Environmental Security Threats To Developing Countries Environmental Sciences Essay

Environmental issues and costs of environmental debasement are of turning concern in developing states and are expected to decline with the success of industrial development policies. Although regional and international mechanisms have been proposed to restrict environmental debasement, really few include the ultimate drivers of environmental menaces which are: consumers of agricultural merchandises and natural resources.

While the flood tide of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 called for a decrease in emanations and the reconciliation of involvements between the “ rich persons and the poor persons ” the devastation of the Mau Forest canopy in Kenya triggered an environmental catastrophe: a cascade of drouth, inauspicious effects on touristry, agribusiness, hydro power coevals and poorness ( Morgan 2009 ) . Inevitably, this brings the environmental argument closer to developing states and exhibits the tightrope between environment and development.

Therefore the dichotomised endogenous and exogenic environmental issues in developing states and the attendant administration and institutional policies merit our treatment. The cardinal characteristic of this essay is the determination that whilst exogenic environmental issues due to developed states ‘ demand for agricultural merchandises and natural resources accelerate environmental menaces, regional authoritiess should revamp their environmental runs and take duty for the prevailing endogenous environmental issues. The remainder of this paper is presented as follows:

Demographic forms in developing states have resulted in rapid population growing ( Grospelier 2003 ) . India for illustration, has a low degree of urbanisation and a high urban growing rate presently at 2.3 % with steady growing rates in megacities such as Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta. Such high rates in population growing harmonizing to the Malthusian Theory could potentially ensue to societal pandemonium ( Dirlam 1997 ) . As a consequence, major metropoliss within developing states are sing huge environmental emphasis and pollution.

Urban and Rural Populations and Percents, 1950 to 2005 and Projections to 2030: India

Beginning: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.faculty.fairfield.edu/faculty/hodgson/Courses/so191/Excel/UrbanizationSo191.xls

United Nations Population Division, “ World Urbanization Prospects: The 2005 Revision

It is so dry that the greatest international and domestic attending has been paid to issues of pull offing the “ calamity of the parks ” instead than to the critical “ local issues, ” such as deforestation, H2O pollution and sanitation, polluted air where such environmental issues are reproduced within the part and impact the international domain ( Brennan 1999 ) .

Land usage

The simple cause of overuse of land resources highlighted in the chart below including deforestation, desertification and land debasement is population growing, both in developing states, which depend on forest lands for nutriment, and in developed states, which demand merchandises made from forest resources such as agricultural merchandises ( Ottinger 1991 ; Geist & A ; Lambin 2002 ; Butler 2006 ; UNDP 2006 ) . Increasing human demand in forest ecosystem services has besides been at the disbursal of biodiversity and natural ordinance of H2O and clime as in the instance of Ghana ( Convery & A ; Tutu 1991 cited in Bojo 1996 ; Boateng 2006 ; GEO4 2007 ) .

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Tropical rain forests: Imperilled wealths – Threatened Rain forests

Although increased population force per unit area on land, reduced fallow periods, hapless land-use, overgrazing, land debasement and recent land struggles are normally defined by mention to productiveness and decrease of external debt via increased exports, its effects including harmful pollutants such as heavy metals and organic chemicals ensuing in dirt debasement may include lessened nutrient security, economic emphasiss, support insecurity, internal supplantings, political instability and loss of biodiversity ( GEO4 2007 ) .

Water pollution and sanitation

The addition in H2O scarceness degrees, H2O pollution from human and agro-industrial waste, lessening in capacity of rivers to back up aquatic life and taint of belowground H2O beginnings present the pressing demand for safe imbibing H2O and improved sanitation in developing states.

Beginning: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.unep.org/dewa/assessments/ecosystems/water/vitalwater/18.htm

In Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, about 1 billion people in rural countries have no entree to improved H2O supplies. Enteric diseases, diarrhea, dysentery and cholera attributable to insecure H2O supply, sanitation and hygiene pose a major menace to human wellness and sum to an estimated 4.1 % of the entire DALY planetary load of disease and are responsible for the deceases of 1.8 million people every twelvemonth ( WDR 1989 ; WHO 2004 ) . For illustration, in Kenya an eruption of diarrhea was traced to contaminated irrigation by municipal solid waste dumped upriver while Lake Victoria, accelerated growing of H2O jacinth is partially attributable to illegal disposal of solid and liquid municipal wastes in rivers such as Kisat ( UNEP 2002 ; Rotich et al 2006 ) .

While China faces taint of belowground H2O from mill run-offs other non-industrial states ‘ dependance on irrigation and turning use of authorities subsidised fertilisers and pesticides consequences in agricultural run-offs. In add-on, fresh water supply per individual has fallen by 60 % ensuing in serious H2O shortages and community discord. Mexico faces acute H2O deficits as India, Bangladesh and Nepal shove over the Ganges. On the other manus, other African states present wastage of scarce H2O in non-efficient, low-income agricultural activities, illegal H2O connexions plagued by escapes and hooliganism and cherished H2O resources squandered through greed and misdirection ( WDR 1992 ; Chow 2007 ) .

Air pollution

The escalating degrees of dodo fuel burning ranks air pollution in developing states ‘ metropoliss among the highest in the universe. Traffic-choked metropoliss such as Mexico, Chile and Bangkok history for high degrees of lead toxic condition, toxic gas emanations and respiratory diseases in the population ( Ottinger 1991 ) . In Indonesia vehicle ownership tripled from 1970 to 1981 piece in some metropoliss, the job may be critical in the close hereafter ( Jimenez & A ; Eskeland, 1992 ) .

In add-on to environmental wellness jobs, coal burning and sulfur dioxide pollution in China ‘s fabrication industries and electric power workss result in acidic rain that covers at least 30 % of the land. Household fuel ingestion consequence in indoor air pollution and serious wellness menaces to adult females and kids including premature planetary human deaths of at least 1.6 million people ( GEO4 Report, 2007 ; Chow 2007 ) .

Therefore, the rapid growing in urbanisation has led to major misdemeanors of air quality criterions ensuing in important debasement of wellness. The hereafter, with increased urban population and income, is even less assuring for the urban environment without policies in topographic point to turn to the major jobs of industrial, vehicle and cookery emanations ( Krupnick et al 1991 ) .

Climate alteration

The continued rise of green house gas emanations and attendant clime alteration threatens all states. The deficiency of sufficient fiscal and proficient capacities to pull off increasing clime hazard and the high dependence on climate-sensitive natural resources for income and well-being makes developing states more vulnerable. Africa and Latin America suffers from natural breakability to climate alteration and clime variableness, a state of affairs aggravated by the interaction of “ multiple emphasiss ” . Estimates are that they would bear some 75 % to 80 % of the costs of amendss caused by the altering clime ensuing in lasting decreases in GDP for Africa and South Asia ( MDG Report 2009 ; WDR 2010 ) .

Mention: ( 1 ) SGM Energy Modeling Forum EMF-21 Projections, Energy Journal Special Issue, in imperativeness, mention instance CO2 projections. ( 2 ) Non-CO2 emanations are from EPA ‘s Global Anthropogenic Emissions of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases 1990-2020. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/globalghg.html

In the foreseeable hereafter as depicted in the graph above, the environmental impact of electricity coevals, warming, oil geographic expedition, energy and natural gas by developing states shall significantly lend to carbon emanations. However, degrees of version to climate alteration may non be sufficient and agricultural production, nutrient security, H2O emphasis, alterations in ecosystems for illustration additions in temperatures in South America and Brazil ; acerb rain in China and inundations in Bangladesh are likely to be compromised. This could ensue in terrible drouths, inundations and negative impact on human wellness ( Magrin et al 2007 ; Boko et Al 2007 ) .


Land debasement and deforestation is the overarching environmental issue of concern while underlying poorness is both a cause and a effect of land debasement: hapless people are forced to set immediate demands before the long-run quality of the land. The end point degraded farming area has widespread effects on Africa ‘s river catchments, woods, enlargement of comeuppances, atmospheric resources, drouth and clime alteration while it diminishes ecosystem services and consequences in hapless outputs lending in nutrient and income insecurity and civil discord ( GEO4 2007 ) .

Although Africa ‘s environmental jobs are progressively terrible, regional cooperation and integrating is the optimum attack toward environmental development. Environmental issues and debasement appear similar across the continent but the nation-state has non succeeded in accomplishing environmental stableness therefore befoging commercial enlargement and development. One consequence of this deficiency of coherence is the trouble on mobilising domestic and foreign resources ( Davidson et al 2003 ) .

Given this fact, corporate extenuation and version toward planetary warming through emanation controls, decrease of green house gases, modifying human behavior through economic, educational and legislative agencies is necessary to guarantee plus growing for Africa ( Dessler & A ; Parson 2006 ) .

Environment: A New “ SECURITY ” Menace?

By and large, environmental jobs can be matched with available “ proved internal or external ” solutions or can be classified as “ emerging ” : where both the apprehension of the job and its solutions are still unknown. Governments have used “ command-and-control ” and “ market-based ” instruments to accomplish environmental ends, community engagement techniques to assist pull off natural resources, and technological progresss to implement policy. In some instances the formation of “ local, regional and international ” advanced voluntary partnerships have contributed to accomplishing endogenous and exogenic environmental ends while regular monitoring evaluates policy effectivity to ease adaptative direction ( GEO4 2007 ) .

From Kyoto to Copenhagen

Harmonizing to the WDR 2010, a “ clime smart ” environment is accomplishable if all states act instantly ; together and otherwise to enable developing states move to a lower C flight without farther endangering already stressed ecosystems, agricultural productiveness and efficiency of H2O usage. Therefore, an just and effectual planetary clime trade is needed. In Africa and Latin America, for illustration, extenuation chances linked to more sustainable land and forest direction, to cleaner energy ( such as geothermic or hydro power ) and creative activity of sustainable urban conveyance systems should be implemented.

Many developing states are already taking action that is significantly cut downing their nursery gas emanations growing. China, India, Mexico and South Africa have dramatically reduced its emanations growing rate through:

slower population growing, energy efficiency betterments, fuel exchanging from coal to natural gas, and afforestation ;

economic restructuring, enforcement of bing clean air Torahs and renewable energy plans ;

confirmation of the Kyoto Protocol ; and

phasing out carbon-intensive coal liquefaction industry subsidies and promoting natural gas imports severally.

However, successful emanations extenuation is limited by the viing demands for resources, poorness relief, local environmental protection and energy security ( Chandler et al 2002 ) .

Re-thinking investing in natural resources

The implicit in hypothesis of the environmental Kuznets Curve indicates that during early phases in economic growing environmental emphasis and force per unit area is experienced as a consequence of population demands, at ulterior phases of economic development environmental agreeableness and natural resources protection is necessary to prolong development ( Braun et al 2005 ) .While population emphasis and illegal trade in natural resources destroys biodiversity and supports will lend to conflict and endangering sustainability of development in developing states, developing states should see re-investing, re-formulation and prudent usage of natural resources which recognises the demands of everyone, protects the environment and maintains high and stable degrees of economic growing.

Ghana ‘s Vision 2020 combines a model of policies to be aftering that integrates societal, economic, political, technological and environmental dimensions while Bolivia ‘s execution of an Agenda 21 programme includes the committedness of the Ministry of Sustainable Development to mainstream the environment and sound usage of natural resources into all authorities policy. Uganda ‘s attack interlinks environment and sustainability issues into re-orientation of rural communities from subsistence farming to modern commercial agribusiness patterns ( DFID 2000 ) . On the other manus, China ‘s ‘Going Out ‘ Strategy to run into its turning natural resources demand set out a scheme for China to proactively do usage of abroad natural resources, set up overseas supply bases for both oil and gas, diversify oil imports, construct up a strategic crude oil modesty and maintain national energy security ( Rutherford et al 2008 ) .

Therefore, developing states responses to environmental issues must include local, regional and national co-operation to protect natural resources, while assistance givers support trade ironss and nexus assistance to better controls over illegal trade, while local companies and civil societies guarantee other stakeholders meet committednesss and combat illegal trade of natural resources.

Environmental policies and societal consciousness

Last, environmental issues may be viewed as failures of authoritiess to supply appropriate public good substructure as in the instance of treated H2O or failure of markets to absorb societal costs as in the instance of air pollution. Therefore, the promotion of environmental policies has been founded on four environment rules viz. :

precautional rule ;

defiler pays rule ;

preventive rule ; and

common but differentiated duty rule ( Matsui 2002 ) .

The local degree:

Given that environmental issues are portion of a wider set of development factors, developing states should see preventive steps to slake environmental issues by strengthen engagement by the hapless in execution of environmental schemes, protecting and spread outing natural plus and environmentally sound engineerings while supplying quality environmental services, substructure and undertaking environmental jobs that impact on wellness and supports of the hapless.

The national and international degree:

While slaking the environmental menaces at the local degree developing states authoritiess should back up good administration, sound legislative model and construct capacity for more effectual environmental direction. In tandem, market failures and defiler wages rule should be upheld while understating administrative costs while progressing economic efficiency and distributional impact. The environmental policies should supply inducements for environmentally good activities while addition charges for damaging activities and guarantee that environmental and societal costs are absorbed.

In add-on, environmental concerns should be integrated in the private sector and industry administrations including publicity of industry codifications of behavior and environmental auditing criterions, debut of the defiler pays rule and more effectual enforcement and public force per unit area while recommending for environmentally friendly merchandises such as clean engineering, energy efficiency engineering and environmentally responsible touristry. Finally environmental policies should advance consciousness, effectual direction and better public entree to environmental information ( Jimenez & A ; Eskeland, 1992 ; DFID 2000 ) .


The alone feature of poorness within developing states coupled with the intensifying environmental debasement presents a tight-rope for development and a possible tipping point for desperation. Selected literature presents that developing states ‘ authoritiess have every bit much duty as consumers of agricultural merchandises and natural resources to prolong their environment and tip development.

While the clip is mature for “ green-accounting ” developing states should actively diverge from being “ standard-takers ” to “ standard-makers ” and drive their ain run against environmental debasement, extenuate green house gas emanations by afforestation, re-invest in natural resources and implement sound environmental policies.

This paper identifies an untapped avenue within developing states ‘ policy sphere where environmental costs and safeguard trade-offs need to be addressed in item to upgrade agribusiness and curtail environmental debasement in developing states.