Trade Liberalization, Rural Poverty and the Environment
Edited by Jonathan A. Cook, Owen Cylke, Donald F. Larson, John D. Nash and Pamela Stedman-Edwards
In today’s increasingly integrated global economy, trade liberalization plays a key role in extending the dynamics of international markets to developing countries. Trade can catalyze economic growth but, like all forms of economic activity, trade-induced growth can also create new pressures on natural resources and on the rural poor who depend on those resources for their livelihoods. It is therefore not surprising that controversy has followed the widespread liberalization of economic policies and the dramatic expansion of trade in recent years. This book is a joint effort on the part of The World Bank and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to move the discussion about trade, poverty and the environment beyond the theoretical and rhetorical and to shed light on the real impacts of trade liberalization. The conviction of both organizations that development must address the issues of environmental protection and poverty alleviation has brought us together in this effort to better understand the impacts of trade. The lessons drawn from the case studies in this book provide a critical first step in developing the appropriate policies and responses needed to ensure that trade, along with other aspects of globalization, plays a positive role in promoting truly sustainable development. The innovative aspect of these six case studies lies in their effort to examine both the immediate and longer-term impacts of trade on some of the most vulnerable people and places in the world. This collaborative research project started with the recognition that trade, like any economic activity, has consequences for...