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`Make development environment-inclusive'

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Amartya Sen at a conference on environment in Bangalore on Saturday.
Amartya Sen at a conference on environment in Bangalore on Saturday.

Special Correspondent

Preservation of pollution-free atmosphere important, says Amartya Sen

Bangalore: Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said on Saturday that the need of the hour was to integrate environmental concerns with a broad view of development.

Delivering a talk on "Environment and Poverty: Two worlds or one?" at the valedictory of an international conference organised by the Tata Energy Institute, Veolio Environment Institute and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relationships (IDDRI), he suggested that development has to be environment-inclusive.

He disapproved the common belief that development and environmental protection cannot go together. At the superficial level it might appear that economic development is responsible for environmental degradation. Similarly, the development enthusiasts were accusing environmental activists of being "anti-development." But this confrontational view was fundamentally erroneous.

But development cannot be divorced from ecological and environmental concerns as both are inter-related. Focussing on the quality of life could help generate a necessary understanding of not only development, but also of the nature of the environment.

Since we have reason to value the freedom to lead a pollution-free life, the preservation of a pollution-free atmosphere must be an important part of the objectives of development, he said.

He admitted that it was a fact that the process of economic and social development could, many a time, also have destructive consequences.

But such unfavourable effects should be identified and resisted besides strengthening the positive and constructive contributions of development.

Later speaking to reporters, Prof. Sen referred to the growth of IT industry in Bangalore. Though the IT industry too account for environmental pollution, the degree of pollution was lesser compared to conventional industries, he said.


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