09 Apr North- South divide in Global environmental crisis
GS Paper-3- Sustainable Development
The environment doesn’t observe boundaries. Air, land, and water are contiguous and are inherently structured and designed to join and bring people together and their nations closer. According to the Brundtland Commission, The Ability to make development sustainable is to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It includes what to be sustained like nature, life, community, etc, and what to be developed like the economy, infrastructure, and society, etc.
The emerging statistics of Resource scarcity and the widening income gap between the developed and the developing nations are once again threatening the world with disaster more devastating than the second world war.
Various environmentalists have stated that there are some myths regarding development between North and South Countries. Some are as follows-
- Economic Growth indicates Nation’s progress.
- The Free Market prevents the spread of poverty.
- Wealth could be created through debt.
All resources of the world will be exhausted and they cannot be overused, misused and destroyed by short-sighted and grossly unfair policies of the Governments.
According to various scholars, Sustainable Development stands on two pillars-
- Development should observe the carrying capacity of the land, air, water, and forests which are four basic resources to sustain life over the planet. If they are used beyond their capacity to regenerate, replenish and recharge, they are lost forever
- Development should observe inter-generational equity and justice. This would mean that the present generation does not have the right to extract out of the stock of resources that belongs to the next generation.
The desire, not the need between the nations to become wealthier and prosperous has created a North-South divide. Scholars stated that The world has become a Global Village yet the Northern side of the Globe is a voracious consumer but the Southern side is constantly in misery because they lose out their resources to the rich nations of the North. It is said that one US citizen consumer’s energy is equal to 160 Tanzania or Nepalese consumers.
It is fairly understandable that the path of sustainable development is ridden with the immense gap that exists between the North and the South states. Global negotiations and International agreements have remained unfulfilled and disappointing.