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The economic value of natural resource depreciation and environmental degradation in Bangladesh

Khatun, Fahmida Akter; (1996) The economic value of natural resource depreciation and environmental degradation in Bangladesh. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In developing countries natural resources are often used in an unsustainable way. Poverty, poorly defined resource rights and high population density lead to activities like land clearing, inappropriate cultivation practices, deforestation, overfishing and overgrazing. Bangladesh, a developing country, depends heavily on its natural resources for employment, revenues and foreign exchange. About 80 percent of the population rely on the primary sector for their main economic activities. This puts a tremendous pressure on the limited resources, degrading the environment. Depreciation of natural resources, if not managed properly, can easily lead to non-sustainability. Depletion costs constitute a reduction in the capital base of the economy. If this reduction is not offset by investment in other productive capacity, then the economy risks being non-sustainable. This study produces the first set of economic estimates of natural resource and environmental depreciation for major categories of degradation in Bangladesh. As far as natural resources are concerned two types of resources are considered: renewable and non-renewable. Forests and fisheries are examined as examples of important renewable resources while the depletion of natural gas is examined as a non-renewable resource. Among environmental degradation problems, the economic consequences of air pollution on human health are studied. Policy implications regarding sustainability and human well-being are examined by deriving genuine saving for Bangladesh. This is estimated allowing for the depreciation of natural capital. The results indicate that depreciation costs of environmental resources are very high, implying that Bangladesh is 'mining' its resources and therefore, is faced with the danger of being unsustainable unless resource degradation slows down. This study suggests investment in productive capital and efficient management of environmental resources as non-sustainability means reduction in per capita resource endowment and future well being.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The economic value of natural resource depreciation and environmental degradation in Bangladesh
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Bangladesh; Environmental degradation; Natural resource depreciation
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100364
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