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Journal of Asian and African Studies. 2004; 39(1-2):1-28.This chapter is a contribution to the ongoing debate about Africa and globalization and the interrelated issues of capitalism, marginalization, representation, and political leadership. Problematizing the discourse of Africa as "diseased" and "hapless," the World Bank's structural adjustment "cure-all" is presented as being much worse than the "disease" that preceded it. Proposing a critical ethics of globalization--which highlights the gap between globalization's miraculous, self-reflective images and the miserable conditions it creates--there is an attempt to uncover agents of change on the African continent. Social movements such as those fighting for water and electricity in Soweto, for land in Kenya, or against environmental destruction by oil companies in the Niger delta raise questions about the viability of globalization. Often led by women, these movements not only challenge the "male deal" that defines national governments and multinational corporations, but also call for a revaluation of subsistence economies and local democratic polities as alternatives to globalization. In short, this chapter offers important conceptual, as well as practical, challenges to globalization, indeed to the very nature of politics itself. (author's)
Lancet. 2005 Feb 19; 365:723-725.Ensuring environmental sustainability is essential to achieving all the Millennium Development Goals. Longterm solutions to problems of drinking-water shortages, hunger, poverty, gender inequality, emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, maternal and childhood health, extreme local weather and global climate changes, and conflicts over natural resources need systematic strategies to achieve environmental sustainability. For this reason, the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Environmental Sustainability has concluded that protection of the environment is an essential prerequisite and component of human health and well-being. Economic development and good health are not at odds with environmental sustainability: they depend on it. One important dimension of environmental sustainability is the need to maintain ecosystem services critical to the human population. These services include providing food, shelter, and construction materials; regulating the quantity and quality of fresh water; limiting soil erosion and regenerating nutrients; controlling pests and alien invasive species; providing pollination; buffering human, wild plant, and animal populations from interspecific transfer and spread of diseases; and stabilising local weather conditions and sequestering greenhouse gases to contain climate change. A second and equally important dimension of environmental sustainability is the need to control water pollution and air pollution, including the emission of greenhouse gases that drive climate change. These so-called brown issues can have a severe effect on human health and ecosystem function. (excerpt)
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: Ethics for a small planet: new horizons on population, consumption, and ecology, [by] Daniel C. Maguire and Larry L. Rasmussen. Albany, New York, State University of New York Press, 1998. 1-63. (SUNY Series in Religious Studies)This essay on population, consumption, and ecology, opens with a short review of the crisis caused by overpopulation and the inequitable distribution of resources. This discussion is then amplified by a close look at conditions and responses to these conditions in Egypt, China, and the Indian state of Kerala and at the six most common interrelated problems that threaten our existence: maldistribution, the perversion of national governments into the service of the elite, unfair distributional patterns protected by a military support system, male dominance, indifference, and a lack of reproductive health services. Next, the essay considers the role of government and ways to achieve freedom of reproductive choices while reducing birth rates. The remainder of the essay is devoted to a consideration of the role of religions in the next millennium; the prospects for religious revolution and renaissance; the nature of religion and of God, whether God exists; the experience of the sacred; the relationship of ethics and religion; the incongruity of a sacramental, monotheistic view of God with the violence of nature; the maleness of the God-symbol; the "posthumous egoism" that seeks an afterlife and views the earth as a mere stopping-off place on the journey; and the need for religion, as a sense of the sacred, to fuel the cultural revolution needed to solve the planet's problems. The essay concludes that, despite the fact that the apocalypse is reality for much of the world, hope remains and was palpable during the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development.
A peace perspective on population and environment: people before weapons. Paz, poblacion y medio ambiente: el ser humano antes que el armamentismo.
Chicago, Illinois, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 1995. 16, 16 p. (International Lecture Series on Population Issues)Humanity's ability to continue to inhabit the earth is threatened by population growth and environmental degradation, and population and the environment are threatened by the ever-increasing militarization of the world. Developing countries spend $200 billion a year on armed forces and approximately $20.4 billion on arms purchases, whereas 4% of this budget would increase literacy by 50%, 12% would provide universal primary health care, and 8% would provide basic family planning services to all willing couples and stabilize world population by the year 2015. Weapons also destroy the environment, as seen in the case of Agent Orange in Viet Nam, in the Persian Gulf area after the recent war, and in areas of the world contaminated by nuclear testing. The arms trade flourishes despite the fact that most of the developing world faces no external enemy. Instead, 58 military regimes committed violent crimes towards their own citizens in 1992 alone. The atmosphere of violence spreads until arms are everywhere. In order to halt this cycle of death and destruction, a Global Demilitarization Fund must be established to distribute as a peace dividend voluntary contributions arising from reductions in military spending, and the UN Register of Conventional Arms must be strengthened. The US in particular must accept its role as a superpower and its responsibility to help the people of other nations. Thus, the US must stop using the sale of arms as a foreign policy strategy. Also, the US should increase its per capita amount of development assistance from its current disproportionately low level ($44 in 1991-92). In order to create a new world order, we need leaders who will use their power to improve conditions for mankind.