Inclusive sustainable development has become the buzz word for conferences. The consensus among various stakeholders remains the same: there is a crucial need to change the infrastructure of developing countries if environment resources need to be preserved, protected and efficiently utilized. Also, developed countries have become more receptive to the idea of engaging with the environment not just on a policy level but also on a grass-roots level through civil society initiatives. But what is interesting to note are the conflicting positions of academics and political leaders.
In the opening session of the World Resources Forum, Alicia Kaudia, Environment Secretary Kenya spoke on bridging the technological gap between the developed and the developing world. When interviewed on her position on the methods of technology transfer, Dr. Kaudia emphasized on developed countries providing for infrastructure changes in the developing world. She also envisages that for developing countries to conform to environmental standards set down by the World Trade Organization in the trade of primary commodities, there should be a change in the price structure as well as allowing for financial incentives at points of production.
Dr. Swilling on the other hand believes that even when there is a vital need for restructuring existing paradigms on resource use especially infrastructure development, developing countries should come out of the ‘Pay if you want us to change’ mindset. The resource curse indicates that naturally endowed countries have poorer resource utilization methods. The strategic road map “resource efficiency” is therefore the way to go, also for developing countries.