Due to difficulties in scheduling this ZEW Research Seminar had to be postponed to a more suitable date. Further information and the exact time will be communicated soon.
The Talk identifies three areas of public policy concerning environmental management which pose serious challenges to Asian governments as they continue to pursue economic growth. The implications are such that if they are not handled properly, the result is unsustainable economic growth, and the likelihood of negative spill-over effects and social strife. The three areas of concern are first, the emerging issue of siting of environmentally unfriendly facilities which are needed by a country but whose social costs are mainly borne by local host residents and neighbourhood municipalities. Among the contentious facilities are nuclear power stations, landfills and incinerators, chemical plants, dams and the like. Otherwise known as the NIMBY syndrome, it has relevance to Asian nations as they continue to demand higher economic growth and energy which is cheap and secure but would not like to see any delays in meeting this goal from local opposition to the siting of these facilities. The second concern is the waste generation problem. As countries in Asia continue to prosper, this rising affluence means rising consumption, and this in turn creates difficult issues on waste disposal. It is especially acute for countries with limited land space. The third issue is the critical need to understand non-market goods and to price them. This is often overlooked in land planning, resource allocation, and building and conservation studies. Many of these non-market goods such as quietude, aesthetics, pristine land, biodiversity, heritage preservation and parks, among other green goods, are often not monetarily valued and hence are overconsumed for development needs. There is a need to price these goods for proper and more complete benefit-cost studies. The paper also discusses what governments can do to manage these key environmental challenges by pursuing a number of pragmatic policies. A side comment on the issue of global warming and climate change as it affects countries in Asia is also made as with transboundary pollution problems. Finally, the relationship between happiness studies, environmental security and the success of global treaties in reducing greenhouse gases are conjectured.


Euston Quah



Event Location

ZEW, L 7,1 D-68161 Mannheim


Heinz König Hall


Senior Researcher