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Achieving environmental sustainability and growth in Africa: the role of science, technology and innovation

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  • Christian Webersik

    (University of Agder, Centre for Development Studies, Kristiansand, Norway)

  • Clarice Wilson

    (UNEP|Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, Nairobi, Kenya)

Abstract

African economies are closely linked to natural resources and rely heavily on agriculture, largely rain fed. Agricultural development has long being considered of secondary importance in African economic development. As the current food crisis shows, it is important as this article argues to rethink not only agricultural policies, but also agricultural practices, and particularly the role science and innovation can play to address development and sustainability challenges. It is predicted that Africa will be particularly vulnerable to climate change and climate variability associated with biodiversity loss, food insecurity, water scarcity and an increase in drought frequency. This article examines pressing environmental challenges Africa is facing and discusses the role of science and technology solutions in meeting these challenges. An environmental performance country methodology is used to identify areas of best practice in achieving environmental policy targets, such as clean water or biodiversity conservation, as well as areas of action. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Webersik & Clarice Wilson, 2009. "Achieving environmental sustainability and growth in Africa: the role of science, technology and innovation," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(6), pages 400-413.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:17:y:2009:i:6:p:400-413
    DOI: 10.1002/sd.411
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andy Stirling, 2007. "Deliberate futures: precaution and progress in social choice of sustainable technology," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 286-295.
    2. Drechsel, Pay & Gyiele, Lucy & Kunze, Dagmar & Cofie, Olufunke, 2001. "Population density, soil nutrient depletion, and economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 251-258, August.
    3. Lee Liu, 2009. "Urban environmental performance in China: a sustainability divide?," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(1), pages 1-18.
    4. Spielman, David J. & von Grebmer, Klaus, 2004. "Public-private partnerships in agricultural research: an analysis of challenges facing industry and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research," EPTD discussion papers 113, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Juha Auvinen & E. Wayne Nafziger, 1999. "The Sources of Humanitarian Emergencies," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 43(3), pages 267-290, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philip Walsh, 2011. "Creating a “values” chain for sustainable development in developing nations: where Maslow meets Porter," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 789-805, August.

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