Handbook of Social Policy and Development
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Handbook of Social Policy and Development

Edited by James Midgley, Rebecca Surender and Laura Alfers

The Handbook of Social Policy and Development makes a groundbreaking, coherent case for enhancing collaboration between social policy and development. With wide ranging chapters, it discusses a myriad of ways in which this can be done, exploring both academic and practical activities. As the conventional distinction between ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries becomes increasingly blurred, this Handbook explores how collaboration between social policy and development is needed to meet global social needs.
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Chapter 10: The environment and development: fight against poverty and/or protection of the environment – a conflict of interests?

Karl Falkenberg


The chapter seeks to assess the relation of environmental policies with the social development of developing countries. It questions the long-standing view that economic development aimed at fighting poverty could successfully be pursued in an early phase without regard to environmental degradation. It points at the very high importance of environmental services (clean water, fertile soils, green infrastructures, biodiversity) for the poorest parts of the population and the risks related to a development process ignoring these links. The chapter describes the multilateral process that eventually led to the establishment of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It argues for full and simultaneous implementation of the 17 SDGs and highlights the necessity of proper local governance for successful development strategies, taking equal account of social inclusion and maintaining a healthy environment in the pursuit of economic development. It discusses a number of specific country strategies, notably South Korea and China, and seeks to draw some lessons from their chosen development strategy and their respective governance approaches.

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