Gender, Environment, and Sustainable Economic Growth

Saima Akhtar Qureshi, Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Iftikhar Ul Husnain


Both human and natural environment are interlinked with each
other dynamically and keep this relation stable within themselves and
with each other. The existence of all living organism including human
being depends on the interlinkages between the physical human
environment and natural environment. Natural resources and physical
environment form a basis for sustainable livelihood system, in which
human needs are met in the short and long run [Dankelman (2001)].
Although economic growth is an explicit goal in nearly every nation, but
a wide range of independent scientific research provides undeniable
evidence that the growth of the global economy is not sustainable
because it consumes many of the environmental services that strengthen
the production of goods and services [e.g., Houghton, et al. (1996);
Vitousek, et al. (1997)]. Environmental services refer to the various
ways that the environment influences production- and indeed-supports
most part of human existence [Costanza and Daly (1992)]. There is a
growing understanding that the degradation of environment and growth of
waste materials can reduce the productivity of natural resources, as
when ozone accumulates in the troposphere and lowers crop yields. This
increases the quantity of human capital required to produce a specified
quantity of food. The addition of wastes also slows the rate at which
natural capital can process the waste material, as when sewage reduces
the ability of aquatic ecosystems to process organic materials [Ayres
(1996)]. There is also an increasing understanding that “economic growth
does not necessarily go hand-in-hand with growth in the well-being of
people”. It reflects the rising discrepancy between rich and poor and
between genders in most countries [Ayres (1996)].

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