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Young, G. McGinnis, P. Newcastle: The University of Newcastle. Seoul, South Korea October Invited Contribution. Auckland, NZ August The value s of Contextual Knowledge. Wellington, NZ 6 July Wellington, NZ July The process or economic development must be more soundly based upon the realities or the stock or capital that sustains it.
This in rarely done in either developed or developing countries. For example income from forestry operations is conventionally measured in terms of the value of timber and other products extracted. The costs or regenerating the forest are not taken into account, unless money is actually spent on such work.
Thus figuring profits from logging rarely takes full account of the losses in future revenue incurred through degradation of the forest.
Similar incomplete accounting occurs in the exploitation of other natural resources, especially in the case or resources that are not capitalized in enterprise or national accounts: air, water, and soil. In all countries. People have acquired, often for the first time in history, both an idea of their relative poverty and a desire to emerqe from it and improve the quality of their lives.
As people advance materially, and eat and llve better, what were once luxuries tend to be regarded as necessities. The net result is that the demand for food, raw materials, and power increases to an even greater degree than the population.
As demand increases. Economic development is unsustainable if it increases vulnerability to crises. A drought may force farmers to slaughter animals needed for sustaining production in future years. A drop in prices may cause farmers or other producers to over exploit natural resources to maintain incomes.
But vulnerability can be reduced by using technologies that lower production risks, by choosing institutional options that reduce market fluctuations, and by building up reserves, especially of food and foreign exchange. A development path that combines growth with reduced vulnerability is more sustainable than one that does not.
Yet it is not enough to broaden the range of economic variables taken into account. Sustainability requires views of human needs and well-being that incorporate such non-economic variables as education and health enjoyed for their own sake, clean air and water, and the protection of natural beauty. It must also work to remove disabilities from disadvantaged groups, many of whom live in ecologically vulnerable areas, such as many tribal groups in forests, desert nomads, groups in remote hill areas, and indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australasia. Changing the quality of growth requires changing our approach to development efforts to take account of all of their effects.
For instance, a hydropower project should not be seen merely as a way of producing more electricity: its effects upon the local environment and the livelihood of the local community must be included in any balance sheets. Thus the abandonment of a hydro project because it will disturb a rare ecological system could be a measure of progress, not a setback to development. Economic and social development can and should be mutually reinforcing.
Money spent on education and health can raise human productivity. Economic development can accelerate social development by providing opportunities for underprivileged groups or by spreading education more rapidly. The satisfaction of human needs and aspirations is so obviously an objective of productive activity that it may appear redundant to assert its central role in the concept of sustainable development. All too often poverty is such that people cannot satisfy their needs for survival and well-being even if goods and services are available.
At the same time, the demands of those not in poverty may have major environmental consequences. The principal development challenge is to meet the needs and aspirations of an expanding developing world population. The most basic of all needs is for a livelihood: that is, employment. Between and the labour force in developing countries will increase by nearly 6O0 million, and new livelihood opportunities will have to be generated for 60 million persons every ear.
More food is required not merely to feed more people but to attack undernourishment. For the developing world to eat, person for person, as well as the industrial world by the year , annual increases of 5.
Though the focus at present is necessarily on staple foods, the projections given above also highlight the need for a high rate of growth of protein availability. In Africa, the task is particularly challenging given the recent declining per capita food production and the current constraints on growth. In Asia and Latin America, the required growth rates in calorie and protein consumption seem to be more readily attainable.
But increased food production should not be based on ecologically unsound production policies and compromise long-term prospects for food security. In the developing world, mostly in the Third World, we realize that the main problem we have is that we do not have employment opportunities, and most or these people who are unemployed move from rural areas and they migrate into the cities and those who remain behind always indulge in processes — for example charcoal burning - and all this leads to deforestation.
So maybe the environmental organizations should step in and look or ways to prevent this kind or destruction. The linked basic needs of housing, water supply, sanitation, and health care are also environmentally important, Deficiencies in these areas are often visible manifestations of environmental stress. In the Third World, the failure to meet these key needs is one or the major causes or many communicable diseases in such as malaria, gastro-intestinal infestations, cholera, and typhoid. Population growth and the drift into cities threaten to make there problems worse.
Planners must find ways or relying more on supporting community initiatives and self-help efforts and on effectively using low-cost technologies. See Chapter 9. The sustainability of development is intimately linked to the dynamic: or population growth.
The issue however, is not simply one of global population size. A child born in a country where levels or material and energy use are high place a greater burden on the Earth's resources than a child born in a poorer country. A similar argument applies within countries. Nonetheless, sustainable development can be pursued more easily when population sizeis stabilized at a level consistent with the productive capacity of the ecosystem. In industrial countries, the overall rate of population growth is under 1 per cent, and several countries have reached or are approaching zero population growth.
The total population or the industrialized world could increase from its current l 2 billion to about 1.
The greater part or global population increase will take place in developing countries, where the population of 3. Birth rates declined in industrial countries largely because at economic and social development. Rising levels or income and urbanization and the changing role or women all played important roles. Similar processes are now at work in developing countries.
These should be recognized and encouraged. Population policies should be integrated with other economic and social development programmes — female education, health care, and the expansion of the livelihood base of the poor. But time is short, and developing countries will also have to promote direct measures to reduce fertility, to avoid going radically beyond the productive potential to support their populations.