Lecture 4 - Env. Degradation in the Developing World Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture 4 - Env. Degradation in the Developing World Deck (16)
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Examples of pollution of poverty

Nairobi, Kenya
Poor agricultural techniques
Water pollution
Carried from cities to rural agriculture


Examples of pollution of affluence

Zinc smelter La Oroya, Peru
Tributary of Yangtze River, Jiangsu province, China (economic wealth)
Air pollution in Mexico City
Air pollution at the Birds nest stadium, Beijing, China


How does an environmental PROBLEM become an ISSUE
Environmental issues emerge only once people:

a) notice a problem / negative change (Beijing 2008 Olympics)
b) recognise and admit that there is a problem (something must be done)


Definition of sustainable development (potter et al. 2008)

'Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'


What does Piers Blaikie argue about sustainable development?

Virtually all land which produces economically useful products, such as crops, livestock or trees, can be managed to maintain yields indefinitely'


Political ecology
Developing countries and UK regarding road expansion

Welcomed and encouraged in developing countries
Protests in UK - expansion of the Greenbelts


Do we want to encourage the use of cars?

Eg Severn bridge - do we want to reduce tolls?


Environmental issues only emerge as...

First of human action and identification,
Second as result of widespread human recognition


A particular environmental only becomes an environmental issue...

In local, national or global discourse when the problem has gained a political platform. It is not until an environmental problem becomes an environmental issue that there is any policy or action.


Land degradation is the result of natural and manmade forces, but is intimately bound with practices.
What’s the equation?

(Natural degrading process + human interference)
(Natural reproduction + restorative management)
(human activity VERY IMPORTANT)



What % of Sudan is subject to human induced soil degradation



Sudan stress on water resources for -

Cattle drinking
Drinking water


Fuel wood collection, Sudan... but problem

Forced to use solid wood for fuel - inefficient


Blaikie on environmental degradation

'Any attempt to find the cause of land degradation is somewhat akin to a 'whodunit', except that no criminal will ultimately confess'

'Murderers are generally easier to identify than land degradation but guilt if often shared in different degrees between different people.'


Challenges to sustainability in human context -

Inequality (exacerbates the problem of poverty)
Reliance on agricultural production (population more likely to cause env.problems)
Rapid rate of population growth (more intensive use of farming, new areas for farmland)
Levels of education (low levels of research)


Chain of explanation (physical symptoms)

1) Physical / economic symptoms -changing agricultural practices / economic development
2) Causes of degradation
3) Practices of users
4) Context of users (why do they make certain decisions)
5) Nature of the rural society
6) Nature or the state (attitudes) (who owns/controls the land)
7) Effectiveness / capability of the state
8) Global economy