A great deal of discussion countries as to the real extent of global environmental degradation and its implicational. What few people challenge however is that the renewable natural resources of developing countries are today subject to stresses of unprecedented magnitude. These pressures are bought about, in part, by increased population and the quest for an ever expanding food supply. Because the healthy, nutrition and general well-being of the poor majority are directly depends on the integrity and productivity of their natural resources, the capability of governments to manage them effectively over the long term becomes of paramount importance.
Developing countries are becoming more aware of the ways in which present and future economic development must build upon a sound and sustainable natural resources base. Some are looking at our long tradition in environmental protection and are receptive to US assistance which recognizes the uniqueness of the social and ecological systems in these tropical countries. Developing countries recognize the need to improve their capability to analyze issues and their own natural resource management. In February 1981, for example AID funded a national Academy of Sciences panel to advise Nepal on their severe natural resource degradation problems. Some countries such as Senegal, India, Indonesia and Thailand, are now including conservation concerns in their economic development planning process.
Because so many governments of developing nations have recognized the importance of these issues, the need today is not merely one of raising additional consciousness, but for carefully designed and sharply focused activities aimed at management regimes that are essential to the achievement of sustained development.
How much environmental pollution has taken place in the developing and the developed world?