'Green' Insurgencies

Article excerpt

A recent article in the Viewpoint section of the Miami Herald(1) ("Economic Gap Fuels Insurgencies," by Andrew A. Reding) called attention to the widening gap between rich and poor in Latin America and the Caribbean. Using statistics supplied by the United Nations Development Program, Reding indicated that, while in the underdeveloped world the poorest 20 percent of the population received 7 percent of total income, the ratio for Latin America and the Caribbean is 20 percent to 3 percent.

The elimination of this gap is essential for attaining real economic growth which, in turn, is necessary for democracy and political stability. Governments have come to the conclusion, however, that traditional economic policies are no longer viable. There cannot be any real economic growth where natural resources are squandered; long-term strategies are needed to protect the environment from ruthless exploitation.

Sustainable development has come to mean the linkage of ecology/environmental protection to economic growth; the concept has dominated economic discussions in the last decade. In 1996, in particular, there was a veritable explosion in publications dealing with the issue from a wide variety of angles. Only a sampling of these has been listed here.

In addition, in May 1996, a computer file was created at the University of New Mexico's Latin American Data Base (LADB) covering sustainable development and the economy in Central America. EcoCentral is updated weekly and available by subscription. (Contact: LADB [info@ladb.unm.edu].)

Anales de la Sexta Reunion de consulta con organizaciones no gubernamentales de America Latina y el Caribe vinculadas con el medio ambiente urbano. Inter-American Development Bank. Washington, DC: BID, 1996. 230 pp. [Meeting held in Curitiba, Brazil, November 27-30, 1995.]

Argentina: Growth Resumption, Sustainability, and Environment. Omar O. Chisari. World Development, v. 24, no. 2 (February 1996), pp. 227-241. [Analyzes the sustainability of the current growth process in Argentina, taking into account macroeconomic consistency and environmental constraints.]

Biodiversity, Biotechnology, and Sustainable Development in Health and Agriculture/Biodiversidad, biotecnologia y desarrollo sostenible en salud y agricultura. Pan American Health Organization, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. Washington, DC: PAHO, 1996. 247 pp.

Brazil: Widening the Scope for Balanced Growth. Marcelo de P. Abreu, Dionisio D. Carneiro, Rogerio L. F. Werneck. World Development, v. 24, no. 2 (February 1996), pp. 241-255. [Uses a model to highlight the interplay between environment and growth.]

Building Sustainable Societies: A Blueprint for a Post-Industrial World. Dennis C. Pirages, ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1996. 361 pp.

The Caribbean Facing Up to the 21st Century. Edwin Carrington. St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago: Institute of International Relations, University of the West Indies, 1996. 19 pp.

Central American Democratization and the International Economy. David Barkin, Karen Marie Ferroggiaro. Socialism and Democracy, v. 9, no. 2 (Winter 1995-96), pp. 65-81. [Argues that democratization is closely linked to the region's development strategy.]

Chile, globalizacion e insustentabilidad: una mirada desde la economia ecologica. Rayen Quiroga Martinez, Saar van Hauwermeiren. Santiago: Programa de Economia Ecologica, Instituto de Ecologia Politica, 1996. 199 pp.

Choices and Change: Reflections on the Caribbean. Winston C. Dookeran, ed. Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996. 232 pp.

Crecimiento esteril o desarrollo: bases para la construccion de un nuevo proyecto economico en El Salvador. Roberto Rubio Fabian, Joaquin Arriola Palomares, Jose Victor Aguilar Guillen. San Salvador: Fundacion Nacional para el Desarrollo (FUNDE), 1996. 200 pp.

Des ruines du developpement. …