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Number of Downlaods: 26

Published Date: Jan 1, 1999

Environment: A People’s Perspective (P-24)

Shahrukh Rafi Khan, SDPI
1999

Introduction

This paper starts with reviewing the concept of human development and sustainable human development.   It makes the point that justice is a central component of the conceptual transition from human development to sustainable human development and that a similar concern for justice must extend with in generations as is conceded across generations.  In this regard, the capabilities, needs and well being of the poor, who are the most excluded and also the most vulnerable to environment ravages, becomes central to the concept of sustainable human development. We next argue that, while the current economic paradigm has successfully pushed forward the role of the markets as critical to efficiency, there are inherent limitations of markets when considering the environment.

This seems to suggest that the role of the state is critical in attaining sustainable human development.  However, recent literature has pointed out that, due to inherent government capacity constraints, and the efficiencies and justice that results from involving other players, the sustainable human development programme should be viewed as a partnership of the state and other actors.  In an important contribution from a people’s perspective, Banuri et. al. (1995) suggest that  building and relying on “social capital” at the community level should be central to attaining and sustaining human development.   We discuss this notion of “partnership,” with a specific focus on the role of communities.  Finally, we review some of the important policy lessons, drawing on this notion of partnership, that have come to the fore in the debates on the environment and sustainable human development.