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Environmental Management for Sustainable Economic Development: The Singaporean Experience

Sathiendrakumar, R. (1995) Environmental Management for Sustainable Economic Development: The Singaporean Experience. In: Yamazato, K., Ishijima, S., Sakihara, S., Taira, H., Shimabukuro, Z., Teruya, F. and Nishihira, F., (eds.) Development and Conservation in The Asia-Pacific Region. Okinawa: Okinawa Chapter, East-West Center Association, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan, pp. 281-290.


The Brundtland Report, Our Common Future, defined sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs" (WCED, 1987, p43). This definition is closely related to the concept of intergenerational equity of resources. (Pearce 1990, p.24) gives the working definition of sustainable development as that which is "maximising the net benefits of economic development, subject to maintaining the service and quality of natural resources over time."

There are three main views about the environment. They are (a) anthropocentric (b) ecocentric and (c) ecofeminist views. According to the anthropocentric view, the environment is something to be used and enjoyed by humanity. Therefore the objective here is to maximise the value of the environment by considering both the use and the preservation of the environment. In the ecocentric view human values must be brought into harmony with the environment, since "natural systems possess intrinsic values that undergird and are independent of human values" (Oelschlaeger, 1991, p.9). The ecofeminist view on the other hand emphasises the complementary relationship between human and nonhuman rather than the superiority of the human race. They believe that "Mother Earth is a nurturing home for all life and should be revered and loved as in premodern societies" (Oelschlaeger, 1991, p.310). This paper considers the economic point of view, which is anthropocentric, as the goal of the environmental economist, and this is to achieve economic growth and development with minimum environmental damage.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Commerce
Publisher: Okinawa: Okinawa Chapter, East-West Center Association
Copyright: Okinawa: Okinawa Chapter, East-West Center Association
Publisher's Website:
Notes: Proceedings of the regional conference of East-West Center Association : Regional Development in the 21st Century Think Globally, Act Locally : November 5-6, 1993, Naha, Okinawa, Japan / [edited by Kiyoshi Yamazato ... [et al.]].
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