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Edited by Jon C. Lovett and David G. Ockwell
Chapter 9: The Link between Ecological and Social Paradigms and the Sustainability of Environmental Management: A Case Study of Semi-arid Tanzania
9. The link between ecological and social paradigms and the sustainability of environmental management: a case study of semi-arid Tanzania Claire H. Quinn and David G. Ockwell Introduction Over the last two decades, sustainable development has become widely accepted as the goal that environmental management should strive to achieve. The idea of sustainable development has evolved due to the inherent tensions between economic development and the desire to protect the environment. The most commonly used definition comes from the Brundtland Report, which defines sustainable development as: ‘Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (WCED, 1987, p. 43). The argument in favour of sustainable development has often been characterized as a response to the fact that economic development in a capitalist market economy leads to environmental degradation (Carter, 2001; Anand, 2003). This, however, fails to recognize that some approaches to protecting the environment can result in negative economic impacts where such protection prevents previous economic uses of natural resources – a particularly important issue for developing countries where the poorest people often depend most directly on natural resources for their livelihoods. In such situations, the challenge for environmental managers working to achieve sustainable development is how to protect and conserve natural resources at the same time as protecting the livelihoods of poor people. Furthermore, management approaches also need to enable poor people to develop opportunities to improve their economic situation and lift themselves out of poverty in the long...
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