November 22, 2002

Developing Countries Make Progress in Sustainable Development

Research findings from the United Nations University (UNU) on a sustainable development framework for the developing world showed Wednesday in Bali of Inonesia that progress has been made by a large number of the developing countries.

Based on case study analyses on China, India and Indonesia, the research report says that the three countries represent more than just three large countries in the developing world. With a combined population of 2.5 billion people, they make up about 42 per cent of the total world population as well as about 36 per cent of the current population growth.

These three countries are also undergoing rapid industrial, social and demographic changes. China has achieved great success in anti-poverty struggle in the past two decades. The number of people living below the poverty line dropped from 250 million in 1978 to around 34 million in 1999. Like China, Indonesia has been able to dramatically reduce its poverty rate from seventy per cent in the early 1970s to below ten per cent in the early 1990s, the report noted.

"Even after the Asian financial crisis, Indonesia's poverty rate never reached above twenty per cent," Palanivel, the author of the report said.

India, though it continues to have the highest concentration of poverty, has adopted national anti-poverty strategy consisted of economic development; human development with emphasis on health, education and basic needs; and poverty alleviation through employment generation.

Apart from the significant poverty reduction, the three countries have also been transforming themselves from agriculture-based economies to industrialization, from public to private sectors and from rural to urban countries.

The urbanization rate from rural to urban in China rose from 12.5 per cent in 1950 to 32.1 per cent in 2000, India from 17.3 per cent to 28.4 per cent, and Indonesia 12.4 per cent to 40.9 per cent, the report says.

The governments of China, India and Indonesia are starting to recognize the crucial role to be played by private and civil society actors.

In particular, the role of industry in protecting the environment and promoting economic and social development through improving productivity, making energy use more efficient and through waste recycling and disposal practices, seems to be having greater attention from the governments, it said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 6, 2002)

In This Series
Experts on Sustainable Development

Premier on Sustainable Development Strategy

China Makes Great Efforts for Sustainable Development

China's Cities Value Sustainable Development



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