Consequences of Environmental Degradation in Developing Countries

Galdi, Giulio (2019) Consequences of Environmental Degradation in Developing Countries. PhD thesis, University of Trento, University of Florence.

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Although climate change is a global phenomenon affecting populations from countries at varying stages of development, a few of its consequences gain significantly more salience for less developed countries, specifically. I focus on the adverse effects of environmental degradation for two main reasons. On the one hand, it is my impression that the increased vulnerability of less developed countries to adverse environmental degradation needs more attention by scholars (Biermann and Moeller, 2019). On the other hand, climate change is of the most pressing problems of our time, for which we have little time to act (IPCC, 2018) and whose consequences weight on the shoulders of many future generations. In other terms, the environment is deteriorating fast, and not only this is occurring faster in developing countries than in industrialised ones, the former are also less capable to protect against it for institutional, technological, and financial reasons (Barbier, 2010; Blaikie, 2016). The asymmetry of environmental deterioration and of its effects is observable in many indicators. For instance, soil erosion is affecting ever larger areas, most of them in developing countries, whose institutions are not able or willing to intervene (Blaikie, 2016). Soil erosion mainly affects farmers and their productivity, but in developing countries they do not have the financial and technological means to defend themselves (Barbier, 2010; Blaikie, 2016), which induces some of them to resort to migration (when possible) (Blaikie 2016). Farmers trying to adapt to the erosion of soil may adopt coping strategies that endanger the sustainability of proximate water basins, fisheries (for instance, see Dejen et al., 2017) and of forestry (see Wondie, 2010). These practices ultimately undermine the sustainable extraction of natural resources and thus the long term productivity of the related activities. In these few introductory lines, I touched upon the issues I decided to investigate in this doctoral thesis: adaptation strategies and their possible negative side effects, inequality in the consequences of and in the means to face environmental degradation, and the long term effects of the latter on productivity. In my opinion, these are three very relevant pathways connecting environmental degradation to hindrances and obstacles to sustainable development of less developed countries. In the three chapters constituting the thesis, I investigate the economic dimensions of the problems above mentioned.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Development Economics and Local Systems - DELoS
PhD Cycle:31
Subjects:Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS-P/01 ECONOMIA POLITICA
Repository Staff approval on:08 May 2019 12:44

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