Work for the poor, commons put to work: the next market wave


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3 Responses to “Work for the poor, commons put to work: the next market wave”

  1. mackonah Says:

    Trading Growth for better Environment

    Economist at the World Bank has expressed disapproving comment about a world without poverty. The poor depend directly on agriculture, animal farming, hunting, fishing, and forestry for survival, they cultivate unsuitable land to grow food and to earn income. They used water passage as a dumping site for waste materials, also go on to have more children than the rich, which continue to cause the increase in the level of poverty and failure in protecting the environment. Besides pointing out these facts, there are other reasons such as insecure property rights, the failure of family planning, inadequate government regulations and services, trade barriers, and insufficient support for development projects. However, supporters of economic growth put forward that there is no need to shift blame on the poor, because that is their only means of survival. For example, during the 1997-1999 economic recession in Asia, it was confirmed that businesses and companies were reluctant to invest in cleaner technologies, likewise the state unwillingness to strengthen environmental laws. (Dauvergne 1999).

    Supporters realized that economic growth can endanger environmental activities. For example, in the early stage of economic growth, the quality of air and water can become very bad, but when the resources is being well manage by the society, the environmental standard will become better in the long-run. This example is commonly explained by supporters of economic growth as Environment Kuznets Curve. This curve clearly show that pollution such as fog or haze will increase when government concentrate on industrial growth and national income rather than focusing on the control of pollution. Still, this situation is only known to happen for a short period of time, because when a capita per income reaches between $ 5,000 and $ 8,000, pollution start to lower (Grossman and Krueger 1995). This also happen when citizen firmly request for better living condition in the environments, and when the government and business organization have the capacity to response effectively, or when economies with great influence tend to move away from big industry, and move in the direction of other industries that give better supply and services.

    However, it was found in recent study that the correlation of lower deforestation and higher national income in Asia, Latin America and Africa depend on information taken from Environmental Kuznets Curve rather than information taken from the depletion of natural resources (Bhattarai and Hammig 2001). The Environmental Kuznets Curve is almost the same as the environmental history of Japan, because after the Second World War, Industrial production and economic growth in Japan increase rapidly, but before the end of the 1960s, Japan was suffering from serious pollution problems which can not even be compare to countries such as India, China, and Southeast Asia with highest pollution rate in the world (Schreurs 2002:36). In response to the effect of Japan’s pollution rate in the 1960s and 1970s, the Japanese government passed strict environmental laws which improve the environmental condition of the country. (McKean 1981;Broadbent 1998).

    Environmental advocates do not encourage countries with low income per capita to totally abandon economic growth; but they believe that the suggestions put forward by Environmental Kuznets Curve which are: (a) economic growth will improve environmental institutions in the long-run, and (2) using standards such as free trade law, technological development, sound policies, and world organization to help countries with low income per capita to achieve higher economic growth but without causing more damage to the environment. These suggestions are believed by Environmental advocates to be very dangerous and harmful for most countries.

    By Mac-konah Tokpah

  2. mackonah Says:


    This discussion is based on the relationship between community participation in environmental management and sustainable development. It also suggest the ability of local institutions to manage a particular environment, by setting up an agreement for all the different interest groups about the way development should be carryout (Healey)

    Sustainable development has been a global discussion since the end of the last millennium and will continue to remain a major discussion throughout the present millennium. However, this tell us how world-views have changed on the way countries should develop. This means, moving our attention from economic growth to focus on environmental, social, and sustainable development. Again, while most of the new agenda has focus on national government and the control of pollution and emission, there is also a growing concern about local communities being in better position to understand and manage the environment than national government (Warburton 1998)

    Community’s participation in decision making process and sustainable development can be linked between inequity, empowerment and general agreement. Moat people are kept in poverty because of the unequal distribution of resources. This means, while few people are using more resources, the majority of the world population are forced to lived in poverty, and living in poverty can also give opportunity to those in need to reducing the environment.

    The negative effect over the use of resources shows how few people with greater power in the decision-making process are blame for inequality and poverty. Example of this could be the development of a hotel complex, which is supported by few powerful businesspeople and politicians, that can lead to the relocation of local community in to a rainforest. This means, local community are relocated in rainforest, and are force to cut down rainforest to grow crops which can also lead to the reduction of soil fertilization as well as lowering the productivity of land. At the same time, the hotel development may allow a few tourists to use electricity, water and other products in an unsustainable way. This example show how the dominance of few interest groups in decision-making process can lead to unsustainable development

    By Mac-konah Tokpah

  3. mackonah Says:

    The 1992 UN Conference on the Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro.

    The Rio Earth Summit was the biggest of all the global conferences ever supported by UN, both in the number of participation and issues on the agenda. The main result from the UNCED was agenda 21, with a blueprint of 800 pages, making up the key principles and the possibilities for managing different environmental sectors.
    The principles included the right of sovereign states to make good use of their resources, the right for countries to develop, taking the need of developing countries more important than all, and giving more financial assistance to the poor countries as well as countries in the South. Both North and South agreed that deforestation, degradation of water supplies, earth pollution and desertification were all threats to global security, and states were responsible to control their own activities that were dangerous to the environment. However, the North makes it clear that the main causes of global environmental problems come from the developed countries, therefore it was agreed that developed countries increase their assistance for specific environmental problems. This was never made compulsory by Agenda 21, that developed countries must increase their assistance for specific environmental problem, but rather as a choice to do so. Therefore the result for not making it minatory for states, created more problems without adequate solution (Urquidi 2000:1).

    By Mac-konah Tokpah

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