May 7th, 2012

Beyond GDP: How sustainable development is redefining economic growth

Climate Change & Environment

Sustainable Development

SPENDING a day in Metro Manila entails sharing space with more than 11 million people. Together with the labor force, you take the jeepneys, buses, taxis and trains going to and from the tall buildings in Makati City, the heart of business and commerce in the metropolis. On the road, you see various construction projects, all kinds of advertisements on gigantic billboards, and more than 20 malls just on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, or Edsa, alone.

Many people would regard these as sure signs of progress. After all, the busy streets mean business is brisk and there is work for the populace. Billboards on main thoroughfares mean there is healthy consumption, and the malls become the mecca of workers’ wages and salaries. For most people, life is good.

But, times are changing. A huge population now means there are more people to feed and more people at risk, in case of natural disasters. When Tropical Storm Ondoy (Ketsana) hit the Philippines in 2009, nonstop rains flooded buildings, including malls, and thousands of homes. People had to swim in dirty waters just to get home and rescue loved ones. Or flee to evacuation centers.

For Jeffrey Sachs, senior adviser to the United Nations and director of the Earth Institute of the University of Columbia in New York, living with natural disasters brought about by a changing climate is the “new normal” for people, not only in the Philippines but around the world.

Read full article at Business Mirror


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