Development, Governance and the Environment in South Asia: A by Mohammad Alauddin, Samiul Hasan

By Mohammad Alauddin, Samiul Hasan

The worst chemical catastrophe ever should be taking place at once. In India and Bangladesh among 40 and 80 million everyone is liable to eating an excessive amount of arsenic from good water that would have already brought on a hundred thousand melanoma instances and hundreds of thousands of deaths. Many thousands in other places in South-East Asia and South the United States might quickly undergo an identical destiny. Venomous Earth is the tale of this tragedy: the geology, the biology, the politics and the historical past. It starts off in historical Greece, touches down in ultra-modern North the US and takes in William Morris, alchemy, farming, drugs, mining and a beauty that killed popes.

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1. Income per head, for example in Bangladesh, is less than one-hundredth of that in high income countries. India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka recorded higher levels of income than Bangladesh and the per capita income of all of these countries increased during the decade 1985-95 with India showing the greatest average annual increase in percentage-terms. 6 Based on World Bank (1997b). 1. 3). 8 Source: Based on UNDP (1997). 8 Based on World Bank (1994b, 1997b). 3 indicates that rates of population growth have tapered off significantly in Bangladesh and India but only minimally in the case of Pakistan.

9). 3 21 SOME SOCIAL WELFARE/DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS FOR SOUTH ASIA It is widely recognised that income or GDP per capita is an inadequate indicator of human welfare. Many new indicators of social welfare and of development have been suggested such as the Human Development Index (HDI) which has featured in reports ofUNDP. HDI has a maximum value of unity (UNDP 1994) and consists of a linear weighting of life expectancy, adult literacy and mean years of schooling, and GDP per capita. In practice, these variables tend to be positively correlated.

While all South Asian countries have undergone considerable economic liberalisation in recent years (see the next chapter), under the influence of the structural adjustment policies favoured by the IMF and the World Bank, it is unclear to what extent such policies will foster sustainable economic development, given emerging environmental problems in South Asia and difficulties of governance (Cf. Alauddin and Tisdell 1998). 1. Income per head, for example in Bangladesh, is less than one-hundredth of that in high income countries.

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