operating for many years  Focusing on oil extraction + joint venture projects w/gov  Prob: not a lot of follow up, monitoring  pipelines bursting, lot of pollution, leakages of oil, ppl moved away fr/their lands, human rights abuses  Activists that oppose Shell activities killed by gov (happens often) - Who benefits fr/these big projects? - Who pays the costs for the projects? Do the income fr/big projects get to the ppl? - Are these kinds of regulations in place to control how these projects impact environ + local livelihoods actually followed? - Major project = hydro-electric dams - Often portrayed as environ friendly  Provide irrigation for ppl, help control flooding  Provide electricity for loc ppl/for export to earn income for nat  WB promoting these over the years (45 000 large dams in world) - Protest against dams around wolrd b/c environ impacts  Displacement of ppl b/c a lot of area flooded = often indig ppl living  Flooding of biodiversity  Changes in flow of rivers, interferes w/breeding grounds of s/fish  Decomposition of plant matter under water creates buildup of organic mercury  Reservoirs can emit greenhouse gases  Increase in deforestation in flooded areas + b/c roads access dams + assoc buildings  Not always local consultation - Crit fr/environmentalists, HR activists, locals = WB pull back fr/these projects until recently Changing Perspectives on Environment and Development - Limits to Growth (1972) – Club of Rome - Argue: need to curtail pop growth, production, consumption in order to prevent catastrophe - “Carrying capacity”: limited amount of organisms that can be supp by limited area of land  S/of the issues dealing w/humans (rather than bacteria for ex)  Ethics: if control pop, much control family size, birth control  Forced settlement, issue of socially controlling coercion  Who gets targeted w/these policies? Certain ethnic grps? Ppl w/less power?  What does carrying capacity really mean? Assoc w/certain quality of life  What kind of environ do we want to live in? - Crit: ethical issues whether it is fair to constrain devel w/new environ controls  Doomsday scenario has never materialized  Standards of living have increased b/c of changes in tech, able to min environ damage  Econ growth might actually cause less environ degradation in long run  As ppl have more wealth, invest in environ protection b/c it will become priority  H: if think in context of nation = prob (export environ probs to other nats) - Sustainable Development - 1983: World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) - 1987: Brundtland Report “Our common future”  Book that heralded idea of sustainable devel  Have devel that meets needs of present w/out comprom needs of future generations  What do we sustain? Environ? Communities? What kind of environ are we sustaining? - Poverty and the environment - 1992: UN Conference on Environment and Development (The “Earth Summit”) - Rio Agenda 21 - Ppl = centre of prob  have to deal w/poverty alleviation to have environ sustainability - Link b/w poverty + environmental degradation  Poor ppl forced to use resources in ways not sustainable to support their livelihoods  Most world’s poor dependent natural resources for survival b/c increased pops  Conservation for poor ppl not a priority  Many living on marginal lands  Poverty + environ = downward cycle  While ppl are poor, forced to exploit resources + as natural resources are exploit ppl are forced to exploit them more just to make ends meet - Increased recog probs women in partic facing in condits of environ degradation Property Rights: What is Property? - Social relationship, not “things”/owned resources  ppl respect that I own s/thing - Social contract: about obligations + rights - Types of property imp for rural livelihoods (Ideal categories, in
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