Edited by Trevor Hopper, Mathew Tsamenyi, Shahzad Uddin and Danture Wickramasinghe
Chapter 16: Social and Environmental Accounting in Developing Countries – Challenges, Conflicts and Contradictions
Pala Molisa, Danaa Vandangombo and Judy Brown INTRODUCTION The aim of this chapter is to explore why and how environmental degradation is an important issue for developing countries and how, if at all, accounting reforms may ameliorate this. We also seek to emphasize the embeddedness of these issues in social and political relations. In one sense, such an aim is easy to justify. The deteriorating state of our global and local environments has been a major concern in Western societies in recent decades. Although the most widely publicized environmental threat is climate change, public reports from the United Nations and other international organizations make clear that many environmental health indicators show worrying trends pointing toward various forms of ecological crises (see, for example, Stiglitz, 2002; Dryzek and Schlosberg, 2005; Speth, 2008). While the situation is serious in the developed world, it is arguably even starker in developing countries. In the latter context, the countries and peoples in question often do not possess the material infrastructure or the technological resources and funding that enable them to cope as well with environmental crises when compared to more materially well-off societies. In another sense, however, it may be asked why accountants should be involved in addressing social and environmental issues, since they have traditionally only concerned themselves with reporting on the financial situation of business organizations. If this traditional conception is taken for granted, the role of accounting in developing countries seems to be fairly straightforward: simply to do in developing countries what...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.