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Global Perspectives: Environment and Development


Global Perspectives: Environment and Development Dr Mahfuzul Haque (Lecture Notes 1.2) Issues for Debate Whether over-population is the cause for poverty? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Global Perspectives: Environment and Development

Global Perspectives Environment and Development
  • Dr Mahfuzul Haque
  • (Lecture Notes 1.2)

Issues for Debate
  • Whether over-population is the cause for poverty?
  • Whether over consumption causes poverty?
  • Whether poverty pollutes the environment?
  • Whether inaccessibility to food causing poverty?
  • Whether Green Revolution was a mistake?
  • Is it better to remain underdeveloped for the
    sake of a pristine environment?

Points for Discussion
  • Debate Continues
  • UNCHD, Stockholm, 1972
  • UNEP, Nairobi, 1973
  • UN Development Decades 1960s,1970s,1980s
  • WCED (Brundtland Commission) 1989
  • UNCED (Rio-Summit) 1992
  • MDGs 2000
  • WSSD, Johannesburg, 2002

Environment Development
  • How much greening of the Earth?
  • Light Green (technocentric), which focuses on
    humankind, improvement of human standards of
    living and quality of life. (e.g., improved
    industrial or energy-generation system reducing
  • Dark Green (ecocentric), which says earth is
    much more important than human progress and rapid
    economic growth. This radical approach called for
    reduced consumption and major shifts in economic
    and political structures
  • What about Brown issues?

International Events
  • 1972 United Nations Conference on Human
    Development (UNCHD), Stockholm, Sweden. The
    Conference brought leaders of the industrialized
    and developing nations to chart an Action Plan on
    Human Development
  • Does it have a techno-centric approach of light
  • 1973 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
    was formed in 1973 in Nairobi, Kenya

UN Development Decades
  • During the First United Nations Development
    Decade of the 1960s, development thinking
    prioritised economic growth and the application
    of modern scientific and technical knowledge as
    the route to prosperity in the underdeveloped
    world. Development was modelled as becoming more
    like the West
  • However, by the Second UN Development Decade of
    the 1970s, inequality between and within
    countries worsened. Many developing countries had
    achieved economic growth as measured by GNP but
    this development was not shared equally amongst
    the populations of these nations.
    Underdevelopment was the direct outcome of
    development elsewhere

UN Development Decade
  • By the Third UN Development Decade of the 1980s,
    improving the income level of target populations
    were accepted as fundamental parts of any
    development strategy. Over-emphasising of the
    economic dimensions of development was
  • Development in contrast was seen as a
    multidimensional concept encapsulating widespread
    improvements in the social as well as the
    material well-being of all in society. It must
    encompass not only economic and social
    activities, but also those related to population,
    use of natural resources and resulting impacts on
    the environment

Debt-for-Nature swaps
  • In the 1990s, after more than three decades of
    development, many developing countries had debt
    burdens which outweighs their GNP
  • debt-for-nature swaps became popular in late
    1980s/early 1990s. Under this program, a
    developing country agrees to conserve its
    degraded natural resources in exchange of waiver
    of debt by developed country or organization. A
    win-win scenario for the both countries
  • Under US Government Act, such program also took
    place in Bangladesh

Sustainable Development
  • 1989 World Commission on Environment and
    Development (WCED) or the Brundtland Commission
    in its report Our Common Future defined
    Sustainable Development. Gro-Harlem Brundtland,
    Prime minister of Norway was the chair
  • Sustainable Development is the development that
    meets the needs of the present without
    compromising with the ability of future
    generations to meet their own needs. (ref Our
    Common Future, WCED, 1987
  • Sustainable development refers to maintaining
    development over time long-time development
  • Issue of intergenerational equity turned up.
    What is it that one generation passing to another
  • visit

UNCED, 1992
  • 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment
    and Development (UNCED), Rio-de-Janeiro, Brazil,
    also known as the Earth Summit or Rio-Summit
    assembled the world leaders to address global
    environmental issues of concern

UNCED, 1992
  • Following five Conventions were signed
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
    Change (UNFCCC)
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • Earth Charter
  • Forestry Principles
  • Agenda 21

  • Objectives are to
  • achieve stabilization of GHG concentrations in
    the atmosphere at a level that would prevent
    anthropogenic (man made) interference with the
    climate system
  • achieve such a level within a timeframe (1990) to
    allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate
  • ensure that food production is not threatened
  • enable economic development to proceed in a
    sustainable manner

  • Biological diversity means variability among
    living organisms-terrestrial, marine and aquatic
    systems including diversity within and between
    species and ecosystems

  • Objectives of the Convention on Biological
    Diversity (CBD) are to
  • conserve bio-diversity
  • ensure its sustainable use
  • ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits
    arising from the use of genetic resources

Earth Charter Forestry Principles
  • Earth Charter expresses the wish of the world
    leaders to conserve this only habitable planet,
    the Earth
  • Forestry Principles are some guidelines to save
    the forests
  • For details visit

Agenda 21 (
  • Agenda 21 is the Agenda for the 21st century
    covering all sectors of development spread over
    40 chapters
  • All signatory nations are expected to develop
    their National Agenda 21
  • Bangladesh has partially addressed Agenda 21 in
    National Environment Management Action Plan
    (NEMAP), 1995

Agenda 21 (
  • Out of 40, some important chapters are as
  • Combating Poverty
  • Changing Consumption Patterns
  • Population and Sustainability
  • Protecting Atmosphere
  • Combating Deforestation
  • Sustainable Agriculture Development
  • Safer use of Toxic Chemicals
  • Women in Sustainable Development
  • Children and Youth in Sustainable Dev
  • Partnership with NGOs

MDGs 2000 (
  • UN Millennium Development Goals stipulated that
    by 2015, all 189 UN member states would
  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger reduce half
    the proportion of people living on less than a
    dollar a day. Reduce by half the proportion of
    people who suffer from hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
    eliminate gender disparity in primary and
    secondary level by 2005 and at all levels by 2015
  • Reduce child mortality by two thirds the
    mortality among under five children

MDGs 2000 (
  • Improve maternal health reduce by three quarters
    maternal mortality ratio
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases halt
    and reverse spread of diseases including malaria
  • Ensure environment sustainability reduce half
    proportion of people accessing safe drinking
  • Develop a global partnership for development
    address special needs of LDCs, SIDS, and
    landlocked countries

WSSD, 2002
  • World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
    was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002
  • Summit took stock of developments since the Earth
    Summit, 1992 held 20 years ago and implementation
    status of Agenda 21
  • Summit outcome was Johannesburg Plan of

WSSD, 2002
  • Johannesburg Plan of Implementation
  • Poverty Eradication
  • Changing unsustainable pattern of consumption and
  • Protecting and managing the natural resource base
    of economic and social development
  • Sustainable Development in a Globalizing world
  • Health and Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Development of Small Island
    Developing States
  • Sustainable Development for Africa

WSSD, 2002
  • Other Regional Initiatives
  • Sustainable Development in Latin America and the
  • Sustainable Development in Asia and Pacific
  • Sustainable Development in West Asia Region
  • Sustainable Development in Economic Commission
    for Europe Region
  • Means of Implementation
  • Institutional Framework for Sustainable
  • Role of UNGA, ECOSOC, International Organisations

Probable Questions
  • Earth Summit was a great event as it brought
    many challenges in the field of environment and
    development. What are they?

Further Reading
  • Kingsbury, Damien et al., Key Issues in
    Development. 2004, New York Palgrave Macmillan.
    Pages 22-44, 221-226,266-291
  • Kothari, Uma (ed), Development Theory and
    Practice Critical Perspectives. 2002, New York
    Palgrave. Pages 92-113, 136-156
  • Rahman. A., et al, Exploding the Population Myth,
    Consumption Versus Population Which is the
    Climate Bomb? Dhaka BCAS, July 1993
  • Rapley, John. Understanding Development Theory
    and Practice in the Third World.2002, London
    Lynne Rienner. Pages 161-182
  • Willis, Katie. Theories and Practices of
    Development. 2005, London and New York
    Routledge. Pages 146-172

Further Reading
  • The World Commission on Environment and
    Development, Our Common Future, Oxford Oxford
    University Press, 1987.
  • Text on United Nations Framework Convention on
    Climate Change (UNFCCC)1992. Internet
  • Text on Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
    1992. Internet
  • An Inconvenient Truth, 2006, an Oscar winning
    film by former US Vice President Al-Gore
  • visit