Good numbers gone bad

Sources and the degradation of the environi n ent j

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sources and the degradation of the envirOni n ent ~ j ust as a com- pan y must deprecia t e b o th it s tangib l e a n d intangible as s ets. " Net " n a tiona F product · (NNP) means that th e re has to be an adjllst- mentfor the depreciation of the countr y' s ' physi ca l assets . . . Acountry that gives awayits natural resources will see gross do" mesticpfl ) duct rise, bu t gross national product - w h i c h focuses on in c oI ll e earned bythose inside acountry as o pposed to what ispro - duced in s ide acountry - may not rise much , since the value ofwhatis produced accrues to foreign- ers. F o r developing countries ope n ing themselves up t o foreign investm e nt , tbis isan important dis- t i nction . Ai l ationtbatgrows bybonuwingwill see G DP rise,butmuch oIthe increase inincome may go back out oIthe country to pay t he i n t eres t. Papua New - Guin e a isa prime example of th e trouble with GDP calculations. When Anglo- Aust r alian mi n erCllcompany BHP Billiton opened t he Ok Tedi g o ld and copper m i n e in 1984, itwas considered anational vict o ry. The v a lue of the extract e d ore showed up in Papua New Guinea ' s GDP,but scarce tonu n entwas made of the fact that almost all in - come from the m i n e went to its fo re i gn own e rs. Worse sti l l , the m
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