Vulnerability of environmental systems to globalization


By 1997, 44 percent of the original natural habitats of Indonesia were converted to other uses, and even larger portions of its lowland tropical rain forests were lost. Several key coral reefs were decimated by dynamite and cyanide fishing. Indonesia had more types of animal threatened with extinction (600) than any country in the world. All the rivers in Jakarta were dead, choked by acids, alcohol and oils, and a thick smog cloud enveloped the city. Environmental degradation, due to mining in outer Java islands and quarrying for building materials in Java, was constantly increasing, exposing Indonesians to erosions, forest fires the size of Belgium and landslides.


The developed, northern nations, who have been polluting for years, have no right to lecture Indonesians, now that they are trying to develop, too.

Counter Claim:

The same growth that is polluting its environment is also producing a middle class with an environmental awareness, as happened in the West. The question is whether that middle class reaches critical mass before the environmental degradation does.

Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Date of last update
17.04.2019 – 11:13 CEST