ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Understanding the Kashmir Problem

higher raw material prices are at the core or an "ecologically oriented global economic policy" (p 123). They also emphasise compensation in the form of debt cancellation, increased transfer payments and guaranteed market access at cost- covering prices, to meet the massive reduction of exports of poorer countries due to possible loss of competitive advantages that these countries may face under stricter ecological standards (pp 32-33). Although the GGE recommend a World Economic Council, it is doubtful whether such a body can adequately deal with the differential problems of such a scheme for different countries in a manner acceptable to all nations. An ecologically-oriented international trade policy may not work out with equal benefits for unequally placed countries. However, the international economic system can be best used for targeted transfer of appropriate technology and aid for environmentally sound methods of resource use in poorer countries, i e, something in the nature of Al Gore's idea of a Global Marshall Plan. Environmental issues are two-fold in nature, viz, (1) the limit to the natural resources, and (2) the pollution that results from the exploitation of these resources. Ecological control deals with both these aspects, i e, (1) by changing the mix of these resources in favour of renewable resources, and (2) by inducing an improvement in resource productivity. For these purposes, it would be necessary to deploy a combination of measures, viz, investment, research for development of environment-friendly technologies, economic incentives and disincentives. However, there needs to be a difference in the approach to the problem in the developing countries from that in the developed countries. For one thing, the developing economies are late-comers in the process of growth. In one sense, this has an advantage since they have access to newer technologies for resource conservation and efficient resource use. Even so, the phenomenally higher levels of per capita consumption of resources in advanced countries than in the developing economies mean yawning gaps between development 'requirements' of global resources even under modest assumptions of economic growth and ecologically sustainable levels of consumption. Further, the environmental standards cannot be the same for these two sets of Economies. Under the circumstances, the north would need to go in for a drastic reduction in per capita resource consumption while the south should adopt a path of resource conservation (WJ, p 7). In the context of international differences in stages of develop ment, economic structures, resource endowments and political systems, the perception and solution of environmental issues may have to emanate from the nation governments in an international co-operative framework with due deference to the problems of the south.

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