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    Vulnerability and resiliency: environmental degradation in major metropolitan areas of developing countries.

    Parker RS

    In: Environmental management and urban vulnerability, edited by Alcira Kreimer, Mohan Munasinghe. Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1992. 107-52. (World Bank Discussion Papers 168)

    The main factors contributing to vulnerability to natural and man-made hazards and the implications of environmental degradation for large urban areas in the developing world are outlined. Many high-risk metropolitan areas in developing countries are projected to have populations of over 10 million by the year 2000; including Baghdad, Bangkok, Beijing, Bombay, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Calcutta, Dhaka, Delhi, Jakarta, Istanbul, Karachi, Manila, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, and Teheran. Water depletion and quality is a looming issue. In Thailand water demand for the area of Bangkok will increase from 2.8 million cubic meters per day in 1987 to 4.1 million by 1997, and to 5.2 million by 2007. Only 2% of the population of Bangkok is connected to the sewer system. In Calcutta there are 3 million people in settlements which have no systematic means of disposing human wastes. Fertilizers have had a severe negative impact on the environment. Among the cities which have polluted their coastlines are Alexandria, Dakar, Guayaquil, Karachi, Panama City, and Valparaiso. Montevideo and Rio de Janeiro have polluted beaches. The Torrey Canyon, the Exxon Valdez and the Gulf War each focused world attention on marine oil pollution that stems from tanker operations, refineries, and offshore oil wells; from the disposal of industrial and automotive oils; and from industrial and motor vehicle emissions. Because of inappropriate sitting, hundreds of people were killed by mudslides in Rio de Janeiro in 1988, in Medellin in Colombia in 1987, and in Caracas in 1989. In Guatemala, 65% of deaths in the capital following the 1976 earthquake occurred in the badly eroded ravines around the city. The production of greenhouse gases will lead to a rapid warming of the biosphere sometime in the next century, changed rainfall patterns, altered paths of ocean currents, and rising sea levels. A World Bank study recommends for country responses 1) to focus on particular environmental problems; 2) to concentrate on vulnerable populations using vulnerability analysis; and 3) to focus on government intervention strategy.
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