IDSA01 Chapter 17 Notes.docx

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Department
International Development Studies
Course Code
IDSA01H3
Professor
Leslie Chan

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IDSA01 Introduction to International Development Chapter 17—Environment and Development  even though formal efforts to boost productivity and economic growth worldwide appear to have contributed to overall increased life expectancies and better standards of living for many, deforestation, desertification, drying rangelands, depleted fisheries, dwindling clean water suppliers etc. affect the livelihoods of millions worldwide Post World War II Development Policies and the Environment  post WWII the emphasis on economic growth and industrialization translated for many countries of the Global South to the production of cash crops and resource extraction, because they did not have the means to industrialize immediately  led to deforestation, increased used of irrigation and chemical pesticides and fertilizers  transnational corporations (TNCs) were brought in these countries to set up factories and run resource extraction operations often disregarding environmental regulations in striving to raise revenue to fund development efforts and finance growing debt  early development programs funded by international organizations such as the World Bank focused on large-scale infrastructural development programs aimed to boost national productivity which had their own environmental issues (e.g. large hydroelectric dams that caused displacement, adverse affects on river ecosystems, surrounding lands are flooded)  protests against the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Damn on the Narovar River led by both environmental NGOs, environmentalists and human rights groups halted its constructions and the World Commission on Damns (WCD) was established though it has not halted all dam projects Changing Perspectives on Environment and Development The Limits to Growth Debate  unless rates of population growth, production, and consumption were quickly constrained we would face catastrophe and collapse (carrying capacity would be exceeded in the middle of the 21 century)  arguments against it:  developing countries argued that because industrialized countries had not been held to these standards when they were developing their economies, they shouldn’t be either in their quest to raise standards of living  when a resource begins to show signs of scarcity human beings find either new suppliers or a substitute and as resources become scarcer, prices rise, thereby limiting overall consumption  Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC)—economic growth could cause environmental degradation in the short term but as incomes rise, environmental conditions improve Sustainable Development  a report commissioned by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) brought the notion of sustainable development—development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs Poverty and the Environment  most of the world’s poor depend directly on the use of natural resources to survive and they struggle to survive they resort to overexploitation of natural resources  as the environment becomes further degraded people have fewer productive resources to support themselves and further exploit the remaining resources or exploit new resources in new areas—women generally suffer the most from the impacts of environmental degradation Sustainable Development in Practice  sustainable development initiatives have focused on managing rural resources rather than addressed “brown” environmental problems such as industrial or urban pollution, sanitation, etc.  shift from top-down, centralized programs to decentralized, participatory approaches where resource users have a greater role in environmental protection and resource management Property Rights  lack of well-defined property rights can cause environmental degradation because: 1) otherwise owners cannot make confident investments and improvements to the property without fear of others taking over, 2) if you are certain your property will be taken away from you will not invest in maintaining the productive capacity of that land  tragedy of the commons  forests, water systems and rangelands are exploited because these resources typically are those to which no one seems to have clearly defined property rights and anyone who wishes can use them at will and every individual will try to extract the most value from the resource until it eventually becomes degraded  clea
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