|GATE - 4/91 - Environmental NGOs (GTZ GATE, 1991, 52 p.)|
Today everyone is talking about "sustainable development" Yet the rapid destruction of the natural environment in many poor countries, and the global environmental problems for which, above all, the lifestyle of the rich countries is responsible, prove that mankind is still far from achieving sustainability.
No doubt the world would be in an even worse state were it not for the fact that, both in the North and in the South, political lobbying by various groups and organizations has succeeded in making governments rethink.
It goes without saying that action lags far behind insight. This is why environmental NGOs will be even more important in the 1990s, in particular as regards development cooperation and as catalysts to accelerate the dissemination of appropriate technologies.
As the Focus in this issue shows, the critical NGOs in the North have provided important stimuli for official development aid. In addition, Northern environmental NGOs have an important role to play in assisting their counterpart groups in the South. The examples presented in our Focus section illustrate the work of environmental NGOs in Latin America. Supporting NGOs of this kind in the developing countries is a major precondition of sustainable development.