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The Problems and Policies of Sustainable Development for an Island Economy: The Case of the Maldives

Sathiendrakumar, R. (1995) The Problems and Policies of Sustainable Development for an Island Economy: The Case of the Maldives. Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.

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The environment is a composite asset used by people for various purposes. In the past, due to the common property nature of the environment, there was a lack of environmental management. Due to this lack of environmental management there was an increase in the level of pollution and over-exploitation of natural resources such as fisheries. Some people, cg. the ecofeminists, may argue that it is better to stop the changes that occurred over the last hundred years and go back to a purer or simpler stage. But the history shows that the past has not been wonderful for a vast majority, as life has been short, nasty and sometimes brutish.

Once we accept that the world is Likely to change even more in the next hundred years, we have to find ways and means to resolve the conflict between the increase in production on the one hand and the preservation of the environment on the other.

Because of limited land-based natural resources, island developing countries have to look to the seas that surround them for foreign exchange. Therefore this paper will consider the importance of sustainable exploitation of sea resources, including marine-based tourism, when considering the potential for economic development of small island economies such as the Maldives. This paper highlights the importance of the market-based approach in environmental management as it gives consumers and industries clear signals about the cost of using environmental resources. The paper also considers the role of institutions in achieving sustainable economic development in the island developing economics.

Publication Type: Working Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Commerce
Series Name: Department of Economics Working Papers No. 129
Publisher: Murdoch University
Publishers Website:
Notes: Working Paper 129
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