LIFEWORTH REVIEW OF 2006 LIFEWORTH REVIEW OF 2006 LIFEWORTH REVIEW OF 2006


Select an article in this quarter from the dropdown menu below.

Or jump to a particular quarter.

Jem Bendell
Adjunct Associate Professor,
Griffith Business School, Australia

Founder, Lifeworth, Switzerland

Lala Rimando
Business Editor, Newsbreak, Philippines

Tipping Frames: The Lifeworth Review of 2006
[ PDF: 2585kb | 54 pages ]

Appendices available in all PDF versions.

A Race to Where?


If Vietnam is following fast in the footsteps of China, then it could usefully take a breath of its increasingly polluted air, and assess where exactly it is racing towards. The drop in poverty is impressive, and illustrates some success of the current developments. Yet, how lasting is that trend and does it reveal enough about peoples' situation? The quality of life of the 300,000 people now living in slums of Ho Chi Minh city alone, with poor access to sanitation, clean air and water, might earn wages that rank them higher than the rural areas they left, but at what cost to their health and wellbeing? Too often the consumption demands and investment decisions of Westerners and urban-elites in Asia pressure people to abandon their communities and so the move to urban-living can not be assumed as an expression of free will.

The World Bank reports that Vietnam's environment is under considerable stress from rapid economic growth, urbanization and rising human pressure on relatively scarce natural resources. "While it has gradually improved its environmental regulatory framework, Vietnam has very limited capacity for implementation. Therefore, future rapid economic growth (an expected doubling of GDP in the next 10 years) and substantial investments in infrastructure may significantly threaten the environmental sustainability of the country's development." 27 The bank reports on signs of such threats emerging, such as declining rates of catch per unit of effort in the fisheries sector, with aquaculture activities having caused a substantial decline in mangroves and wetlands crucial for spawning fish. Drought is now becoming a concern in Vietnam: by the end of 2006, levels in major rivers like Serepok and Krong Ana had fallen by 30 percent in comparison to the previous year. 28 Nguyen Khac Hieu, a senior official with Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, has commented that Vietnam could be badly hit by climate change and sea-level rise. 29 For the Vietnam environment-and consequently the Vietnamese people-the foreign dollars pouring into the country may be more destructive in the long run than the chemical bombs dropped during its war with the United States.

Next back to top


27 Vietnam Environment, World Bank, http://web.worldbank.org , Accessed Dec 30th 2006.

28 http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/?catid=3&newsid=25690

29 http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/?catid=3&newsid=25006



back to top


HOME | CONTACT US | SITEMAP | SPONSORS COPYRIGHT 2007. LIFEWORTH REVIEW OF 2006.