Two and a half billion people are affected directly on a day to day basis by the allocation and use of purely local resources. Yet 'official' development economics has concentrated on headline international issues and only recently begun to take account of the dependence of poor countries on their natural resources, the link between acute poverty and environmental degredation, and the problems associated with the management of local common property such as soil and soil cover, water, forests and their products, animals and fisheries. In these volumes, which are part of the WIDER programme on the Economics of the Environment, expert contributors provide a set of authoritative studies of emerging development issues, ranging from foundational matters to case studies, original research (in areas where there has been a paucity of work) to survey papers. They address both analytic and empirical issues on the role of environmental resources in the development process, presenting explanations of existing situations and policies for the future. A wealth of interests and backgrounds is represented and reflected in the cross-fertilization between papers.
It contrasts sharply with the conventional literature on development issues, and should now be necessary reading for those involved in them Crispin Tickell, FT
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