Misappropriation of resources for high cost civil engineering projects
Undesirable consequences of development megaprojects
Megaprojects disrupt environments and sometimes dislocate a previously stable domestic and agricultural way of life for many people. In several tropical and subtropical settings there have been inadequately foreseen health impacts, such as vector-borne diseases.
During the 1960s and the 1970s, large-scale development projects, including dams, highways and industrial schemes, were implemented. Many of these ended in bankruptcy in the 1980s whilst the environmental degradation they engendered became increasingly apparent in the form of razed forests, depleted fisheries, and desertification. In the 1990s a new generation of mega-projects is being developed which are completely out of scale with the lives of the people whose land they will use. Such projects include: diversion of water from the Zaire to Chad; construction of equatorial space ports in Indonesia (Biak) and Australia (Cape York); electrical grid linking Middle Eastern Islamic countries; damming the Yangtse; construction of a second Panama canal; damming the Mekong (Three Gorges Dam); exploitation of Cameroon forests; exploitation of the Saharan aquifer; construction of the Narmada dam (India).
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
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