Academic journal article E+M Ekonomie a Management

Impact of Economic Development on the Ecology in the Regions of Lithuania

Academic journal article E+M Ekonomie a Management

Impact of Economic Development on the Ecology in the Regions of Lithuania

Article excerpt

Introduction

Today, when we talk about development, irrespective of the level of the analysed subject --a state, a sphere of economic activity, a region or a company--first of all we think about sustainable development. The following concept of sustainable development has been formed in the global environmental and in economic development forums, and has become the classic definition: it is development that meets the current needs of a society without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This concept is based on three components--environmental, economic and social development.

The definition of sustainable development allows for the conclusion that it is a compromise between the environmental, economic and social objectives of a society. It involves a process of transformations when economic advancement is coordinated with environmental, social and cultural changes. On the other hand, it must always be stressed that the main basis for both social and environmental development is economic development. However, the economic objectives should not be maximized without observing the environmental and social limitations. Such limitations shape a reverse effect on the economic development. The social and ecological developments have a similar interrelationship.

Sustainable development (SD) is especially relevant when we talk about regional politics, the objective of which is to reduce the differences in economic development between individual states or regions within a country. Where regional politics are ineffective, social tensions grow and this is expressed through the amount of emigration, criminality, higher death-rates, lower birth rates, etc. Besides this, the ecology of the region suffers: water and air pollution increases, and the natural resources are used inefficiently. Therefore, sustainable development in a region can be seen as a critical condition for effective regional policies.

In order to better understand the phenomenon of sustainable development and to manage it purposefully, two tasks need to be performed: first, a quantitative assessment of the state of the components for sustainable development at a certain time; and second, their interrelationship needs to be determined. In the general process of development, the main role is played by economic development; therefore, it is important to determine its impact on the other two components of sustainable development and especially on the environment.

Economic and social, as well as environmental development, is a complex phenomenon that is expressed by many aspects. The criteria reflecting the development are expressed by different dimensions, besides which their directions of impact can be different, i.e. some of them may be maximizing (the situation improves when the value of the indicator increases), while the others are minimizing (the situation is deteriorating when the value of the indicator increases). Given this contradictory situation, multicriteria methods are best suited for the quantitative assessment of the state of a complex phenomenon, and in recent years these methods have been applied more widely for solving various tasks due to their universality (Ginevicius et al., 2011; Ginevicius & Podvezko, 2012; Mardani et al., 2015; Mardani et al., 2016; Zolfani et al., 2015).

This article attempts to analyze how to calculate the indexes of economic and ecological development based on multicriteria methods in a manner that will allow for an analysis of their interrelationships.

1. Formation of the Index of Ecological Development in Regions

We will attempt to assess ecological development in two ways: through ecological development indexes; and through indicators directly reflecting such development. Bearing in mind the objective of our research, the existing ecological development indexes are not suitable. They have been formed in the context of sustainable development; thus, besides the indicators that immediately reflect the state of the environment, they include, for example, indicators of the efficiency of environmental policies, indicators forecasting of the state of the environment, economy and social impact, and many other indicators of various natures. …

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