The Global South
The Global South is made up of developing countries or less developed countries, which includes, but is not restricted to, countries in Latin America and Africa. These countries lack resources that are essential for it to develop at the same rate as others. Unfortunately, countries in the Global South suffer from poverty, lack of human rights, and the depletion and abuse of natural resources. Progress won’t occur in these countries unless outside and inside forces make positive changes for the well-being of its people and environment. Sustainable development is financial development that occurs without harming the environment or depleting the land from its natural resources. While it is easier for developed countries to implement policies that support sustainable development, countries in the Global South face problems that impede them from doing so. Additionally, countries in the Global South base their economic growth on fossil fuels, which in return creates negative consequences.
Guatemala, a small country in Latin America, is part of the Global South and it faces many challenges as it tries to develop. Because Guatemala is still developing and facing problems like poverty, it bases its economy on forest deforestation.
“Guatemala’s environmental issues, particularly in regard to tropical deforestation, can seem daunting at times. The country and its people seem to be caught in a vicious cycle that will end only when the environmental degradation reaches its peak and the consequences are fully reaped. It seems greed, apathy, poverty, corruption, ignorance, and neglect have all conspired against Guatemala’s precious natural resources” (Alguerta).
Based on this information, one can conclude that it is extremely important for Guatemala to develop sustainably, but it is difficult for it to do so. Guatemala uses its natural resources so that it can obtain money, and in return grow economically. Growing in a sustainable way, where Guatemala would develop without harming its environment, can only occur if its government understands that making money quick is not as important as keeping its environment safe. Poverty plays a major role in decision making, thus risk taking isn’t really a choice for Guatemala, when they are trying to grow and get out of the vicious cycle of poverty.
A small nation, like Guatemala, will face challenges while trying to develop an economy that is based on fossil fuel production. For example, they will use up all of the natural resources that they have, because that is the only way in which they can be part of the Global Economy. Basing its economy on fossil fuels will also increase environmental degradation. Environmental degradation can lead to air pollution, fresh water scarcity, soil degradation, forest destruction, the decrease in biodiversity, and the declining of fisheries (Roberts and Newell, p.235–236). All of these negative outcomes arise from the use of fossil fuels. Countries from the Global South lack the resources that they need to stop relying on fossil fuel for its economic growth, which leads to short -term and long-term problems that deprives them of the opportunities to progress. Problems that the Global South face reduces their productivity, and hinders their economic growth. Fossil fuel usage is still the main source of income in the Global South, due to its easy sell and high demands. Countries from the Global South suffer from founding its economic development on fossil fuels, but they seem to have no other choice, when powerful nations just use their fear as a way of obtaining what they want.
Countries in the Global South may or may not want to implement sustainable development, but that decision is not an easy one, due to the many factors that restrict them from reforming the way they achieve their economic growth. If sustainable development isn’t established in all of the powerhouse countries, it is understandable that less developed countries haven’t done so too. Even so, all countries should have the duty to take care of the environment in any way possible. Challenges may seem unbeatable and overpowering, but together, both developed and less developed countries can and should create an around the globe sustainable development system.
Roberts, J. Timmons, and Newell, Peter. The Globalization and EnvironmentReader. West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell, 2017. Print.
Alguerta, Al. “Environmental Issues in Guatemala.” Moon Travel Guides. N.p., 11 Aug. 2016. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.