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Labour Markets

  • not as advanced as financial markets in the process of globalisation
  • people move less easily around the world due to restrictions on immigration & the loyalty people have to their country of birth

However, in late 20th century - increase in movement across international borders for people seeking employment

  • much of this has been from developing countries to the richer western countries
  • in recent years, with the growth of the European Union, there has been large cross-border flow of people from the relatively poorer eastern European member nations e.g. Poland & Estonia to the richer west e.g. UK
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World trade has been the continuing basis of global interdependence

  • by 1970s - an internation economy had been established
  • the General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade (GATT) sought to gradually lower the barriers to international trade - with free trade as its aim
  • wasnt easy but average but average trade tariffs have shrunk to a 10th of their level
  • World trade has therefore been increasing at a much faster rate than GDP

Since 1950's - countries have joined together to form trade blocs in order to stimulate trade between themselves & to obtain economic benefits from cooperation - there are various mechanisms for this, including free trade areas, custom unions, common markets and economic unions such as the European Union of which UK is a member

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and The World Bank play major roles in running the world economy.

The IMF was established to oversee the global finance system

  • offers finacial & technical assistance to its members - making it the international lender of last resort
  • one of briefs is to renegotiate the terms of debt on behalf of nations in financial difficulties
  • to prevent the problem occuring again, the IMF usually imposes conditions on its financial assostance - these include severe cuts to welfare & education spending by governments in developing countries - has caused controversy

The World Bank deals mainly with internal investment projects - usually in developing countries - with the stated aim of reducing poverty

  • Loans are set up at the current market rate
  • HOWEVER - one branch of bank known as the International Development Association (IDA) provides interest free loans to countries with very low per capita incomes
  • Since 1990's - the bank has claimed that it promotes sustainable development HOWEVER its critics argue that conditions attatched to loans have not always reduced poverty & dependency
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  • Barbie dolls were first produced in 1959 by the American toy company Mattel in Japan
  • in late 1960's - the company moved its main factory to Taiwan to lower labour costs
  • was widely seen as the 'trailblazer' for the outsourcing of production by TNC's that was to make eastern Asia the workshop of the world
  • at its height, the Taiwan factory produced over hald the Barbie dolls made
  • However - within 20yrs, rising incomes in Taiwan led Mattel to look again for a cheaper labour source
  • In 1987 - Mattel opened its first factory in China were wages were much lower & gradually production was moved there
  • Today, Mattel still makes Barbie dolls in 2 Chinese factories, but also has production centres in Malaysia & Indonesia (an even lower wage economy)
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Taiwanese economy has benefited further from globalisation - now home to many of the companies responsible for making most of the world's laptops, personal organisers & MP3's:

Taiwan is concerned that these high-tech industries will also move to mainland China

HOWEVER Taiwan's rulers seem confident that their reputation for reliability will allow them to remain dominant in these industries in the future.

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Patterns of Production, Distribution & Consumption

In manufacturing there has been a filtering down of industry from developed countries to lower wage economies - known as 'Global Shift'

Brought about by FDI by transnational corporations

Many of the countries in the developing world have benefitted from the transfer of technology - can raise their productivity without raising their wages to the level of developed countries

One consequence of 'Global Shift' - 'Deindustrialisation' in the richer countries

Provision of 'service operations' - become increasingly detatched from the production of goods.

  • in 1990's a number of transnational service conglomerates emerged - seeking to extend their influence on a global scale (particularly in banking & other financial services, & advertising
  • growing trend has been the movement of low level services such as call centres, from the developed to the developing world where employment costs are much lower
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Newly Industrialised countries:

First Phase: 'Asian Tigers'

Since 1960's - number of countries have gone under rapid industrialisation. Initial push came from TNC's looking for areas where labour & other costs were lower. Japanese TNC's looked at their less developed neighbours - South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong 'ASIAN TIGERS'. Advantages of these were:

  • relatively well educated population with skills
  • reasonably well developed communications
  • government support through low-interes loands & grands etc
  • less rigid laws on labour taxation & the environment, allowing for more profitable operations
  • strong work ethic in the population

As these economies grew, large native companies began to growe.g. the Chaebol in South Korea - which in turn became TNC's as they moved operations from the home country

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Second Phase:

As operating costs began to increase in the 'Asian Tigers', TNC's began looking for countries with lower wage levels. - countries such as Malaysia & Thailand were target for this movement of routine manufacturing tasks

Third Phase:

Since 1990 - both China & India have seen massive TNC investment. The economic growth of China has been both rapid & sustained, and is the highest that any country has seen 'Manufacturing'

India's economic growth has been based on the 'service sector' - by early 21st century, its service sector accounted for 50% of GDP

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1978 - Chinese leadership began moving from a centrally planned economy to a more market-orientated system. Leaders sought to bring an end to the economic isolation of the country by encouraging FDI that would lead to huge increase in exports (as had been the case in other Asian countries)

  • intially was strict controll of the way industries operated - gradually relaxed
  • decision making powers of local officials & plant managers increased & government permitted a wide variety of small-scale enterprises in services & light manufacturing
  • agricultural output doubled in the 1980s as farmers were encouraged to make profit for themselves
  • Special economic zones (SEZ) set up - where foreign companies encouraged to set up manufacturing plants in return for preferable tax rates
  • government designated 14 coastal cities as 'Open cities' - offering incentives for foreign companies to invest
  • large amounts of FDI led to economic growth
    • since 1990's China has averaged a real per capita growth of more than 8% a year
    • in early part of 21st century China recieved $50bill per yr of inward investment; 2006 climbed to $63bill (highest figure of any developing country
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Significant step in China's economic progress was the countries entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001

  • given China better access to global markets & as a result trade has boomed
  • exports of $266 bill in 2001 rocketed to $969 bill in 2006

Rapid Growth has its problems:

  • dramatic increase in income gap between rich & poor despite high GDP growth
  • the relative poverty within the country & the mountain areas which as led to huge rural-urban migration
  • environment is deteriorating in many areas - soil erosion has resulted in large losses of arable land - serious concern about pollution
  • the economy is driven by exports & investment rather than by consumption
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CASE STUDY: INDIA: 3rd Generation NIC led by Servi

Unlike most Asian economies, India's recent economic growth has been based on the 'service sector' rather than manufacturing

  • until recently - fairly low levels of FDI in India's manufacturing sector
  • Service sector been main engineer of economic growth - accounted for around 50% of GDP at the beginning of 21st century
  • India's advantage lies in number of highly skilled qualified proffesionals in its workforce whoose skills are in demand in many western countries
  • has resulted in great deal of outsourcing of work from developed companies to Indian companies - particularly those in software & IT services
  • growth has manily benefited the English-speaking middle classes & certain areas of South India       - primary sector still dominates the country in terms of employment with around 70% still engaged in agriculture & other primary activities

Outsourcing of work to Indi from developed countries began with software development, but rapidly progressed to call centres & wide range of other buisness services - led to the outsourcing of administration/maintenance of overseas firms through ICT systems.

India's advantage in this respect were based upon: 1) a large english-speaking workforce 2) Much lower labour costs 3) the fact that many developed countries had significant ICT skills shortages

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early growth of service sector driven by foreign companies - mainly from USA & UK

Many skilled Indian workers migrated to these countries & gained valuable experience there - used this to set up companies in India. Allowed the number of home-grown ICT companies to increase significantly in 1990's

As well as ICT - India has become a world leader in 'back office functions' known as IT-enabled servies

These operated by Indian firms for companies in countries like the UK & include:

  • call centres to deal with sales & customer enquiries for companies like British Airways, Lloyds TSB
  • dealing with accounts
  • data entry & conversion e.g. medical & legal transcription
  • knowledge of services - which require specialists using databases to solve customer problems
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Growth of Indian Economy has not been without problems:

  • Unions in developed world are worried about job loses & in some cases have pressurised firms to bring jobs back to the USA & UK
  • concerns about standards of privacy & data pretection in Indian IT companies
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New markets now emerging - which represent 70% of the global population.

Along with China & India, these include Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia & the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Many emerging economies are moving from centralised political & economic systems to more open market systems as a result of:

  • relaxations of controls on foreign exchange
  • greater autonomy for financial institutions
  • removal of trade barriers
  • political reforms that allow for more change

The momentum for these new markets has been the need to:

  • raise living standards
  • increase opportunity for the population
  • attract foreign investment
  • raise their markets to international standards
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Dubai is one of the United Arab Emirates & an example of growth in the 21st century - Its geogrraphical position has made it an important port of call for foreign traders, prodominatly those from India

Economy boomed with the discovery of oil in 1960's - led to influx of foreign workers (estimated the pop. of Dubai City grew by more than 300% between 1968-1975

To widen the base of its economy - Dubai has invested in new developments, particularly those associated with new technology, & has encouraged the flow of foreign capital into the country

Has built the largest man-made harbour in the world, & constructed some of the worlds tallest skyscrapers - e.g. the Emirates Tower

Most of its current revenues are from trade, real estate and financial services - revenues from oil/natural gas now contribute less than 5% to Dubai's GDP

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  • construction of Burj Al Arav - worlds tallest freestanding hotel - & the creation of new residential developments were used to market Dubai for tourism
  • promted the building of gigantic shopping malls, theme parks, sporting stadiums etc.
  • one of the newest developments is the Palm Islands - one of the largest land-reclamation projects in the world. Will hold hotels, apartments, water theme parks, restaurants, shopping malls etc


  • Dubai is increasing hub for service industries such as IT & Finance - with new Dubai Internation Financial Centre & Dubai Internet City, which is an information park used as a base by companies targeting emerging markets
  • Ownership & taxation benefits have led many internationally known companies to establish there - Microsoft, IBM, Nokia
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These are the countries described by the United Nations as 'the poorest and most economically weak of the developing countries, with formidable economic, institutional & human resource problems, which are often compounded by geographical handicaps & natural/man-made disasters.'

Of the 50 countries on the list, 33 are in Africa, all south of the Sahara.

Defined by the following features:

  • low incomes (under $800 GDP per capita over a 3 yr period)
  • human resource weaknesses - based upon indicators of nutrition, health, education levels & literacy
  • economic vulnerability - shown by levels of economic diversification

Many of them also suffer from widespread conflict (civil wars etc), lack of political & social stability, and political corruption - often based on governments which are 'authoritarian' (dictatorship)

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People live in poverty in all LDC's - a large proportion of the population has an income too small to meet their basic needs

The resources of the countries, even when equally distributed, are not enough to meet the needs of the population on a sustainable basis.

The economic freedom of the majority of the population is therefore seriously constrained.

Although there have been attempts to reduce poverty, the high population growth rate means that the actual numbers living in extreme poverty are still increasing.

Many of these countries therefore depend upon external fiancing, with aid payments reaching record levels in the first decade of the 21st century.

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from 1970's onwards - such countries found themselves in a debt crisis as a result of borrowing money from banks in the developed world. - this would make it impossible to reverse socio-economic decline

With little hope of repayment, and interest accumulation making the chances of repayment even less likely, the IMF & World Bank set up the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries programme (HIPC) - provided debt relief and low-interest loans to reduce external debt repayments to sustainable levels, on condition that the recieving country met a range of economic management & performance targets.

In 2005, the G8 countries propesed the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) seeking to cancel much of the debt of such countries. Countries would become eligible for debt relief if they a series of conditions.

By October 2007 - 16 LDC's were recieving debt relief under the HIPC initiative - all of which where in sub-saharan Africa. - These further benefited from MDRI - their total debts being reduced from $54.7 bill in 2005 to $25.7 bill in 2006

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Apart from lack of income, these countries have a range of other problems.

In 2000, world leaders adopted a UN Millennium Declaration - which targets a broader range of human development indicators. It commits countries to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty & sets a number of targets with a deadline of 2015.

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Officially classified by the World Bank as a low-income country - ranked 165th out of 177 on the Human Development Index, GDP one of the lowest in the world

in 2000 became eligible for the HIPC initiative when it was estimated that the ratio of its debts to the value of its exports was over 300%

However, failed to meet the conditions set by the IMF - particularly because of higher than expected government spending caused by famine and the need to import food.

HOWEVE By repaying £440 mill by 2006, the country became eligible for further debt relief under MDRI - more than £2 bill of its debts have been cancelled

This has released a large amount of capital that would have been spent on debt repayments & which can now be invested in public services.

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The North - South Divide:

the divide between the richer countries of the 'North' and the poorer ones of the 'South'.

originally set out in the Brandt Report 1980 - known as the Brandt line

Between 1950's-1980's - the North accounted for almost 80% of the global GDP and only 20% of its population

Since then, globalisation has resulted in huge levels of growth & interdependence - to many this has made the concept of the North-South divide out of date

Development Continuum is more likely to be used - see's development as an ongoing process rather than specific groups.

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As countries sought to further their economic development, they looked for alliances that would stimulate trade between countries & provide other economic benefits:

  • Free Trade Areas: tarrifs & quotas are reduced/abolished on goods between members - but restrictions remain on coming from outside e.g. North American Free Trade Association
  • Custom Unions: member countries operate a tariff on imports from outside the group
  • Common Markets: like custom unions but allow the free movement of labour and capital
  • Economic Unions: members are required to do all the above, and to adopt common policies in areas such as agriculture, transport, pollution, industry, energy and regional development
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  • greater chance of peace between member nations
  • as trade barriers are removed, economies should prosper, giving higher living standards
  • particular sectors of a national economy can be supported e.g. agriculture
  • remote regions can recieve support from a central organisation
  • people seeking work can move between countries
  • possibilty of developig a common currency e.g. the euro
  • greater overall democractic function


  • loss of a dominant leader, all decisions become centralised
  • loss of some finacial controls to a central authority - such as a bank
  • pressure to adopt centralised decisions
  • having to share resources may damage economic sectors
  • elites within a system can hold a disproportionate amount of power through the voting system
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The European Union began life as the European Economic Community after the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Original 6 members is now 27 members.

The aims of the economic integration have been promoted through:

  • reducing tariffs & other barriers between members
  • establishing a common external tariff on imported goods from outside the EU
  • allowing free movement of capital & labour
  • establishing common polocies on agriculture, fishing, industry, energy & transport

No doubt that living standards have risen across Europe as a result of membership of the EU 

  •  trade has promoted competition & led to greater efficiency
  • also been the development of a common currency (the euro)

A new treaty - The Treaty of Lisbon, was signed in 2007. Its main features were:                                  1) creation of a European President 2) creation of a common foreign policy 3) commissioners to be reduced from 27 to 18 4) national votoes removed in around 50 policy areas 5) voting weights to be redistributed between members

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A TNC is a company that operates in at least two countries

The organisation is hierarchial - headquaters/research & development often in country of origin & with centres of production overseas

As an organisation becomes more global, regional research & development and even regional headquaters will develop

TNCs take many forms and include a wide range of companies. Involve the following:

  • Resource extraction - mining, gas extraction & oil production e.g. BP
  • Manufacturing - this takes several forms
    • high tech - computers, microelectronics, pharmaceuticals
    • consumer goods - cars, TVs & other electrical goods e.g. Ford, Sony
    • mass-produced consumer goods - cigarettes, drinks, cereals, cosmetics (Coca-Cola, Kellogs)
  • Service operations - banking/insurance, advertising, hotel chains, fast food outlets, retailers e.g. Barclays, McDonalds, Tesco
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Companies expanded from their home base to become TNCs for some of the following reasons:

  • to take advantage of spatial differences in the factors of production at a global scale e.g. to look for cheaper labour costs
  • to take advantage of government policies e.g. lower taxes, subsidies, grants
  • to take advantage of less rigorous legislation on employment & pollution
  • to get round trade barriers
  • to locate in markets where they want to sell
  • to grow to a size where they achieve economies of scale - allowing them to reduce costs, finance new investment & compete in global markets
  • to acquire geographical flexibility - can shift resources & production between locations at a global scale in order to maximise profit

To serve a global market, TNCs may globalise their production in the following ways:

  • produce for the market in which the plant is situated
  • use one plant to produce for a number of countries
  • use integrated production - where each plant performs part of a process
  • source plants in places where they assemble their products close to market - 'glocalisation'
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Impacts on the Host country:

Advantages of TNC's locating in a country are:

  • employment
  • injection of capital into the local economy - more disposable income
  • multiplier effect - investment by TNC's can trigger more employment, bringing greater weath in the region e.g. component suppliers & distributers will be needed
  • new working methods - transfer of technology will create more skilled workforce

Disadvantages are:

  • Competition - may overshadow local companies which may not be as efficient
  • Environmental concerns - many developing countries have less strict pollution laws
  • Labour exploitation - may exploit cheap, flexible, non-unionised labour force (denied by many TNC's, point to a basic standard of operation & minimum wage in force)
  • Urbanisation - can cause rural-urban migration. Rural areas loose their young work force
  • Removal of capital - to the TNCs home country
  • Outside decision making - decisions will usually benifit the TNC & its profitability
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Impacts on country of origin:


  • high-salary employment - even when TNC's more their operations overseas, the head quaters & R&D often stay in the home country recieving high wages
  • return of profits - successful TNCs return their profits to the home country to be distributed amoung the shareholders - profits are also taxed which increases government revenues


  • umemployment - for both TNCs employees & those in component suppliers
  • reverse multiplier effect - as unemployment increases in a region, disposable income falls leading to a downward spiral
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One of worlds largest retailers is the UK-based Tesco, with headquaters in England.

  • company operates stores in 12 countries outside the UK
  • in the UK Tesco operates stores of different sizes & product ranges - Tesco Extra, Tesco Metro, Tesco Express, One Stop, Tesco Homeplus)
  • 2008 - over 2,100 outlets in the UK

Began life in 1019 as a grocery stall in the east end of London, run by Jack Cohen. - first store was opened in 1929 & by 1947 the company had grown to the point where it was floated on the London Stock Exchange.

In the second half of the 20th century - Tesco grew both by opening new stores & by taking over existing companies. Originally selling only groceries, the company has expanded into many different areas today. Apart from food & drink these include:

  • clothing, electrical goods, retailing/renting DVDs, books, CDs/music downloads, internet services & mobile phones, insurance,financial services, petrol, optical services, travel
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The company has increasingly seen other countries not just as places to source goods from, but as markets in which to operate.

After opening stores in Hungary & Poland, entry into the Asian markets begain in 1998, when Tesco entered South Korea

in 2004 - Tesco entered the Chinese market where rising wealth meant an increasing number of affluent customers.

Tesco now employs over 450,000 employees worldwide.

Recently the company has begun operations in India, where it is not allowed to open its own-brand retail stores but can sign up to joint ventures & operate wholesale cash-and-carry buisnesses.

In the year 2008/2009, Tesco had sales of £59.4 billion which gave an overall profit of £2954 mill

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TRADE:  In early part of this period, economist believed that the way forward for the 'South' was a process of industrialisation that would help provide more goods for export - the increase in trade would allow more revenue to flow into a country - promoting increased wealth & living standards.

These ideas were based on the assumption that the countries of the South needed to go through the same process that the richer countries of the North had experienced.

This is partly dependent on 3 factors:

    • the adoption of Western-style capitalism
    • economic growth 'trickling down' - providing extra money & resources for new industry to be established
    • promotion of free trade - where markets are as open as possible

In support of these ideas, many economists point to the growth of NICs such as Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia - these countries, underdeveloped at the beginning of this period, experience huge rates of economic growth & industrialisation as they opened up their markets. However critics have pointed out that there were many factors that enabled this development through trade

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 Some economists doubt that poorer countries with a multitude of problems such as HIV/AIDs, war & drought can ever become developed through trade & economic growth. These arguments are based on:

  • LDCs cannot compete in world markets due to the great difference in wealth between them and developed countries

  • many poorer countries depend on agricultural exports - the price of which has been falling (also farmers in richer countries often protected through schemes such as the EU Common Agricultural Policy)

  • wealth generated by trade does not always trickle down to the majority of the pop. & the gap between roch & poor in developing countries is increasing

  • the debts of many poorer countries have put them in a difficult position - to recieve help they have to accept suggestions from bodies such as the IMF & World Bank which often means cuts in public spending (particularly health/education)

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AID: can be supplied through one of 3 systems -

  • Bilateral - aid given directly by the government of one country to another
  • Multilateral - aid given by governments to international organisations which use the money to assist programmes in poorer countries e.g. World Bank
  • Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) - these distrubute aid in a variety of ways. Many are charities e.g. Oxfam, raise money for development projects, ensure aid is directed at the people who need it most

There are several ways in which aid can be delivered - does not have to be in the form of money, can be goods or technical assistance. Distribution can be seen as:

  • Short term aid - usually following an emergency (hurricane, flood, tsunami)
  • Long-term development projects - such investments can help agriculture, industry, energy supplies, infastructure, education & medical facilities
  • Top-down aid - a responsible body (internally or externally) directs the operation 'from the top' - e.g. buildings dams to provide irrigation water & hydro electric power
  • Bottom-up schemes - often funded by NGO's working closely with local communities - using local ideas and knowledge to bring about change
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Supporters of aid as a means of development would point to the fact that -

while it can be directed to economic development, aid can also be given for humanitarian purposes, social development or environmental improvement (unlike trade)

HOWEVER - Critics of aid as a means of development point out that:

  • Aid does not always reach those who need it most and is not always used efficiently e.g. because of corrupt governments
  • Lack of basic infastructure - often difficult to use aid effectively e.g. difficult to invest money in educational & medical programmes in parts of rural Africa that lack transport systems & power resources
  • Aid dependency can be created when aid becomes a substancial proportion of national income
  • Aid often comes with stings attached - recipents usually have to agree to conditions laid down by the donor. An example is 'Tied Aid' - where the recipent has to agree to spend the money on goods & services in the donor country
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Sustainability has been defined as

'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.'

Within the process:

  • human potential (level of wellbeing) is improved
  • the environmental (resource base) is used and managed to supply people on a long-term basis
  • this implies social justice as well as long-term environmental sustainability
  • the capacity of the environment to provide resources and absorb increasing levels of pollution is the critical threshold controlling how far population can increase & economies expand
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In 1992, the UN Rio Earth Summit set out the sustainability principles listed below:

  • people should be at the centre of concerns
  • states have a right to exploit their own environment, but they should not damage that of others
  • environmental protection is integral to the development process
  • people should be informed and states should inform them
  • there should be environmental legislation & standards within states
  • laws should be enacted regarding liability for pollution
  • the relocation and transfer of activities & substances that are harmful to health should be prevented
  • environmental impact assessments should be carried ut for all major economic acitivites
  • states should pass on information which might affect their neighbours
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Economic principles:

  • the right to development must be fulfilled so as to meet equal development & environmental needs of present & future generations
  • all states should cooperate in eradicating poverty in order to decrease disparities in living standards
  • the special needs of the poorest countries should be given priority
  • states should cooperate to restore earth's ecosystem
  • unsuitable production and consumption patterns should be eliminated
  • appropriate demographic polocies should be promoted
  • states should promote an open economic system where trade polocies do not contain unjustifiablle discrimination
  • the internationalism of environmental costs should be promoted with the principle that the polluter should pay

Action on sustainability, to be effective, must involve cooperation between the 3 elements; environment, society and the economy.

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The relationship between tourism & the environment has often followed this pattern

  • the environment attracts tourists for scenery or historical heritage
  • this should be mutually beneficial as tourism provides revenue to maintan the quality of the scenery and historical heritage
  • as tourist flows increase, they can cause major problems - the cost often outweighing the benefits

This is particularly a problem when small areas that are vulnerable to damage are involved.

Sustainable tourism seeks not to destroy what it sets to explore. It tries to ensure that:

  • it operates within the capacity for regeneration & future productivity of natural resources
  • the contributions of local people & their culture are recognised
  • there is an acceptance that local people must have an equal share in the economic benefit of tourism
  • everything is guided by the wishes of the local people & communities
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Following the Rio Earth Summit, an environmental checklist was drawn up naming areas in which travel & tourism operations could take action. These included:

  • waste minimisation, resuse & recycling
  • energy efficiency, conservation & management
  • management of freshwater resources
  • waste-water management
  • transport
  • land-use planning and management
  • involvement in staff, customers, & communities in environmental issues

Sustainable tourism is therefore an industry committed to making a low impact on the natural environment and local culture - while helping to generate income & employment for local people

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There are many ways in which individual tourists can work towards the aims of sustainable tourism, including:

  • being informed of the culture, politics & economy of the area visited
  • anticipating & respecting local cultures expectations
  • contributing to intercultural understanding & tolerance
  • supporting local cultures by favouring buisnesses tat conserve cultural heritage & traditional values
  • supporting local economies by purchasing local goods & participating with small, local buisnesses
  • conserving resources by seeking out buisnesses that are environmentally conscious
  • using the least possible amount of local resources, particularly non-renewable
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CASE STUDY: Aldemar Hotels, Greece

Aldemar is a leading Greek hotel chain - works with local communities on environmental issues

Its current environmental programmes is called Mare Verde & aims to reduce the impac of the hotels on the environment. The program involves:

  • the protection of water resources - using water sparingly
  •  automatic deactivation of the electricity suppy to hotel rooms when guests go out
  • the use of environmentally friendly materials in the construction of the hotel
  • reducing use of packaging materials & recycling waste paper
  • using solar energy
  • sourcing fruit & veg from companies own farm in Greece
  • tree planting campaigns & involvement of staff in environmental activity

Guests can contribute by:

  • not requesting clean sheets/towels each day 
  • turning off the supply of electricity to their removes while they are out by removing the key card
  • using Aldemar bags instead of plastic bags
  • supporting local environmental groups
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Ecotourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry - claims that it is conserving the environment for future generations by planning & management of tourism environments

It has been developed largely by small, dedicated tour companies, but critics have maintained that many of the operations are ordinary tourism dressed up as politically correct, and have gone as far as to describe them as 'egotourism'

Some ecotourism is genuinely sustainable but much is not. Sustainable tourism has to meet 2 conditions:

  • the number of visitors must be limited to a level that the environment can sustain
  • it must set up & run in cooperation & consultation with local people

Larger companies, particularly hotel chains, are seeking to become more environmentally aware, but cynics suggest that this strategy is designed just to create a good public relations image

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The Napo region is in the rainforest of E. Ecuador

In 1990 - after a group of tourists came to stay with a local family who were paid for their hospitality, the native population of Quicha Indians had the idea of developing tourism.

in 1991 - Action Aid (British charity) carried out a research project recorded how the rainforest was being destroyed by a combination of oil exploitation & rainforest tourism - thus threatening the Quicha's traditional lifestyle

The ecotourism project was set up in attempt to strengthen the community & to create a sustainable income for the native people. The Quicha people insisted that all visitors must abide by certain rules:

  • exchanges of clothing or other personal items are not allowed - nor are locals allowed to accept gifts
  • visitors must not enter people's houses without being invited & are asked not to make promises they may not be able to keep
  • all rubbish must be taken away by visitors
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  • when walking in the rainforest, tourists are asked to
  • not touch any branches without looking carefully first - may have thorns/snakes
  • not pull on branches or vines - may fall down
  • if toilet is needed and one is not available - must go to the side of the forest, never in or near a stream/lake
  • must avoid displays of effection - considered rude to kiss/hold hands
  • plants, insects or other animals must not be collected without permission
  • visitors must never go off for a walk alone - easy to get lost

Visitors usually committed environmentalists 

  •  travel to the area in a canoe
  • then have a 2 hour hike through the forest to their destination
  • stays last for up to 6 days, include walks through the 'jungle' & visits to community projects
  • tourists in groups of up to 12 stay in buildings built by the locals
  • Quicha use their expert knowledge of the forest as the basis of guided tours
  • train their children, via ecological training programme in the village school, to recgonise plants & their uses
  • Money from tourism has led to major improvements to services in the village
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Jack Hay


Really helpful, thanks!

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