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With limited means, "third-world" countries need global environmental support

Michelle Udem

Issue date: 8/28/09 Section: Opinion
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Yet Indonesia and the world cannot afford to wait for such scenarios. That kind of delay is never cost-effective and would be far too late for those who would experience the setbacks brought on by environmental problems. Early, aggressive, and creative programs must be considered.

"Third world" countries like Indonesia are of critical importance to the well being of our planet. It is impractical to expect Indonesia to bear the burden of addressing environmental issues, though they may be of great importance to neighboring countries and distant allies alike. Developing countries contain a large percentage of the planet's flora and fauna. The economic burden of these conditions should not be borne solely by an individual country. New systems and organizations must be created to share these burdens on a global basis.

Additionally, global regulations should be established to prevent investors from moving their environmentally hostile operations to countries that are more pliant. Competition based on lax environmental controls should be prohibited on a global basis - if a "dirty" plant is prohibited in the Netherlands, then it should be prohibited in Indonesia.

Developing countries have many issues to address, meaning that environmental issues often remain a low priority. This reflects the country's rationing of limited capital and other resources. Yet we know that often these issues cannot wait until a country has the resources to assign a high priority to the environment.

It is important to recognize that Indonesia's problems are of concern to everyone on this planet requiring the focus of global capital and efforts in coordination with developing countries. Only creative and realistic efforts on a global basis will address the environmental challenges confronting the developing countries. If these countries continue to ignore such challenges then we will all suffer. After all, global warming does not stop at the border.
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    Juli Purnamawati

    posted 9/14/09 @ 7:46 PM EST

    Michelle,
    This is a great article.It is well written and quite thoughtful.

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