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20 VIEW FROM THE SOUTH Marc J. Dourojeanni I am here at this forum as a Latin American, and most of my comments and examples refer to that part of the world. Of course, the concepts I develop on this occasion are personal and do not represent, in any form, the views of the World Bank. Also note, please, that when I refer to "the North," it indicates all developed countries, including socialist developed countries, not just the United States of America. When speak- ing of "the South," I mean all Third World countries, less-developed countries, or developing countries. My presentation is organized in two parts. In the first I explain how policymakers in the South perceive the North's concern for environ- mental affairs as related to southern countries, and I outline the elements the South considers necessary to establish a productive dialog. The second part deals with what are mainly southern responsibilities, which most policymakers recognize as needed. Of course, the views on this matter are no more uniform in the South than they are in the North. Nevertheless, there are trends that I will try to describe. REQUIRED CHANGES IN NORTHERN POLICIES TO CHANGE SOUTHERN PUBLIC POLICY TO MEET THE GLOBAL CHALLENGE 1. The first question is Are we seeking planetary security? If so the North should eliminate the risk of nuclear war. The three most serious global threats for mankind are, first, nuclear war; second, regional and local conflicts; and third, the environment at large, beginning with the population issue. The risks of a nuclear war, today relegated to the back of people's minds, are still omnipresent. In the event of a nuclear war, although the South will suffer longer, it too will eventually be annihilated. The South expects the North to do much more to eliminate the risks of a nuclear war before blaming others for comparatively lesser risks to mankind and civilization. 2. The North should practice what it preaches and should be more serious about its own contradictions with regard to environment, before attempting to rule the international environment. Politicians as well as common people in the South perceive the North as lecturing others but not following its own recommendations: telling 198

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199 the South to save energy instead of developing new sources while wasting most of the planet's energy; opposing the construction of nuclear plants while building more plants and peddling nuclear technology. Blaming the South for what is mainly a northern responsibility, such as ozone layer depletion and global warming, is also perceived as an irony. Of course, it is not possible to solve every northern environmental inconsistency before addressing the South's problems. If so, it will be too late for mankind. But more humility is required for a constructive dialog. Earlier, this year, two South American ships had minor accidents in the Antarctic. The North bitterly blamed the South for ''ecological disasters.'' When, a few weeks later, the Exxon Valdez spilled oil in Alaska, causing the greatest ecological disaster since the Torrev Canyon oil spill in 1967 ? the people in the South were relieved to see that the North, as usual, had done worse than the South. This is a very bad sentiment, I agree. As a matter of fact, the North cannot escape from its direct and indirect responsibilities in the environmental situation of the South. The current situation of developing countries is, in general, a conse- quence of past colonialism, neocolonialism, and imperialism. However, because we realize that we share a common future, developing countries are urged to guarantee also the safety of the developed world. The press in the South is flooded with reports and comments reflecting these views. They also underline that much environmental mismanagement in the South is a consequence of inventions, technologies, and "panacea" solutions of the North. Who invented and promoted massive utilization of agrochemicals? Who invented and promoted all the paraphernalia required to waste fossil fuels? Who consumes drugs and makes the lion's share of profits with their trafficking? Where is the market for tropical hardwoods, endan- gered wildlife, or meat produced in cattle ranches in the tropics? Who in the South promotes the wasteful consumption habits from the North's lifestyle? All these questions, and many others so often asked, are constantly present in the minds of southern politicians. In addition, southern politicians witness another kind of contra- diction. They receive almost simultaneously groups of foreign visitors offering lucrative business in tropical hardwood, and others from the same country demanding urgent action to stop this trade. Contradictions are normal and part of the democratic game and associated freedom. Southern politicians recognize that, but they want equal tolerance with regard to their own national contradictions. The North should give more consideration, not necessarily final solutions, to its own contradictions for the development of a sincere and productive dialog about global en- vironmental issues. 3. The North should abolish the concept of "donor" with regard to environment and to everything else in its relations with the South. Among the terms and related concepts that poison the international atmosphere, "donor" is the worst. Even the international finance agencies consider themselves as "donors" despite the fact that their loans are a part of the South's external debt. A recent document about U.S. cooperation for international growth and development rightly said that it is necessary to shift from the old concept of "aid" to the new idea of mutual gain through cooperation, but the document used the word

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200 "donor" everywhere else in the text. The future of North-South relations must be based on equity, mutual collaboration, and cooperation--on part- nership in a common task. 4. Foreign debt: Many Southerners claim that the North is as re- sponsible as the South and that global security will be increased by an equitable solution. The South recognizes its own responsibility in the growth of its debt, but current generations simply do not have the ability to pay it. The accumulation of mistakes of older generations or, more precisely, from traditional oligarchies and dictators, is too heavy to allow any environmental solution. 5. Both controlling the demand of "dangerous" natural products in the North and establishing fair prices for them are key elements for r arriving at a global solution. The South will hardly be able to practice conservation as related to goods for which the northern demand is practically unrestrained, as in the case of drugs. This is the case also for other goods directly associated with environmental degradation, such as tropical hardwoods, meat (the "hamburger connection"), fish meal for livestock, pets, and the tragic trade in laboratory animals. Simultaneously, fair prices are necessary in order to pay the cost of management for sustainable pro- duction, but fair prices rarely exist. Tropical hardwoods are a good example. Concerted action between southern producers and northern con- sumers is necessary. 6. A code of ethics for multinational business is urgently required. Who sells perverse development options and dirty technologies to the South? The criterion that any business is good if it is economically profitable should be reviewed. Good business should be much more than money. The "Bhopals" of history should disappear forever. 7. Some respect and recognition for the efforts of the South to improve the environment are necessary elements of the future dialog. Southern politicians note that the South is doing proportionally more than the North to conserve nature and natural resources: Note the thou- sands of new protected areas and new nongovernmental organizations, in- novative new legislation, public administration reorganizations, and so forth. The money invested by the South in environmental matters is several times more than any amount invested there by northern "donors," but there is little or no recognition of these efforts. On the contrary, as in the case of Brazil--a country investing more than a billion dollars in the next few years to conserve nature and improve the environment-- there is permanent negation by the North of such great efforts. 8. Take it easy q do not rush. Local policymakers need time to digest the new environmental concepts northern experts produce so quickly, often giving new names to old concepts. During the 196Os the North promoted the establishment of "strictly protected" areas. During the 1970s the relaxed concept of "'biosphere reserve" was launched. Now in the 1980s everyone has been proposing "sustainable development," even inside national parks, and so on in any field of the environment. Not even southern scientists have the capacity to follow all the new terms, concepts, and "scientific fashions." Also, northern experts could be perceived as arrogant when, after a couple of

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201 short visits, they know better than any national citizen what is needed. In this regard, remember that the task to assist in the development of a country requires a deep knowledge of the local reality and much humility. 9. Finally, the United Nations is the best forum to deal with our common future. The United Nations is the best guarantee for developing countries that their views will be listened to and discussed. All global planning about our common future that is done in other forums, avoiding direct confrontation with southern politicians, might be successful for a while but in the long term is bound to face irreversible problems. But, of course, the United Nations system should be reorganized, strengthened, and better utilized. SOUTHERN NATIONAL POLICIES REQUIRED TO MAKE THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT SAFER 1 The first task of southern governments is to give higher consi- . aeration to the populati on growth factor. Any intention to ameliorate the environmental quality of life has been and will continue to be overwhelmed by rapid population growth. Most developing countries have sound family planning. Nevertheless, what they achieve is far from what is needed. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church and some powerful groups fight almost every realistic form of birth con- trol. If the antiabortionists win the ongoing battle in the North, what is going to happen in the South? The most probable scenario is that, thanks to the influence of local versions of these groups funded by the North, the situation will worsen. It is imperative to deal openly and seriously with this problem, which is at the root of poverty and inequi- ty and of every major environmental problem. 2. Education, education. and more education is the oldest answer and still the key for most southern environmental problems, including family 1~ annlng . Education at primary, secondary, and university levels, as well as public education and information, despite the immensity of the task, is the principal means to change human behavior. While education in the South should be renewed, improved, and expanded, almost every indicator of educational quality in the South shows that it is deteriorating. 3. The South should dramatically reduce its military expenses to allocate more funds to internal security, including education, the en- vironment, and food security. Politicians as well as many military establishments in the South recognize this necessity. But international conditions to allow such a change are not in place. The main effort should be undertaken at the regional level. But, in fact, very little is being done. Worldwide consideration should be given to reducing military expenditures and putting more emphasis on all forms of internal security. Anyhow, ter- rorism and guerrillas cannot be controlled with submarines or aircraft carriers. And environmental abuse exacerbates insecurity, through refu- gees, hunger, and poverty. Security can be achieved more economically by environmental management than with armaments.

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202 4. Debt swaps as well as other imaginative solutions to the debt crisis are becoming increasingly more attractive for the South. The few rejections of debt-for-nature swaps were, in substance, a consequence of the way they were submitted, particularly with regard to the sovereignty issue. Again, some time is necessary to make politicians aware of the new option. I believe that one of the main difficulties with the concept of debt swaps is currently its small scale, which makes it unattractive to countries with large foreign debts. The concept of a debt swap should be more aggressively expanded to include education, population, health, terrorism control, drug control, and many other items of international concern. 5. The financing of forest Protection. ecosystem reconstruction. forest_plantations, and forest management in the South to compensate for northern pollution (e.g.. "carbon sink" forests) is a good idea that should be supported. In many southern countries there is land available for the above mentioned objectives, which are fully justified in social, economic, and ecologic terms. The main limitation to carrying out these activities is the lack of long-term funding. This initiative will certainly be well received in most countries if the conditions are acceptable. The North should be ready, if this program is recognized as important, for more serious commercial competition from the South in forest products. 6. The South is ready to delegate many governmental functions to the regional and local governments ensuring a more careful treatment of environmental issues bY citizens directly suffering the consequences of careless development. Decentralization and Reconcentration are going on in almost every ~ The first result of this trend is a much more serious southern country. treatment of environmental issues. The politicians of the South are in favor of a faster move to regional and local enforcement of environmental legislation. This is one of the most important positive changes of the last decade. 7. The necessity of limiting the growth of the megalopolis is recogn' zed In the south, although the concrete measures to achieve this goal are not yet clear. The urban environment is becoming one of the most challenging prob- lems for the South. Urban planning is poor, especially in the long term, and it is a direct consequence of problems occurring elsewhere in the country. The promotion of the development of mid-size cities should be seriously considered as an alternative. 8. All southern politicians also recognize that the lack of good long-term planning is one of the major causes of environmental degra- dation. Little is indeed being done about this problem. Plans exist, but they are rarely followed, even by those who submitted them. Development projects, because of this lack of overall planning, frequently are of little benefit. 9. Social reforms. such as land tenure reform and other equivalent ~ r tools to establish the base of equity. are a requisite for a common future.

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203 The need for social reforms is accepted, but actions to achieve them are currently limited. Part of the problem is that right-wing politi- cians, who are often more interested in the environment than are left- wing politicians, seem unable to correlate problems such as deforesta- tion caused by landless farmers with large estates producing export industrial crops. 10. Finally the South should revise its economic policies, especially those that offer economic incentives for environmentally destructive activities. Taxes, subsidies, and credits, as well as regulations, should be studied and changed if they cause negative impacts on natural resources and the environment. An important way to achieve this may be provided by the valuation of natural resources and its incorporation into national accounting. FINAL REMARK Equity is the basic requisite for global environmental security. Southern countries are still far from achieving justice and equal oppor- tunities for all. Many deeply required social reforms, such as land redistribution, are still not always being considered essential steps for peace and for a safer environment. On the other hand, the North should remember that equity is as required in North-South relationships as it is inside southern countries. r