Impacts of trade and environment on sustainable development.

Author:Islam, Rabiul


Trade and environment are an important role for sustainable development. They affect directly and indirectly on sustainable development. Siwar et al. (2008) state a framework for analyzing the links between poverty, environment and sustainable development of developing countries. They also analyze that the issues of economic growth, poverty and sustainable development are well known in the development debate during the past couple of decades.

The maintenance of the sustainability of environmental functions constitutes a community interest, so that it demands responsibility, openness and a role for members of the community, which can be channeled by people individually, environmental organizations, such as non-government organizations, traditional community groups and others, for maintaining and increasing environmental supportive and carrying capacity which becomes a mainstay of sustainable development. Development which incorporates the environment, including natural resources, is a medium for attaining sustainable development which is a guarantee of prosperity and quality of life of present and future generations (Jafar et al., 2008; Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, 1998)

Al-Amin et al. (2008) presents the globalization process such as trade liberalization in the Malaysian economy and Malaysian environmental policies, environmental motivations toward sustainability from 1947-2005 and extensively study various issues of Malaysia such as transition of Malaysian economy of pre and post industrial stage; trade liberalization policies that enhanced the trade liberalization, air emissions and Malaysian environmental policies of sustainability for 2020.

Economists generally argue that the internalization of environmental externalities of economic activity is a necessary step towards sustainable development. Sustainable development continues to be emphasized that the well-being of the present generation is not met at the expense of future generations. Economic, social and environmental aspects will be increasingly integrated into the development process. Environmental considerations are integrated into sectoral policies in order to ensure sustainable economic and social development. Besides acquiring the requisite technical capacity, the government implements more efficient and cost-effective command and control measures to reduce and minimize pollution as well as to improve the quality of life (Malaysian Development Programme, 2006).

Al-Amin et al. (2007) analyzes the contribution of services sector as well as pollution implication of services sector for the production of different industries in the Malaysian economy. They also reveal the contribution of services sector in the Malaysian economy and the quantitative assessment of selected air emissions of services sector in the economy.

International environmental agreements are aimed at addressing problems of global proportions. Malaysia has ratified several international agreements including the framework convention on climate change, the convention on biological diversity, the Basel convention on the transboundary movement of toxic and hazardous wastes and their disposal, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), wetlands of international importance (RAMSAR), the convention on desertification and the montreal protocol for the protection of the ozone layer to phase out CFCs (Khalid and Braden, 1993).

Environmental laws and regulations can be divided into two broad categories. The first represent policies that are domestically initiated and aimed at environmental protection and conservation. These measures generally affect exports indirectly. The second generally consist of environment measures that are the outcomes of international agreement, conventions or arrangements (Asafu-Adjaye et al. 1997).

Siwar et al. (2008) states that trade can affect the environment in two ways: Firstly, trade and trade liberalization encourage industrialization and manufacturing of production, leading to increased pollution. Secondly, industrialization and manufacturing of production lead to increased overuses of environmental resources and environmental degradation.

The aim of this study is to obtain the development of market access, trade barriers, trade liberalization, environmental degradation and pollution, sustainable forest management and sustainable development.


Data attainment: The study is conducted in University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi since July, 2008 to November, 2009. The data for analysis is perceived from secondary sources in Malaysia. The significant manipulations are market access, trade liberalization, agreements on tropical timber and sustainable development. The corresponding outcomes are demonstrated from the analysis of collected information.

Market access, barriers to trade and impediments: Market access: Market access is an important role in the tropical timber trade to international tropical timber markets. It can be described as the conditions under which producers are able to offer products for sale. These conditions are the consequences of decisions by importers and exporters and also a consequence of the inherent characteristics of the sector and products. Trade, environment, development, welfare and social are the complex issues of market access of tropical timber trade. The issues related to market access, tend to be both complicated and highly political. The market access of tropical timber needs a comprehensive approach to international markets. Market access is influenced by importing-exporting countries and international trade regime. The influences are less clearly defined due to numerous linkages between forests, the environment and the sustainable development (Rytkonen, 2003).

Some studies examine the downturn in the market access of international tropical timber market. The importance of their studies shows the Organization's work on trade and environment, the issue of substitution by non-wood materials and the importance of life-cycle comparisons. The item as a key action area has been identified by the intergovernmental panel on forests (IPF, 1997).

Barriers to trade: All the various environmental impacts of trade and economic policies on natural resources are difficult to assess, but evidence indicates the presence of both negative and positive impacts. Most of the tariffs cover to effectively very low levels and non-tariff measures and other impediments and market failures state the movement toward optimal trading patterns. Importer countries have in the past reduced tariff barriers to trade to economize on their tropical wood raw material. This has improved their local industrial cost competitiveness both against substitute materials (such as boreal and temperate hardwoods and softwoods and other materials) and in comparison with tropical producer countries. Producer countries have introduced export bans, restrictions, quotas and taxes to increase rent capture from tropical forest resource and to create incentives for domestic further processing. Lately, many producer country policies have gradual deregulation of the trade. Lowering the producer country barriers and impediments causes necessary structural adjustment measures by the industry of the producer country. Market access barriers and impediments may affect the prevailing market for tropical timber trade.

Export restrictions are commonly used to encourage and promote greater domestic processing by protecting local industry from import competition, enabling the local industry to obtain logs at cheaper prices the most developing countries and in some developed countries...

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