Drawing on case studies developed over a two-year period, 1987–1989, by Fellows in the Program in International Development Policy at Duke University, including experienced representatives from developing countries, the World Bank, and scholars, the authors integrate the growing interest in environmental protection and resource conservation into the existing body of knowledge about the political economy of developing countries.
This book is about the links that tie resource use, environmental quality, and economic development, and the way in which those links are affected by the distribution of income and resource ownership. The links may be relatively simple, as in the case of peasant farmers too poor to conserve resources for the future and with nothing to gain from sound environmental practices. Or they may be very complex—as the authors find when they demonstrate how achievement of higher incomes by the rich can increase environmentally destructive behavior by the poor. Many of the links in some way involve rural land use, whether for agriculture or forestry. Natural Resource Policymaking in Developing Countries argues that the policies that matter are not merely those dealing with resources and the environment, but a much broader set that includes income distribution and asset ownership.