Introduction: Planning for Sustainable Development in the Third World
Valentine Udoh James
Planners of economic and environmental development in the emerging nations of the world have been pondering the problem of environmental decline for three decades since the independence of these countries. A great deal of harm has come from the agricultural sector. Well-developed agricultural plans in developing countries will definitely enhance the chances of reducing environmental decay.
This book is about the importance of the integration of the agricultural, economic, social, and environmental sectors of the economy in the overall development of developing countries. The contributors have endeavored to address the issues that relate to the central idea of the book. The perspectives presented in the chapters are combinations of practical, applied, and theoretical.
The economic systems of many developing nations are replete with many Western ideas; often, the Western methods are complemented by indigenous methods to fit the society, while, in most of the rural areas, it is the indigenous ways that prevail. The three types of economic systems (free market, controlled, and indigenous) have their advantages and disadvantages, and their sustainability depends very much on their acceptability and benefits to the societies.
The social systems of developing nations of the world have been enormously influenced by cultures exogenous to them. These influences are evident in the ways of life in the urban centers and capital cities of developing nations.
Development efforts in the Third World can be classified into three categories -- indigenous, Western, and a hybrid of indigenous and Western. These categories are obvious in the agricultural, economic, and social systems. The strengths and weaknesses of these systems are apparent in the environmental degradation that accompanies their use.