Development should not be for a select few who are able to pay for it, say experts at summit on sustainable development
Shivangi Narayan | February 2, 2013
That the water table is going down is not news; that it impacts the poorest woman first is.
While there is a deep connection between poverty and the environment, most urban middle class and above, who do not depend directly on natural resources for a livelihood, never realise its full potent. Or the way renowned American journalist-writer Thomas Friedman puts it, “The world is full of people who just did not get the word.”
At the ongoing Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, organised by TERI, several experts put their heads together on Friday to discuss issues of sustainable resources and how to deal with growth in future. The critics and the non-believers aside, climate change is a problem — it may be not on the scale that governments and conspiracy theorists want us to believe, but it nevertheless is a problem.
More than “climate change”, which general people might perceive to be about the weather, environmental problems at present are about resources and they should be available to the last person on the planet.
It is not an irony that most of the poorest people in India, and across the world, come from the most resource-rich areas. Be it Jharkhand in India, Africa or South America, the story repeats everywhere. This is because growth in terms of GDP does not understand growth in terms of holistic development of the society, according to the experts.
Another aspect to be understood about mindlessly using natural resources for development is that these resources would not be present forever. It is, thus, very important for these resources to be used effectively and carefully so that they are available to a larger number of people over a longer period of time.
Such a development is the only way the world can move forward — or as Bittu Sehgal, editor of ‘Sanctuary’ magazine and renowned environmentalist, said, “We need to connect resource-efficiency with growth.”
The conference debated about several such issues, besides discussing new paradigms of development that include rather than exclude a large section of the population. As Ali Tauquer Sheikh of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network said, “We need to reach out to those who have been marginalised. Millions of people have been excluded from development and the trickle-down effect has not worked.”
Of course, not everyone who needs clean drinking should be expected to buy it; or be expected to be able to buy it. Clean drinking water and air are the first casualties of growth that is not resource-efficient. If the current scenario in Beijing tells the world something, it is that industrial development has to take into account people who will eventually use these clean resources. Otherwise there is isn’t any need for growth at all.
The summit also had a brilliant session with Thomas Friedman, the author of “The Earth is Hot, Flat and Crowded”, about the need for energy efficiency in future. Read our report of the session (More Indians behaving like middle class: Friedman)
(Governance Now is a media partner for the event)
Should public sector banks be privatised?
Billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, whose properties are being searched after Punjab National Bank reported a massive fraud of Rs 11,000 crore, is a good reason why banking reforms
“Gender based discrimination is worldwide and not alone in India. Offences against women are much more severe in cases of international trafficking, forced prostitution and pornography, women including migrant and refugee women face double barriers on virtue of their gender,"said Dr Rashmi M Oza
A group of 104 women beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana participated and shared their experiences at LPG Panchayat organised at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on February 13. The women delegation, falling under the BPL category, came across 27 states to narrate their success stories
BEML Ltd, a defence PSU, has delivered the first intermediate metro coach (car) unit to Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL). The intermediate car would be integrated with the existing three-car train sets to double the present passenger carrying capacity of the Bengaluru’
BHEL has got Rs 560 crore order for the supply and installation of flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) system from NTPC for 2x490 MW National Capital Power Station (NCPS). The Indian power sector has seen an uptick in the ordering of emission control equipment due to the revised and more stringe