Economic Development or Environmental Protection? The Dilemmas of the Developing Countries through the Case of the Philippines

Péter Klemensits



As the term sustainable development has become more important to the world, in the developing countries it means a serious conflict of interest considering the conservation of the environment versus the economic development. For the states of the Global South it is a near-impossible challenge to create a responsible environmental policy and at the same time secure the long-term development of their economies and societies. The case of the Philippines can be cited as an ideal example, as under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte the government is struggling to reconcile the opposing interests, while the environmental degradation seems to be incontrollable. The present paper examines the challenges confronted by the developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America through the case study of the Philippines. The analysis based on the literature presents in detail the country’s ecological crisis, President Duterte’s environmental policy, and the long term socioeconomic prospects alike. The paper concludes that in favour of the sustainable development the environmental protection can no longer be put into the shade by sheer economic interest, even if the challenge became more difficult for the elites in the future.


Keywords: sustainable development, economic policy, environment protection, Philippines, Global South

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© European Journal of Sustainable Development

ISSN 2239-5938 (print)
ISSN 2239-6101 (online)