Sunday, October 01, 2006

Niger basin

The Niger basin in West Africa is being threatened by the exploitation of natural resources. There is a diverse amount of fish, livestock, and wildlife that thrives in the area. However, due to increases in deforestation, human population growth, and unsustainable resource use, there is fear that the basin may not continue to thrive in the future.
Proposed solutions involve a “sustainable and equitable management” plan where the countries involved would share the power to govern. The article suggests different proponents like how to restore the habitat, economic research on how to optimize productivity and sustainability, and informing those among the areas of how important and valuable the goods that can be obtained from the area could be.
From what has been learned thus far about sustainability one has to ask the question of whether the sustainable amount of a resource is the efficient or optimizing amount to harvest or not. Costs were not even mentioned in this article. Nor were time values mentioned. So, to this author has to believe that while this seems like a great plan to try and rejuvenate the Niger basin, it just seems a bit utopian without some actual numbers to show the plans in detail. It would be nice if all of the countries involved got together for the sake of the basin, but it just doesn’t seem likely. What appears to be most likely happen is that the countries will allow individuals to continue to overexploit the resources available until they bear the total cost of harvesting from the basin. At that point there may be a reduction in the amount of resources harvested.

No comments: