Chapter 7 - The Sociology of Sustainable Development

In just the last few years in the united states

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Unformatted text preview: ard sustainability.126 An example from Ecuador, the Tagua Initiative, is considered a successful approach to sustainable development in conservation. In a coastal region of Ecuador, Esmeraldas, the United States-based environmental organization, Conservation International, supports the initiative, which “links rural harvesters of the ivory-like nut of the tagua palm—which grows in coastal rain forests from Panama to Ecuador—with manufacturers of buttons, jewelry, and arts and crafts made from nuts. Key members of the Tagua Initiative include Esprit, L.L. Bean, Smith & Hawken, and more than 45 other U.S. and international clothing manufacturers.”127 The Initiative takes place in an area that is a top conservation priority, a biodiverse “hot spot.” Information from Conservation International suggests that this program is a great success; the program employs over 1,800 people, protects the land in the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, and the initiative has generated over $1.5 million in Tagua button sales. The initiative fits all three criteria of SD: the social, economic, and environmental. The program is currently being expanded to include more than twenty similar products in eight biodiversity-rich nations. In its best cases, biodiversity conservation can bring together the social, economic, and ecological spheres of SD. Many conservation conflicts, however, play out as contests between economics and ecology, industrialists and environmentalists. These conflicts do not only occur in developing nations. In just the last few years in the United States, conflicts in and around protected areas of Yellowstone (mining versus wilderness protection) and the Pacific Northwest (jobs versus the spotted owl) are framed in this way. For example, industrialists and environmentalists are debating whether or not the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should be opened for oil exploration. Industrialists argue that, if the area were opened, employment opportunities would increase, that the state would benefit from these taxable incomes, and that, if oil were actually discovered, th...
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2010 for the course SOSCI INBA6610 taught by Professor Prescott during the Fall '08 term at University of the West Indies at St. Augustine.

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