Sustainable development

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People all over the world observe the degradation of the environment. One starts to realize that the present mode of production and consumption both threatens the continued existence of the earth and increases the existing inequality between rich and poor countries (the North and the South). Through exhaustion of the earth, e.g. deforestation, more often natural disasters are being provoked by man.

Until now it seems that people from the South, and in particular women, have been affected by the implications of environmental pollution and of the increase in inequality.

Women from Gelderland are worried about the present developments and think that governments as well as companies and the world citizens should assume greater responsibility to improve the present situation. The programmes which are executed so far in the Netherlands are found insufficient in this regard. The Dutch government should provide more means and should have the courage to take more rigid measures. Cooperation between different sections and at different levels is a prerequisite.

Women from Gelderland find that more information should be given:

Every conceivable channel should be used to distribute this information. Education can fulfil its proper role; the introduction of an ecology course can be a good start.

In relation to the present buying behaviour of consumers women from Gelderland find that the government should make more stringent rules for publicity broadcasting. Publicity aimed at children will have to be reduced drastically, if not forbidden, regarding the impressionability of this group.

Women from Gelderland want the government to take more concrete measures to relieve the environment and to show the economic value of nature. This is possible through levying anti- pollution taxes, amongst which:

The Dutch government should assume greater responsibility for the stimulation of sustainable development on an international level. Women from Gelderland find it desirable that:

The Dutch government should look critically at herself and her own policy regarding the implications for both the environment and the existing inequality between the North and the South. The integral policy will have to have a greater focus on well- being instead of on welfare. In this respect there is a need for more research into, e.g. the implications for man and animal of the use of growth hormones for the production of meat, into plants which are resistant to diseases (so there is no need for weed-killers), into contaminated water, air and soil.

Finally, women from Gelderland observed that war is world's biggest polluter. Only in between wars development can proceed. Women should have a greater say in peace negotations. Means which are available through reducing military expenses should be used for peace, general well-being and measures which are kindly disposed towards women.

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