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Development and Change. 2007 Sep; 38(5):865-888.A number of programmes and policies in Laos are promoting the internal resettlement of mostly indigenous ethnic minorities from remote highlands to lowland areas and along roads. Various justifications are given for this internal resettlement: eradication of opium cultivation, security concerns, access and service delivery, cultural integration and nation building, and the reduction of swidden agriculture. There is compelling evidence that it is having a devastating impact on local livelihoods and cultures, and that international aid agencies are playing important but varied and sometimes conflicting roles with regard to internal resettlement in Laos. While some international aid agencies claim that they are willing to support internal resettlement if it is 'voluntary', it is not easy to separate voluntary from involuntary resettlement in the Lao context. Both state and non-state players often find it convenient to discursively frame non-villager initiated resettlement as 'voluntary'. (author's)
In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 175-188.This analysis looks at the United Nations Population Fund's (UNFPA's) work in the area of population-environment-development linkages. It then analyses the collective effects of 6 billion people, their consumption patterns, and resource use trends, in six different critical resource areas. (excerpt)
In: The global possible: resources, development, and the new century, edited by Robert Repetto. New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 1985. 491-519. (World Resources Institute Book)Participants at the Global Possible Conference in 1984 concluded that, despite the dismal predictions about the earth, we can still fashion a more secure, prosperous, and sustainable world environmentally and economically. The tools to bring about such a world already exist. The international community and nations must implement new policies, however. Government, science, business, and concerned groups must reach new levels of cooperation. Developed and developing countries must form new partnerships to implement sustained improvements in living standards of the world's poor. Peaceful cooperation is needed to eliminate the threat of nuclear war--the greatest threat to life and the environment. Conference working groups prepared an agenda for action which, even though it is organized along sectoral disciplines, illustrates the complex linkages that unite issues in 1 area with those in several others. For example, problems existing in forests tie in with biological diversity, energy and fuelwood, and management of agricultural lands and watersheds. The agenda emphasizes policies and initiatives that synergistically influence serious problems in several sectors. It also tries to not present solutions that generate as many problems as it tries to solve. The 1st section of the agenda covers population, poverty, and development issues. it provides recommendations for developing and developed countries. It discusses urbanization and issues facing cities. The 3rd section embodies freshwater issues and has 1 list of recommendations for all sectors. The agenda addresses biological diversity, tropical forests, agricultural land, living marine resources, energy, and nonfuel minerals in their own separate sections. It discusses international assistance and the environment in 1 section. Another section highlights the need to assess conditions, trends, and capabilities. The last section comprises business, science, an citizens.
In: Race to save the tropics. Ecology and economics for a sustainable future, edited by Robert Goodland. Washington, D.C., Island Press, 1990. 171-89.Sustainability denotes well-being, intergenerational equity, minimal use of exhaustible mineral reserves, slow depletion of nonrenewable energy resources allowing an orderly societal transition to renewable energy sources, and agricultural sustainability. Many parts of the world have already surpassed their carrying capacity. To effectively apply environmental management to economic development, decision makers must understand the fundamental relationship among growth, equality, and ethics. Liberation of women and reduction of excess consumption by the rich are needed to achieve environmental sustainability. We have been able to solve some environmental problems once they have reached a crisis stage by investing money into their solution. Prevention is the only means to address irreversible environmental effects, however. The major reason for biodiversity loss is destruction of tropical forests which support 50% of the world's 5-30 million species on 7% of the land area. A large percentage of the biodiversity in the Philippines, Haiti, El Salvador, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and parts of India is already gone. Some corporations have begun to respond responsibility to the environment. In 1987 the largest investor in economic development in developing countries, the World Bank, implemented environmental policies for all programs. The Bank normally refuses to finance projects designed to convert wildlands of special concern, e.g. to national parks. Projects concerning wildlands other than those of special concern should only occur on already converted land. A more open decision making process is required to justify any deviations from the above policies. If wildlands development is defended, the project should just convert less valuable wildlands. Financing preservation of another wildland is required for any conversion of wildlands not of special concern. If a project does not involve conversion of wildlands, the Bank requires the preservation of wildlands for their environmental services alone.
In: Public policies and the misuse of forest resources, edited by Robert Repetto, Malcolm Gillis. Cambridge, England, Cambridge University Press, 1988. 385-410. (World Resources Institute Book)The World Resources Institute has compiled 12 case studies on public policies from developed and developing countries and the misuse of forest resources into 1 book. All of the studies confirm that 3 key products of population growth and rural poverty in developing countries are responsible for deforestation. These products include shifting cultivation, agricultural conversion, and fuelwood gathering. Large development projects also foster forest destruction. Government policies contribute to and exacerbate these pressures which result in inefficient use of natural forest resources. Such policies directly and indirectly undermine conservation, regional development schemes, and other socioeconomic goals. Forestry policies include timber harvest concessions, levels and structures of royalties and fees, utilization of nonwood forests products, and reforestation. Tax incentives, credit subsidies, and resettlement programs comprise examples of nonforestry policies. Trade barriers established by industrialized countries have somewhat encouraged unsuitable investments and patterns of exploitation in forest industries in developing countries. Negotiations between exporting and importing countries within the confines of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA) should strive to reduce tariff escalation and nontariff barriers to processed wood imports from tropical countries and to justify incentives to forest industries in developing countries. These 12 case studies have come to the same conclusion as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization did in 1987: action to conserve forests is needed without delay.