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Interregional ecology - resource flows and sustainability in a globalizing world Kissinger, Meidad 2008

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 Interregional Ecology – Resource Flows and Sustainability in a Globalizing World  by:  Meidad Kissinger  B.A., Tel Aviv University, 1999 M.A., University of Haifa, 2003   A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES  (Community and Regional Planning)  The University of British Columbia  July 2008    © Meidad Kissinger  2008  ii A b s t r a c t  In a globalizing world, trade has become essential to supporting the needs and wants of billions of people. Virtually everyone now consumes resource commodities and manufactured products traded all over the world; the ecological footprints of nations are now scattered across the globe. The spatial separation of material production (resource exploitation) from consumption eliminates negative feedbacks from supporting eco-systems. Most consumers remain unaware of the impacts that their trade dependence imposes on distant ecosystems (out of sight out of mind).  I take the first steps in developing a conceptual and practical framework for an ‘interregional ecology’ approach to exploring and analyzing sustainability in an increasingly interconnected world. Such an approach accounts for some of the ‘externalities’ of globalization and international trade. It underscores the increasing dependence and impact of almost any country on resources originating from others and recognizes that the sustainability of any specified region may be increasingly linked to the ecological sustainability of distant supporting regions.  I empirically describe and quantify some of the interregional material linkages between selected countries. I document the flows of renewable resources into the U.S. and quantify the U.S. external material footprint (EF) on specific countries. I then document the physical inputs involved in production of most agricultural export products from Costa Rica and Canada. Finally, I focus on major export products such as bananas, coffee and beef in Costa Rica and agricultural activities in the Canadian Prairies and document some of the ecological consequences (loss of habitat, soil degradation, water contamination and biodiversity loss) of that production. My research findings show increasing U.S. imports, increasing reliance on external sources and growing external ecological footprints. They also show how production activities mostly for overseas consumption led to changes in ecological structure and function in the studied export countries.  This dissertation adds a missing trans-national dimension to the sustainability debate effectively integrating the policy and planning domain for sustainability in one region with that in others. While my research focuses mainly on documenting the nature and magnitude of interregional connections I also consider some of the implications of the interregional approach for sustainability planning.   iii Table of Contents  Abstract ...............................................................................................................................  ii Table of Contents ………...……………………………………………………................  iii List of Tables …………………………………………………………………..................  vii List of Figures ….....……………………………………………………………................ x List of Charts .………………………………………………………………….................  xi List of Maps .………………………………………………………………….................. xii List of Acronyms ………………………………………………………………………… xiii Acknowledgments ……………………………………………………………………….. xiv  Chapter I:  Introduction ………………………………………………………………..  1  1.1. Problem statement: the sustainability conundrum …………….…..............................  1 1.2 The research rationale………..……………………………………………………......  3 1.3 Research questions and objectives ..…………………………………………………. 6 1.4 Scope of the research ..……………………………………………………………….. 7 1.5 Structure of the dissertation ..…………………………………………………………  8 1.6 Significance of the study – contribution to knowledge ..………………………..…....   9  Chapter II:   Interregional Perspectives on Ecological Change ……………………... 11  2.1 Production, consumption and ecological changes ..………….………………………. 12 2.2 Three strands of Interregional ecology ..………………….………………………….. 13       2.2.1 The conventional (pollution) strand …….………….………………………….. 13       2.2.2 The local production and consumption strand ……..………………………….. 15       2.2.3 The trade flow (consumption) strand of ‘interregional ecology ……..…………  16              2.2.3.1  Dependence ………..…………………………………………………… 16              2.2.3.2  Impact ………………………………………………………………….. 20              2.2.3.3  Responsibility ………………………………………………………….. 21  Chapter III:   Globalization, Trade and Ecological Change    25  3.1 Globalization ..……………………………………………………………..................   25 3.2 The case for and against economic globalization .………………………...................  27 3.3 Trade .……………………………………………………………………................... 28 3.4 The case for and against free trade   ..…………………………………….................. 28 3.5 Globalization, free trade, and ecological sustainability ……………………….…….  30 3.6 An interregional ecology perspective on globalization and trade.…………..……... 32  Chapter IV: Interregional Ecology and Sustainability in a Globalizing World ……. 34  4.1 Background ...………………………………………………………………………… 34 4.2 The biophysical approach towards ecological sustainability ..………………………. 36 4.3 The mainstream economic – centric approach towards ecological sustainability ..…. 39 4.4 The ecological economics approach towards sustainability ..……………………….. 41 4.5 Integrating an interregional ecology approach and sustainability ………..…………. 43         4.5.1 Interregional interest …….……………………………………………….……  46 4.6 The place of an interregional approach to sustainability ……………………..……... 49  iv Chapter V: Modeling an Interregional Ecology Approach to Sustainability ……..... 56  5.1 Background ……………………………...……………………………………............  56       5. 1.1 Material Flows Analysis (MFA)   ….…………………………………………. 58        5.1.2 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)   …..…………………………………………… 59        5.1.3 Physical Input Output Tables (PIOT)  …..……………………………………. 60        5.1.4 Ecological Footprint Analysis (EFA)  …..……………………………………. 61 5.2 Towards an interregional ecology model   ...………………………………………… 62  Chapter VI: Research Methods ………………………………………………………..   67  6.1 Overview of research procedure …..…………………………………................    67        6.1.1 The dissertation as part of the bigger picture ….….…...……………................ 67        6.1.2 Research case studies …….……………………………………………............ 68              6.1.2.1 The United States - the major import case study …….……...........…….. 69              6.1.2.2 Costa Rica – export case study …….……………………………............ 69              6.1.2.3 Canada – export case study …….……………………………….............. 69        6.1.3 Time scale –consumption in a particular year or throughout time   ………….. 70        6.1.4 Different dimensions of interregional ecology   …….………………………… 70  6.2 Finding correlations – production, consumption and ecological change............…..… 73       6.2.1 Physical inputs   ….…………………………………….……………………… 73              6.2.1.1 Land inputs ………………………………............……………………… 74        6.2.2 Documenting some of the correlations between production, physical inputs      and ecological integrity decline   ……………………………………………… 75        6.2.3 Issues of data …………………....……………………………………………..   78        6.2.4 Direct, indirect, or minimal potential impacts ………………………………… 79  6.3 Research phases ……………..………………………………………….....….............  81 6.3.1 Import case study: Tracing the external material footprints of the United States............................................................................................................................. 81 6.3.1.1 Identification and selection of renewable resources imported into the U.S………………………………………………………………………………..   81              6.3.1.2 Tracing the sources of imported products ……………………………..... 82              6.3.1.3 Estimating the terrestrial ecosystem area “appropriated” through trade… 83      6.3.2 Agriculture crops, pasture and forest land - Estimating the land inputs needed      for growing different products in specific locations around the world ……..........…...   84              6.3.2.1 The case of tomatoes   …………………………………………............... 84              6.3.2.2 The case of cotton   ………………………………………………........... 85              6.3.2.3 The case of beef   ………………………………………………………... 87              6.3.2.4 The case of forest products   ……………………………………………. 88  6.4. Exporting case studies - Consuming Costa Rica and Canada – an interregional         Ecology approach ………………………………………………............................... 89       6.4.1 Identifying major export products   ……………………………………............. 89       6.4.2 Identifying major export destinations   ……………………………………....... 90       6.4.3 Terrestrial ecosystems devoted to export   …………………………………….. 91       6.4.4 Other inputs involved   ……………………………………………………….... 91       6.4.5 From product consumption to ecological impact   …………………….............. 92  v Chapter VII: The Interregional Ecology of the United States – Or Tracing the External Material Footprints of America …………………………………………….. 94  7.1 Overview ....………………………………………………………………………….. 94 7.2 The product level – where do specific products come from?   ..……………………... 96      7.2.1 Agricultural products ....………………………………………………………… 96            7.2.1.1 Fruits   …………….………………………………………………………. 98                     7.2.1.1.1 The cases of apples and bananas ………………...……………….. 101             7.2.1.2 Grains ……….…..……………………………………………………….. 103             7.2.1.3 Legumes ………...……………………………………………………….. 104             7.2.1.4 Oil Crops ………...………………………………………………………. 107                     7.2.1.4.1 The case of palm oil ……………...………………………………. 109             7.2.1.5 Stimulants ………..……………………………………….……………… 110                     7.2.1.5.1 The case of sugar ……………..………………….……………….. 111             7.2.1.6 Vegetables ………..…………………………………….………………... 112                     7.2.1.6.1 The case of potatoes and tomatoes ……………...………………... 113             7.2.1.7 Fibers ………...…………………………………………………………... 115                     7.2.1.7.1 The case of cotton …………....…………………………………… 116      7.2.2 Meat Products………….........………………………………………………….. 118      7.2.3 Wood products …………………………………………………………………. 119 7.3 Summary ……………………………………….…………………………………….. 120  Chapter VIII: Consuming Costa Rica – An Interregional Ecology Approach to Ecological Change in Costa Rica ……………………………………………………  124  8.1 Introduction   ………………..……………………………………………………….. 124 8.2 Agricultural production ....…………………………………………………………… 126 8.3 Costa Rica’s interregional ecology......……………………………………………….. 128 8.4 Ecological change.....…………………….…………………………………………… 132      8.4.1 Land use and land cover change ….………………………….…………………. 132      8.4.2 Soil degradation………….………………………………………………………  135      8.4.3 Biodiversity loss ….…………………………………………………………….. 135  8.5 Agriculture and ecological change in Costa Rica ....………………………………… 136      8.5.1 Agriculture and habitat change …………………………….…………………… 136      8.5.2 Soil Degradation……………………….........………………………………….. 137      8.5.3 Pesticide contamination of land and water...……………………………………. 138  8.6 Specific products and their connections to ecological change.....…………………… 139      8.6.1 Bananas...……………………………………………………………….............. 139             8.6.1.1 Bananas and habitat change   ……………………………………………. 141             8.6.1.2 Bananas and Soil degradation   ………………………………………….. 142             8.6.1.3 Bananas and ecosystems contamination   ………………………………... 143      8.6.2 Coffee   …………………………………………………………………………. 145             8.6.2.1 Coffee and habitat change   ……………………………………………… 147             8.6.2.2 Coffee and Soil degradation   …………………………………………… 149             8.6.2.3 Coffee and Land and water contamination   …………………………….. 152             8.6.2.4 Coffee and Biodiversity loss   …………………………………................ 154   vi      8.6.3 Beef   ……………………………………………………………………………. 156             8.6.3.1 Beef and habitat change   ………………………………………………… 159             8.6.3.2 Beef and soil degradation   ……………………………………………… 160             8.6.3.3 Land and water contamination   …………………………………………. 161 8.7 Summary.....…………………………………………………………………………... 162  Chapter IX: Consuming Canada - An Interregional Ecology Approach to Ecological Change in the Canadian Prairies …………………………………………..  164  9.1 The national scale ………………………………………………………………….....  164       9.1.1 Introduction  ..……………….………………………………………………..... 164       9.1.2 Canada’s agricultural production .…………...………………………………… 165             9.1.2.1 Agricultural crops …..……….……....…………………………………… 166             9.1.2.2 Cattle and beef production ……………....……………………………….. 168       9.1.3 The world’s connections with Canada ...………………………………………. 169             9.1.3.1 Agricultural export   ….....……………………………………………….. 169             9.1.3.2 Beef and livestock export ………………………………………………... 172  9.2 Agricultural production and ecological changes in the Canadian prairies …………... 173        9.2.1 Prairie agricultural production ....……………………………………………… 174        9.2.2 Ecological changes ....…………………………………………………………. 177             9.2.2.1 Habitat change .......………………………………………………………. 177             9.2.2.2 Soil degradation …...…...………………………………………………… 180 9.3 Summary…......……………………………………………………………………….. 183  Chapter X: Summary and Discussion …………………………………………………  185  10.1 Summary of the research findings …………………………………………………..  186 10.2 Analyzing research findings and implications ……………………………………... 190      10.2.1 Locating an interregional ecology approach within the overall       sustainability discussion ………………………………………………………......      197      10.2.2 Some implications for policy and planning ...………………………………….  198      10.2.3 Promoting Sustainability Science ...……………………………………………  202            10.2.3.1 Sustainability assessment tools ……...…………………………………..   202            10.2.3.2 Focusing on the physical volume and not only on the economic value.… 203            10.2.3.3 The challenge of working with large data sets ……..…………………...    204 10.3 Suggested areas for further research ………………………………………………..   206  List of References   ………………………………………………………………………. 209 Appendices ……………………………………………………………………………….   230  vii  List of Tables  Table 1: Raw products covered in the study.....……………………………………………. 82 Table 2: Costa Rica: Selected Export Products..…………………………………………… 89 Table 3: Canada: Selected Export Products..………………………………………………. 89 Table 4: U.S. imports 1995-2005 (1000s’ Metric tonnes / Cubic meters) ………………… 95 Table 5: Land ‘imported’ by U.S. consumers 1995-2005 (1000s’ hectares) ……………… 95 Table 6: U.S agricultural crop imports 1995-2005 (1000s’ Metric tonnes) .………………. 96 Table 7: Land devoted to production of U.S agricultural import               1995-2005 (1000s’ hectares) ……………………………………………………... 97 Table 8: U.S agricultural crops import from major sources and                the required land input ........................................................................................... 98 Table 9: Major U.S. fruit imports (average weight and land) 1995- 2005…………............ 99 Table 10: Quantities of apples imported and their footprints                 on specific source countries …………………………………………………….. 102 Table 11: Quantities of bananas imported and t heir footprints                 on specific source countries …………………………………………………….. 103 Table 12: U.S. grain imports and external footprints ……………………………………… 104 Table 13: U.S. legume imports and their external footprints ……………………………… 105 Table 14: U.S. oil crop imports and their external footprints ……………………………... 108 Table 15: U.S. stimulant imports and their external footprints ……………………………. 110 Table 16: U.S stimulants import from major sources and the required land inputs..………   110 Table 17: U.S. vegetable imports and their external footprints.....………………………… 113 Table 18: Quantities of imported tomatoes and their footprints on source countries..……. 114 Table 19: U.S. fiber imports and their external footprints …………………………............ 116 Table 20: Quantities of cotton imports and their footprints on source countries.………….. 117 Table 21: Quantities of imported meat, required livestock and pasture land .………........... 118 Table 22: Major wood product imports by average weight and roundwood equivalents..... 119 Table 23: The change in U.S wood import.........…………………………………………... 119 Table 24: summary of the average U.S external material footprint composition….....……. 122 Table 25: Physical inputs to agricultural crops production …...…………………………… 127 Table 26: Costa Rica’s export and required physical inputs ………………………………. 130 Table 27: Costa Rica major land use and land cover 1979 – 2004 ………………………... 133 Table 28: Annual and permanent agricultural land ………………………………………... 136 Table 29: Costa Rica’s yearly average beef production, export and required pastureland.... 158 Table 30: Canada’s agricultural production by major product groups.. ………………….... 166 Table 31: Physical inputs to agricultural production...……………………………….......... 167 Table 32: Canada’s beef livestock feed…......……………………………………………… 168 Table 33: Agricultural products devoted to export by weight and as a proportion of                 production.……………………………………………………………………….   171 Table 34: Overall estimated physical inputs involved in Canada’s export products.…...….   171 Table 35: Prairie agricultural production as a proportion of overall                 Canadian production…....………………………………………………………..  175 Table 36: Physical inputs involved in agricultural production in the Canadian                 prairies……............................................................................................................ 176   viii  Table A- 1.1:  Resource commodities included in the research …………………............. 231 Table A- 1.2:  U.S Agricultural Import (fresh or raw equivalent weight)………….......... 233 Table A- 1.3:  U.S agricultural ‘land import’ (Total hectares / year).…………….……… 233 Table A- 1.4:  U.S agricultural import by country (Fresh or raw equivalent weight) ........ 234 Table A- 1.5:  U.S agricultural ‘land import’ by country (hectares / year)  …………....... 237 Table A- 1.6:  U.S fruits import by commodity (Fresh equivalent weight)  …………….. 239 Table A - 1.7: U.S fruits ‘import land’ by commodity (hectares / year)   ……………...... 240 Table A - 1.8: U.S fruits import by country (Fresh equivalent weight) …………………. 241 Table A - 1.9: U.S fruits ‘imported land’ by country (hectares / year)   ………………… 243 Table A - 1.10: U.S apple import by country and imported land   ………………………. 245 Table A - 1.11: U.S banana import by country and imported land   …………………...... 246 Table A – 1.12: U.S grain import by commodity (raw equivalent weight)   ………….....  247 Table A - 1.13: U.S grain ‘imported land’ by commodity (hectares / year) ..……………  247 Table A – 1.14: U.S grain import by country (raw equivalent weight)   …………………  248 Table A – 1.15: U.S grain ‘imported land’ by country (hectares / year)   ………………..  250 Table A – 1.16: U.S legumes import by commodity (raw equivalent weight) ..…………  252 Table A – 1.17: U.S legumes ‘imported land’ by commodity (hectares / year)   ……….. 252 Table A- 1.18: U.S legumes import by country (raw equivalent weight)   ……………… 253 Table A – 1.19: U.S legumes ‘imported land’ by country (hectares / year) ..…………… 255 Table A – 1.20 - U.S oil crops import by commodity (raw equivalent weight) ………… 257 Table A – 1.21: U.S oil crops ‘imported land’ by commodity (hectares / year) ………… 257 Table A – 1.22: U.S oil crops import by country (raw equivalent weight) ..…………….. 258 Table A – 1.23: U.S oil crops ‘imported land’ by country (hectares / year) ..…………… 260 Table A – 1.24: U.S stimulants import by commodity (raw equivalent weight) ..……..... 262 Table A – 1.25: U.S stimulants ‘imported land’ by commodity (hectares / year) ………. 262 Table A- 1.26: U.S stimulants import by country (raw equivalent weight) ..…………….  263 Table A – 1.27: U.S stimulants ‘imported land’ by country (hectares / year) …………... 265 Table A – 1.28: U.S Sugar Crops Import (metric tons/year) from Specific Countries …..   267 Table A – 1.29: U.S vegetables import by commodity (fresh equivalent weight) ………  268 Table A - 1.30: U.S vegetables ‘imported land’ by commodity (hectares / year) ..……… 269 Table A – 1.31: U.S vegetables import by country (Fresh equivalent weight)   ………… 270 Table A – 1.32: U.S vegetables ‘imported land’ by country (hectares / year) ..……….....  272 Table A – 1.33: U.S potatoes import by country and imported land   …………………… 274 Table A – 1.34: U.S tomatoes import by country and imported land ..……………..........  275 Table A – 1.35: U.S fibers import by commodity (raw equivalent weight)  ………….....  276 Table A – 1.36: U.S fibers ‘imported land’ by commodity (hectares / year) ……………. 276 Table A – 1.37: U.S fibers import by country (Fresh equivalent weight) ………………..  277 Table A – 1.38: U.S fibers ‘imported land’ by country (hectares / year)   ……………….  279 Table A - 1.39: U.S cotton import by country and imported land   ………………………  281 Table A – 1.40: U.S beef and lamb import (Mt)   ………………………………………..  282 Table A – 1.41: U.S live cattle imported (head)   ………………………………………..  282 Table A – 1.42: U.S ‘imported pasture land’ (hectares)   ………………………………...  283 Table A – 1.43: U.S wood import (M3 / year)   ………………………………………….   283 Table A – 1.44: U.S ‘imported forest land’ (hectares)   ………………………………….  283   ix  Table A - 2.1: Costa Rica agricultural production (Fresh or raw equivalent weight)....…… 284 Table A – 2.2: Costa Rica land required for each crop (hectares / year).........…………….. 286 Table A – 2.3: Costa Rica water inputs (1000s M3) ……………………………...….……. 288 Table A – 2.4: Costa Rica fertilizers input (Mt) ……………………………...…….…....... 290 Table A - 2.5: Costa Rica pesticide inputs (Mt / active ingredients) …........……………… 290 Table A- 2.6: Costa Rica agricultural export by commodity (Fresh or raw equivalent                       weight).…....………………………………………………………………… 291 Table A- 2.7: Costa Rica agricultural crop land devoted to export by commodity                        (ha / year)........................................................................................................ 293 Table A – 2.8: Costa Rica pasture land devoted to export by commodity (ha / year) …….. 295 Table A – 2.9: Costa Rica agricultural export by major destination (weight and area of                         land)…........…………………………………………………………………  295 Table A – 2.10: Costa Rica beef export by major destination (weight and area of land)...... 295 Table A – 3.1: Canada agricultural production (Fresh or raw equivalent weight)..………... 296 Table A – 3.2: Canada land required for each crop (hectares / year)....……………………. 300 Table A – 3.3: Canada land for beef production (natural pasture, seeded pasture and                         cropland) ……………..……………………………………………………. 304 Table A – 3.4: Canada agricultural export by commodity (Fresh or raw equivalent                         weight)........................................................................................................... 305 Table A – 3.5: Canada agricultural crop land devoted to export by commodity (ha / year)..  309 Table A – 3.6: Canada Beef ‘Exported Lands’ (ha/year)………………………………..   313 Table A – 3.7: Canada agricultural export by major destination (weight and area of land)   314                            x List of Figures  Figure 1: Disaggregating consumption to show material sources and ecological consequences ...……………………………………………………………………………… 65 Figure 2: The interregional ecology model …………………………………………………. 66 Figure 3: The research components ……………………………………………………........ 72 Figure 4: physical inputs and ecological changes ......……………………………………...   75 Figure 5: The research focus ……………………………………………………………….   80      xi    List of Charts  Chart 1: Fruit imports – Total weight and imported land  …………………………….........   99 Chart 2: Grain import – Total weight (mt) and ‘imported land’ (Ha)   ……………….......... 103 Chart 3: Legume imports – Total weight (1000Mt) and ‘imported land’ (1000s Ha)…........    105 Chart 4: Oil crop imports – Total weight (1000s Mt) and ‘imported land’ (1000s Ha) …….   107 Chart 5: Change in palm import and equivalent of U.S palm oil lands in Indonesia and Malaysia   ……………………………………………………………………………………  109 Chart 6: Vegetables imports – Total weight (1000s Mt)   ………………………………….. 112 Chart 7: Fibre imports – Total weight (1000s Mt) and ‘imported land’ (1000s Ha)   ……… 115 Chart 8: Costa Rica’s agricultural production and croplands (excluding beef)   …………… 126 Chart 9: Costa Rica’s beef production and cattle pasture land   ……………………………. 127 Chart 10: Agriculture export – products’ weight and harvested cropland   ………………… 128 Chart 11: Proportion of production divided between local consumption and export   ……... 129 Chart 12: Costa Rica’s major export destinations (1994-2004)   …….…………………….. 129 Chart 13: Land devoted to growing export crops by specific destination   ……………........ 130 Chart 14: Proportion of major agriculture products export weight   ……………………….. 131 Chart 15: Proportion of land devoted to grow major export products   …………………….. 131 Chart 16: Costa Rica’s banana export by weight and devoted land   ………………………. 140 Chart 17: Major export destinations for Costa Rican bananas   …………………………….. 140 Chart 18: Coffee exports as part of total coffee production   ……………………………….. 146 Chart 19: Costa Rica’s coffee destinations (Metric tons/year) – 1994-2004   ……………… 146 Chart 20: Coffee lands devoted to export (Ha) – 1994-2004 yearly average   ……………... 147 Chart 21: Costa Rica’s meat production and pasturelands   ………………………………… 157 Chart 22: Proportion between cattle slaughtered for local and overseas consumption ……..  157 Chart 23: Costa Rica’s pastureland devoted to export   ……………………………………. 157 Chart 24: Canada’s agricultural production   ……………………………………………….. 165 Chart 25: Yearly consumption of Canada’s agricultural crops   ………………………......... 166 Chart 26: Yearly composition of Canada’s land devoted to agricultural crops   …………… 167 Chart 27: Canada’s beef cattle livestock and beef production   ……………………………. 168 Chart 28: Canada’s beef cattle pasture and feed lands   ……………………………………. 169 Chart 29: Agriculture export and devoted croplands   ……………………………………… 170 Chart 30: Proportion between croplands for local consumption and export   …………........ 170 Chart 31: 1989-2005 average export destination by weight   ………………………………. 171 Chart 32: Proportion of Canadian cropland devoted to export to specific regions   ………... 172 Chart 33: Canada’s beef, cattle and overall equivalent livestock exported   ……………….. 172 Chart 34: Canada’s lands devoted to growing beef and cattle livestock for export   ………. 173 Chart 35: Overall prairie agricultural land in selected years   …………………………........ 175       xii  List of Maps  Map 1: The documented countries   ………………………………………………………… 95 Map 2: U.S imported fruits major sources (average weight and imported land)   …………. 100 Map 3: U.S imported legumes major sources (average weight and imported land)   …... …. 106 Map 4: U.S oil crops major sources (average weight and imported land)   ………………… 108 Map 5: U.S imported sugar major sources (average weight and imported land)   …………. 111   xiii List of Acronyms   EFA –  Ecological Footprint Analysis EKC –  Environmental Kuznets Curve GDP -  Gross Domestic Products Ha -   Hectares IMF -  International Monetary Fund Km2 -   Square kilometer LCA –  Life Cycle Assessment LULC - Land use and land cover change MEA –  Millennium Ecosystem Assessment MFA -  Material Flow Analysis Mt  –   Metric tonnes Mt/yr –  Metric tonnes per year M3 –   Cubic Meter No -   Number PIOT – Physical Input Output Tables TNC –  Trans National Corporations WTO –  World Trade Organization   xiv Acknowledgments  Five years ago my family and I moved to the other side of the world. Living, studying and working in Canada has been a great experience for all of us. The years I spent here at the University of British Columbia were probably the most challenging, satisfying and fun years of my life.  Foremost, I need to thank my research supervisor and mentor, William Rees, for his guidance, inspiration, and support. Thank you Bill, for giving me the right environment to develop my ideas, and for encouraging me to push the research forward. I am also thankful to my research committee members: Peter Dauvergne, Stephanie Chang, and John Robinson for their support and good advice, for challenging my research ideas, and each for their unique insight. My research was supported by Grant #410-2004-0786 to Dr Rees from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This grant gave me the peace of mind to put most of my time into this research.  I would also like to thank colleagues and friends in the School of Community and Regional Planning, for helping me throughout the process of developing and writing my PhD dissertation. Especially, Cornelia Sussmann, Jennie Moore and Diana Smith for their willingness to hear, read, help edit, and give useful comments on this dissertation.  I am also thankful to my parents and the rest of my extended family back in Israel. I appreciate your support and love and know that despite the distance; you are always with me.  Last, but always first, I would like to thank Noa, Matan and Roi. This project would have been impossible without you. You gave me the strength and motivation to learn a new language, to explore new horizons, and to follow my dreams, Thank you.    1 Chapter I   -   Introduction  In a globalizing world, trade has become essential to supporting the needs and wants of billions of people. Virtually everyone now consumes resource commodities and manufactured products traded all over the world; the ecological footprints of nations are now scattered across the globe. The growth and manufacture of products creates many impacts on ecosystems particularly at the point of production. Most consumers, however, remain unaware and do not receive any negative feedback, of the impacts that their trade dependence imposes on distant ecosystems.  The overall context of my dissertation is ecological sustainability. I develop an ‘interregional human ecology’ theoretical approach to explore and analyze sustainability in a globalizing world. This approach underscores the increasing dependence and impact of almost any country on resources originating from others and recognizes that the sustainability of any specified region may be increasingly linked to the ecological sustainability of distant supporting regions. I describe and quantify several interregional connections and their impacts on the ecological integrity of exporting countries.  1.1   Problem statement: The Sustainability Conundrum  “Over the past 50 years, humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in human history, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber, and fuel. This has resulted in a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth. The changes that have been made to ecosystems have contributed to substantial net gains in human well-being and economic development, but these gains have been achieved at growing costs in the form of the degradation of many ecosystem services”(Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005: 1) .  In the last several decades human activities have dramatically increased the pressure on supporting ecosystems all over the world. The above statement joins many others in emphasizing the deteriorating state of human - ecosphere connections. The evidence increasingly emphasizes the dangerous path we are on (e.g. Meadows et al. 1972; 2004; WCED 1987; EUROSTAT 2001a; UN 2001; MEA 2003; 2005).  Approximately 40% of the earth’s terrestrial surface are now cropland and pastureland, most of which was converted in the last 30 years (Foley et al. 2005). Despite an annual increase in the area of temperate forest by almost 3 million hectares between 1990 and 2000, the world’s forest area overall has been shrinking. From 1980 to 2000 deforestation in the tropics occurred at an average rate of more than 12 million hectares per year (MEA 2005; FAO 2005).  2 Approximately 20% of the world’s coral reefs have been lost and an additional 20% degraded in the last several decades (MEA 2005). Approximately 35% of all mangrove area has been lost (MEA 2005). Another consequence of global human activity is that the number of species on the planet is declining. Between 10 and 30% of mammal, bird, and amphibian species are under threat of extinction (MEA 2005).  This decline is due largely to human population growth and increasing levels of human material and energy consumption. Fulfillment of human demands over time has altered ecosystems such that some species have lost the habitats to which they are adapted; other threatened species have been the targets of human exploitation.  Since 1960, the world population has more than doubled to 6.5 billion people (UNPP 2007). The global economy has increased more than sixfold (MEA 2005). Within that period food production, for example, has increased by roughly two-and-a half times, and water use has doubled (MEA 2005). Timber production increased by more than half while wood harvested for pulp and paper production has tripled (MEA 2005). Cotton production increased 1.5 times, iron by 1.2 and aluminum by 1.9 (Meadows et al. 2004). From 1973 to 2004 global energy consumption increased by 80% (IEA 2006). According to the World Trade Organization (2005:31) on average from 1960 to 2004 the volume of world trade has annually increased by 6.1%.  The trade value has increased from 163 billion U.S. $ in 1963 to 9,250 billion U.S. $ in 2004 (WTO 2006:32).  Our unique stage in human history has been examined by many authors (e.g., Meadows et al. 1972; 2004; Catton 1980; MacNeill et al. 1991; Norgaard 1994; Rees 1995; Adams 2001; Dale 2001; Speth 2004; MEA 2005; Brown 2006), all of whom emphasize the need for reassessment of our way of life and a change in our relationships with the natural systems that support us. At the same time others argue that the problem is not as severe as presented, and that it is simply part of the process of human development (e.g., World Bank 1992; Goklany 2007). Some even suggest that the state of the ecosphere or at least ‘the world’ is improving (e.g. Simon 1981; 1991; Easterbrook 1995; Kahn 1998; Lomborg 2001; Goklany 2007).  Rising awareness of the problem and the increasing debate on the related issues has forced a discussion about the consequences of current trends, a discussion which has congealed around the now well known concept of “sustainable development”. Since being popularized by the Brundtland report (WCED 1987), the term sustainable development has been defined in many ways in efforts to capture its interdisciplinary nature. In the process, sustainable development has become for many a kind of verbal ‘magic bullet’ that implies we can reduce our impacts on  3 ecological systems while we continue to develop and improve the state of humanity. Sustainable development emphasizes human-nature relationships, and inter/intra generational equity relationships. Sustainability values and goals aspire to combine the ecological, social, and economical dimensions of life for the long run as well as for the short.  But are we on a sustainable course? A focus on the biophysical dimension of sustainability suggests that we are far from getting to safe-harbor.  One important area of inquiry to forward the global sustainability agenda is an investigation of interregional interests and responsibilities for maintaining global ecosystems integrity: an interregional approach to sustainability.  1.2   The Research rationale  Human populations everywhere depend on both local and global ecosystems goods and services (e.g., clean air and water, food and materials). In recent decades we have witnessed a great increase in the spatial separation between human populations and the sources of the vital natural resources they consume. For most of human history, people supported themselves mainly on resources and assimilative capacities provided by local ecosystems. With increasing global economic integration this dependence has been extended to sources and sinks in distant parts of the world. As the world economy ‘globalizes’ trade has become a major mechanism by which much of the human population supports its needs. Globalization and trade enable people to free themselves from local ecological constraints by importing ecological goods and services; in effect, globalization represents the shuffling of biocapacity from regions with surpluses to other regions; some of which have by now greatly exceeded their domestic carrying capacities. This is problematic for several reasons: First, the spatial separation of material production (resource exploitation) from consumption eliminates the negative feedback that normally occurs when people dependent on local ecosystems degrade those ecosystems. Instead, “contemporary consumers remain blissfully unaware of any negative effects of their consumption on supportive ecosystems located half a planet away” (Rees 2006). Second, while globalization and trade allow many regions to develop, it also increases their vulnerability to the ecological degradation of supporting regions and to geopolitical instability anywhere that might jeopardize vital trade linkages. In short, excessive trade dependence might jeopardize the long term sustainability of dependent populations. Still, in today’s world, trade is essential and can benefit societies around the world. Both positive and negative economic and ecological consequences of interregional connections must be explicitly documented and accounted for along the road to global sustainability.  4  At present most environmental reports and sustainable development studies apply to a single spatial scale: local, national or global. These reports analyze diverse pressures on human well- being and ecosystems integrity and suggest policies needed to achieve local or global sustainability (e.g., UNEP 2007; MEA 2005). The main emphasis is on the pollution impacts of production: the negative effects of production activities on local producing regions and in some cases on the global commons. Several authors (e.g., Rees 1995; Princen 1999; Conca 2001; Princen et al. 2002; Dauvergne 2005b) argue that the production approach is not sufficient and a consumption approach is needed as well. Indeed, examining economic activity and human development from the perspective of resource consumption can open our eyes to novel aspects of the sustainability problem. Although ecosystems degradation is a complex processes with multiple causes, loss of ecosystem integrity in almost any given region of the world can be attributed to both local and international consumer demands. In certain cases eco-degradation is significantly due to overseas demand for crops, meat, timber, minerals and other resources. The increasingly complicated web of trading relationships is essentially invisible to consumers, as are the negative ecological impacts of their consumptive demands. Lack of awareness and of negative feedback from ecological degradation encourages further consumption and further deterioration of ecological systems. The consumption-based approach to analyzing sustainability raises important questions about responsibility and accountability: in whose interest is it to sustain productive ecosystems? Who should be responsible for the ecological impacts generated through material and product trade? Should the cost of maintaining ecosystem integrity be born only by producers (i.e. exporters) or should the terms of trade be adjusted so that consumers (i.e. importers) assume some of the cost as well?  This study is based on the premise that sustainability requires living within the means of nature (Daly 1990; Holdern et al. 1995; Robert et al. 1997; Rees 2002b; Wackernagel et al. 2002). For sustainability we need an interregional approach that will provide us with negative feedback about our actions and that will highlight our dependence on others. In the global village what is out of sight should not be out of mind, what is far from the eye should not be far from the heart.  A major implication of increasing interregional dependences is that the spatial scale for sustainability analysis and planning must be changed to match the scale of human economic activities. Since we are creating a global village and a global economy we must ensure that both are sustainable at the global scale. Globalization should not serve to buffer consumers from the negative impacts of material-intense lifestyles; it cannot be allowed to short-circuit the negative  5 feedback that consumers would normally experience from over-exploitation of their local supportive ecosystems. Ecological sustainability in such an interconnected world demands a more explicitly interregional analytic framework, one based on recognition that sustainability anywhere is linked, directly and indirectly, to sustainability elsewhere. These considerations should compel the world community to embrace an ‘interregional human ecological’ approach to sustainability. Approaching sustainability conscious of interregional connections forces recognition that: 1) virtually every significant human population or country lives, in part, on energy/material flows to and from distant points all over the world; 2) continuous growth in such relationships has the potential to create unseen (by consumers) unsustainable burdens on productive ecosystems in distant locales; 3) ecological degradation in one region has the potential to jeopardize the sustainability of other regions; 4) consumers in importing regions, particularly regions with irreversible ecological deficits, therefore have an interest in ensuring that their supportive ecosystems in other regions are managed sustainably.   The processes described above suggest that consumers, businesses and governments all over the world have increasing interests in ensuring the sustainability of their supporting ecosystems in other regions. The logic behind this kind of self-interest or practical responsibility includes increasing evidence that we are approaching the limits of planetary carrying capacity (Meadows et al. 1972; 2004; MEA 2005; WWF 2006). The shift from an ecologically empty to an ecologically full world (Daly 1991), a world in which natural capital is becoming a limiting factor for human development and sustainability, can increasingly be connected to, geopolitical and security issues (Pirages and DeGeest 2004).  In the past few decades numerous methods have been developed to quantify the physical dimensions of human activities and to enhance our understanding of human dependence on the natural world. Tools such as material flows analysis (MFA), ecological footprint analysis (EFA), life cycle assessment (LCA) and physical input output tables (PIOT) are typical of methods designed to quantify the energy and material connections between the human enterprise and the ecosphere (Wackernagel and Rees 1996; Ayres 1998; Robert 2000; Daniels and Moore 2002). While these tools move us a step forward in our quest for sustainability, they generally fail to identify either the origins of critical resource flows or the ecological changes that resource exploitation imposes on exporting regions. This study illustrates how to fill this analytic gap. I develop and explore an interregional model of sustainability that incorporates elements of MFA, EFA, LCA and PIOT.  6 1.3   Research questions and objectives  This research documents two major characteristics of interregional human ecology: (1) various importing nations’ dependence on ecosystems within other national territories (2) the impact of these relationships on ecological integrity within the exporting countries. The overall research purposes are: (1) To reveal the implications for sustainability of the increasing material entanglement among nations that result from accelerating globalization. (2) To describe and quantify the interregional material linkages between selected countries with a view toward documenting: a) the extent that trade flows can increase the material dependence of country ‘A’ on country ‘B’; b) the linkages between material consumption in country ‘A’ and the loss of integrity of supporting ecosystems in country ‘B’. In short I examine the ecological impacts of resource consumption by specific import-dependent regions on ecological integrity in corresponding export countries. Thus, a central research questions are: (1) How can inter-regional ecology and disaggregated eco-footprint analysis be used to illustrate the extent and intensity of inter-regional connectivity and thus provide the basis for assessing the local and international implications of globalization for sustainability? (2) What are the linkages between the loss of ecological structure and function in exporting regions and material demands in importing regions?  More specific research objectives are: a) To create a conceptual tool that will trace material flows and characterize the external       ecological footprint of importing regions. b) To add a potentially important dimension to the ongoing discussion of sustainable development and sustainability planning by developing an interregional ecology approach to sustainability.  In order to address the above research questions and objectives, certain technical questions need to be addressed:  a) How can available data sources be used to identify the geographic origins of the       resource commodities that are consumed by specified consumer countries? b) To what extent is it possible to quantify the amount of inputs (i.e., land, water, and chemicals) involved in the production of export products in different exporting countries? c) To what extent is it possible to trace the connections between production of export products and ecological impacts?   7 1.4   Scope of the research  In this research I make the first steps in exploring, developing and documenting an interregional approach to sustainability. This research documents one part of a complex worldwide network of such interregional relationships. The interregional linkages analyzed here are at the international / global scale. The study employs case studies to analyze three kinds of interregional relationships and their ecological consequences: import relations; export relations; and product relationships. The study is necessarily illustrative rather than comprehensive, focusing mainly on production and trade of renewable resources, mostly agricultural products.  I recognize that such interregional connections also occur at other scales including the sub- national (i.e. the metabolism of cities is often sustained by distant regional or national sources of supply). However, because most data on consumption and trade flows is available only at the national scale, the illustrative interregional connections explored in this study are between nations  The United States serves as a representative importing nation. I trace resource flows of major renewable resources into the U.S. to their sources; compile the quantities from each source, and estimate the area of land devoted to production for U.S. consumers (i.e. the external material footprint of the United States). I then focus on two exporting countries, Costa Rica and Canada. I identify specific commodity flows from these countries to the rest of the world (including the U.S.), establish the amounts and types of physical inputs involved in resource production for each commodity, and explore connections between growing / producing the products and various ecological consequences of that production. The scope of analysis is at both the national / regional level and at the product level. Because ecological change processes are not generally a consequence of pressures in a single year, but rather of pressures over many years, the research follows the flow of resources and some input requirements throughout more than a decade, starting from 1989 to 2005. Such a multi-year approach makes it possible to connect production for export to some ecological changes.         8 1.5   Structure of the dissertation  This dissertation is divided into theoretical and empirical sections; each section is divided into chapters discussing different aspects and case studies of interregional ecology. In the theoretical section (chapters II-V) I develop an interregional ecology approach to sustainability. Chapter ‘II’ presents and analyses an interregional approach to ecological changes, I discuss different perspectives on the connections between human activities in any region and the ecological consequences in others. In chapter ‘III’ I discuss the processes of globalization and trade as the context for the interregional approach. In chapter ‘IV’ I bring in the concept of sustainability - I present the background and different perspectives on sustainability and make the connections between sustainability and interregional ecology in a globalizing world – building the argument that in a globalizing increasingly interconnected world the sustainability of one region depends on and impacts other regions’ sustainability. Finally, in chapter ‘V’ I present the model developed and employed in this study and discuss the importance of such tools as ecological footprint analysis and materials flow analysis to the method.  The empirical section tests the above research ideas through application to three case studies. The research methods chapter (chapter VI), lays out in detail the interregional model developed here, identifies the assumptions made and some of the limitations of the study. In the following three chapters I examine different aspects of the interregional ecology model. Chapter ‘VII’ employs the consumer perspective by quantifying the material flows from around the world that enter the United States, and tracing the major sources of a large group of agricultural products and other renewable resources consumed in the U.S. I then quantify the amount of land required for growing each of those products. This chapter identifies different regions of the world with which the U.S. has interregional connections. While it accounts for the size of the external material footprints on each source, which implies potential pressure on eco-systems, this chapter does not examine specific changes in the structure and function of ecological systems in these sources.  In the following chapters I take an exporter approach in order to address source - specific ecological changes, the two case studies examined here are Costa Rica (chapter VIII) and Canada (chapter IX). In each chapter I follow the flow of renewable resources from these exporting nations to countries around the world, quantifying the different physical inputs involved in production of those resources and bringing forward some of the connections between production for export and changes in the structure and function of ecological systems in those case study nations.  9 Finally, in chapter X, I summarize the research findings, their implications and different potential implementations of the results and the interregional approach to sustainability and planning for sustainability. I also discuss different potential directions for future study that will develop the approach presented and studied here.  1.6   Significance of the study – contribution to knowledge  The study makes the case that for sustainability in an interconnected, increasingly globalizing world, conventional, primarily local pollution oriented perspectives on sustainability are insufficient. I argue that our focus must be widened to include material consumption and to broaden the spatial scale. I advance the argument that, in a globalizing world, no human society / business enterprise / country can be sustainable if its distant supporting hinterlands—other regions that may be half a planet away—are not sustainable.  I make the first steps in developing a theoretical basis of an ecologically oriented interregional approach to sustainability. This adds a missing trans-national dimension to the sustainability debate effectively integrating the policy domain for sustainability in one region with that in others. However, my research focuses mainly on documenting the nature and magnitude of interregional connections not on details of their policy relevance.  A significant potential contribution of this dissertation is the attempt to comprehensively document the material linkages between countries, to quantify and explore the connections between consumption in one region and some of the ecological consequences of production in another. It accounts for some of the ‘externalities’ of globalization and international trade. I follow trade flows, measure physical inputs involved in production of trade products and highlight some of the linkages to pressure on the ecosystems in exporting countries.  In developing an interregional calculation procedure I was inspired by such methods as MFA, EFA, LCA and PIOT, which have been developed to enhance our understanding of human dependence on the natural world. While these tools move us a step forward in our quest for ecological sustainability, they generally fail to identify either the origins of critical resource flows or the ecological changes resource exploitation imposes on exporting regions. The method discussed here draws from and builds on these tools and has the potential to contribute to each of them. Still, EFA is the major tool elaborated. I develop a method that allows disaggregating the ecological footprint of any study region to the specific locations around the world, estimating the size of the footprint on each country.  10 We inhabit an increasingly globalizing and interconnected world, a world approaching the limits of planetary carrying capacity (Meadows et al. 1972; 2004; MEA 2005). Earth has become an ecologically full world in which natural capital is becoming a limiting factor for human development and sustainability (Daly 1991). The erosion of critical natural capital can therefore increasingly be connected to geopolitical and security issues (Pirages and DeGeest 2004) enhancing the value of documenting interregional connections. Such factors as climate change, ‘peak oil’, increasing population and  higher demands for resources add to the pressures undermining geopolitical stability and  make things more complicated for global sustainability, particularly for heavily trade-dependent societies. The kind of analysis presented and advanced here can help the international community to develop and implement more advanced, explicitly interregional policies and institutions for ecologically sustainable consumption, including strategies for co-management of production, ecologically sensitive trade agreements, and resource depletion taxes as necessary. These policies reflect the risk-averse strategy suggested by Pearce et al. (1989), that to conserve at least “what there is” of remaining natural capital for future generations.    11 Chapter II  -  Interregional Perspectives on Ecological Change  Ecosystems degradation and environmental change are complex processes with multiple causes. There is more than a single driver for almost any significant trend (MEA 2005: 114). While local degradation can result solely from local activities (e.g., population growth, noxious industrial processes, inadequate domestic governance/environmental policy, corruption, etc.), it can also be caused directly or indirectly by actions or activities in or by other countries (e.g., Schleicher 1992; French 2000; MacNeill et al. 1991; Mason 2005). Moreover, local ecological change, whether driven by local or international activities, can have implications on processes of ecological changes in other regions as well. In this chapter I develop and analyses such an interregional perspective on ecological changes. I discuss different elements of such perspective supported by evidences from existing literature.  Most contemporary environmental studies apply to a single spatial scale: local, national or global. These reports analyze diverse pressures on human well-being and ecosystems integrity and suggest local or global policies (e.g. MEA 2005; UNEP 2007). Further, the main emphasis is on the impacts of production, the negative effects of economic activity on the producing region and sometimes the global commons. Oddly, the constant increase in resource consumption rarely attracts due attention as a factor in the ecological crisis (Rees 1995; Daly 1996; Princen 1999; French 2000; Dauvergne 2005b). I argue here that while such single scale production approach to understanding and analysing ecological change is crucial, in an interconnected world we need better to understand also the correlations between human activities (production and consumption) in one region and the impacts on other specific regions. We also need to understand the actual and potential consequences of ecological changes in one region on ecological systems and on human well-being in other regions.  Hall and Hanson (1992:15) explicitly discuss the growing need for societies to be aware of the state of and their impacts on the environment beyond the local scale. They argue that: (I) we cannot morally insulate ourselves from the problems of others; (II) because many environmental problems do not respect national boundaries no one is immune to the global effects of resource over-exploitation; (III) if we wish to have continued access to the products of ecosystems in foreign countries, it is in our best interests to see that these ecosystems are maintained.  12 2.1 Production, consumption and ecological changes:  Production processes have always been considered the source of various environmental problems, particularly waste and pollution. It is widely accepted that the producer is the polluter, and so if anyone should carry responsibility for pollution or any other damage it should be the producer. In recent years various researchers have identified the role consumption plays in ecological changes (e.g., Rees 1995; Daly 1996; Duchin 1998; Princen 1999; 2002; Clapp 2002; Dauvergne 2005b). They have argued that consumption is a key starting point for understanding human impacts on the ecosphere. Environmental degradation can be traced to the behavior of consumers either directly, through activities like the disposal of garbage or the use of cars, or indirectly through the production activities undertaken to satisfy them.  The ecological consequences of material and energy consumption can be experienced at local and/or global systems levels, and can be negligible or severe depending on factors such as the amount of consumption, the origin of consumption products, and extraction methods (Princen et al. 2002). Changes of ecological systems can be investigated from both production and consumption perspectives (Princen 1999; 2002). For example: (1) Increasing rates of greenhouse gas emissions from industry in China are commonly studied from a producer perspective, focusing on the rise of industrial production in that country. A consumer approach on the other hand would ask who consumes the products produced by China’s industry, and might suggest that the increase in China’s emissions is also the result of rising consumer demands. (2) Converting rain forests into soy bean fields in Brazil can be understood from a producer approach as the result of increasing agricultural activity in that country, and of local agriculture policy. However, it can also be viewed as a result of increasing local and international demand for soy products.  According to Holdren and Ehrlich (1974), human ecological impact can be estimated as a function of population, affluence levels, and available technology (I=PAT). Dietz and Rosa (1994), and Ekins and Jacobs (1995) modify this identity to speak of consumption specifically rather than affluence, yielding the equation I=PCT.  This relationship implies that the more we consume the greater our ecological impact. While the above equation is a simplified presentation of the cause of ecological degradation, it summarizes some of the main factors.  Consumption of energy and materials creates major ecological burdens throughout the world, and population affluence is directly related to levels of consumption (Myers and Kent 2004).   13 2.2   Three strands of ‘interregional ecology’  I distinguish among three strands of thinking about relevant biophysical relationships – three strands of thinking of interregional ecology: the conventional production strand, the local production / consumption strand and the trade flow strand. All three refer to complex relationships between production and consumption activities in one region and ecological changes in others. (I) The conventional production strand focuses mainly on pollution outputs – e.g., the impact of waste emissions across boundaries. (II) The local production and consumption strand focuses on local ecological change that result from local drivers, but nevertheless jeopardize ecological systems in other regions as well as the interests of societies in other regions. (III) The trade flow strand examines the flow of resources (i.e., trade) from one country to another (or multiple others), the required physical inputs for the production of those trade goods, and the resulting pressures on ecosystems in exporting regions.  The following section further distinguishes among these interregional ecological realities and describes the role each plays in global ecological change. I then analyze the complexity of interregional ecology with a thorough discussion of the trade flow strand, the focus of this dissertation.    2.2.1   The conventional (pollution) strand  Corbin et al. (2000:11) discuss “spatial interaction” – how an event in one location or region can lead to a change in another location or region some distance away. Several ‘environmental’ problems conform to this description, such as transboundary pollution between neighboring states, the Trans global shipment of hazardous wastes, and even such “global” issues as the depletion of the ozone layer and climate change. As implied by these examples the literature divides these spatial interactions into three categories: transfrontier pollution, long-range transboundary pollution, and global pollution (Schleicher 1992; Okowa 2000; Kasperson and Kasperson 2001; Mason 2005).  (I) Transfrontier pollution – Transfrontier pollution is pollution from a specific source in one country that causes damage in another country (e.g. air or water pollutions transfer from one country to another). Transfrontier pollution has long been recognized as a factor that impairs relations between neighboring countries and it has received the most attention from authorities and researchers (Okowa 2000). Kasperson and Kasperson (2001:214) divide transfrontier  14 pollutants into two subgroups: border impact risks and point source transboundary risks which are not necessarily located close to the border. In many cases both border impact and inland point-source pollution can be identified and directly connected to a specific activity or factory which discharges waste or contaminants into an international stream or water body.  (II) Long-range transboundary pollution – This category includes transboundary pollution from one or several countries (e.g. acid rain) that can be connected to specific damages in other, not necessarily neighboring countries (Kasperson and Kasperson 2001). This kind of transboundary impact mostly involves air pollutants resulting from industrial activities, transportation, and other energy intensive activities. The 1979 “Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution” defines it as: “Air pollution whose physical origin is situated wholly or in part within the area under the national jurisdiction of one state and which has adverse effect in the area under the jurisdiction of another state at such a distance that it is not generally possible to distinguish the contribution of individual emission sources or groups of sources” (cited from Okowa 2000).    (III) Global pollution – This group includes pollution from human activities in any or many regions that result in changes to globally-functioning biogeochemical systems so that the damages are essentially universal (Mason 2005). In short, this type of pollution degrades the global commons (Pearce 1995). Though in certain cases the location of the pollution can be identified and connected to specific acts (e.g., a certain corporation dumping hazardous waste into the ocean), in many cases it is impossible to make a direct connection between particular activities and specific impacts. This category includes pollutants such as CFCs that deplete the ozone layer, and greenhouse gases driving climate change (Mason 2005).  As noted, transboundary and global pollution are well recognized and have received considerable attention over the past few decades (Mason 2005; Clapp and Dauvergne 2005). Their impacts have led to both bilateral and more widespread international environmental agreements (e.g., Montreal accord on ozone depletion) which aim to minimize polluting activities and the impact of transboundary pollutants (Barrett 2003; Mason 2005; Clapp and Dauvergne 2005). In contrast, both the local production and consumption strand and the trade flow strand developed in this dissertation, though referred to in the literature are still little appreciated.      15 2.2.2   The local production and consumption strand  The MEA (2003:37) provides a list of indirect and direct drivers to ecological change. The indirect drivers includes: demographic; economic; sociopolitical; science and technology; cultural and religious. These indirect drivers lead to more direct drivers of change such as: land use and cover change; species introduction and removal; technology adaptation; external physical inputs (e.g., chemicals); and resource consumption. Some of these drivers are connected to international and global processes while others are linked to local circumstances. As will be discussed later, the proportion of production for export has been increasing all over the world in recent years, but in many places the extraction of renewable resources is still mainly for local consumption (based on FAOSTAT 2007) and many local ecosystem degradation processes are a result of local activities and trends.  However, in an interconnected world those ‘local’ ecological changes resulting from local activities or events can contribute directly to global change that threatens ecosystems and human well being elsewhere or everywhere. For example, forest fires in Canada and Indonesia contribute to greenhouse gas accumulation and thus accelerate global climate change; deforestation for any economic purpose anywhere also contributes to biodiversity loss which is ultimately a global issue; the local use of toxic chemicals can lead to dangerous accumulations in distant food chains, putting predatory birds and mammals, including humans at risk (e.g., Toxic pesticide and industrial residues from ‘the South,’ particularly Asia, impair the ‘country foods’ diets of Canadian Inuit).  Moreover, while many local ecological impacts result from strictly local activities, these impacts may eventually reduce the local ability to continue producing export products for countries that rely on or even depend on the ecological goods from that source.  For example, consider the effect of prevailing U.S. biofuels policy on its capacity to supply export markets for corn, grain and related products; consider water mismanagement in the U.S. Southwest and in California which, combined with climate change, threatens California’s cropland, a major source of North America’s table vegetables.  16 2.2.3   The trade flow (consumption) strand of “interregional ecology”  Dependence, impact and responsibility are keywords that capture the essence of the Interregional trade flow approach. In today’s increasingly interconnected world, a country can easily become dependent on resources provided by ecosystems that lie beyond its domestic boundaries. However, the production of various consumer products has the potential to degrade the ecosystems and natural processes that directly and indirectly support the consuming population. This raises questions regarding responsibility: should not both producers and consumers take responsibility for the deleterious impacts of the production-consumption process? And how should this compound responsibility be recognized?  The trade based strand of interregional ecology is the focus of this dissertation research. In the following paragraphs I analyze trade flows with a view toward showing their increasing relevance to the overall approach of interregional ecology developed here. I begin by explaining the keywords that most characterize the trade-flow strand of interregional connectedness.  2.2.3.1   Dependence “The relation of having existence hanging upon, or conditioned by, the existence of something else” (Oxford Dictionary 2007).  Evidence and acknowledgment of the connections between human life and its supporting ecosystems has been gathered for different scales, from the very local to the global (e.g. Osborn 1948; Mooney and Ehrlich 1997). The simple fact is that human beings depend upon ecosystem services. Recently the MEA (2003:53; 2005) has defined ecosystem services as the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Costanza et al. (1997:253) divide it, as is commonly done, into goods and services: “Ecosystem goods (such as food) and services (such as waste assimilation) represent the benefits human population derive, directly and indirectly, from the ecosystem function”. Daly (1997:3) divides ecosystem services to humans into: “(I) the production of ecosystems goods, such as food, timber, biomass fuels, natural fiber, forage and more; (II) Life support functions such as cleansing, recycling and renewal of what was used already; (III) Mitigating and moderating extreme phenomena such as climate, floods and droughts”. The ability of ecosystems to support us is strongly connected to the wellbeing and health of those ecosystems (Rapport 1998; Prescott 2001). Ecosystem wellbeing depends on the system’s capacity to maintain itself through cycles of growth, maturity, death and renewal, as well as its’ productivity and the chemical and physical integrity of soil, water, and the atmosphere (Prescott 2001:59).  17 Costanza et al. (1991:9) write: “An ecological system is healthy … if it is stable and sustainable – that is, if it is active and maintains its organization and autonomy over time and is resilient to stress”.  Human dependence on earth’s ecosystems has not declined over time but in some respects has increased. First, we consume more than we did in the past, both as individuals and in the aggregate (French 2000; Meadows et al. 2004; MEA 2005; Brown 2006; FAOSTAT 2007). This means that we depend on ever larger amounts of resources and ecosystems goods, a fact that influences the ability of ecosystems to support us.  Another key change is the source of the natural resources we consume. For most of human history, people commonly used local resources produced by local ecosystems. More recently we have become dependent on resource supplies from all parts of the world (Princen 1997; 2002; French 2000; Rees 1994; 2004; WTO 2006). This increased dependence upon trade goods effectively increases the dependence of people in one region on ecological goods and services from another, thus extending the importing populations ‘ecological footprint’ (Rees 2006).  Interregional dependence:  The level of dependence of any country on resources from other countries is a function of many bio-physical and social factors. Bio-physical factors include the size of the importing country, its climate, and the quality and quantity of its local natural resources. Social factors include demographic characteristics (e.g. size, age and gender distribution of the population) and socio- economic factors such as wealth, education, material expectations as well as the dominant mode of production and extent of country engagement in globalization and free trade.  Wealth, population size and trade relationships create a particular kind of interregional connections between wealthy and poor nations. Varies authors address the connections between wealth and consumption, and between wealth and the demand for natural resources (e.g. Daly 1996; Rees and Westra 2003; Myers and Kent 2004; Dauvergne 2005b; Brown 2006). The wealthy nations of the world with 20% of the world population consume 50% to 80% of the world’s resources (World Watch institute 2004; Wuppertal institute 2007).   “North America and Western Europe with less than 12% of the world population account for just over 60% of total private expenditure. South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, in comparison, with a third of the world’s population account for a mere 3.2 percent of total private consumption expenditures” (World Watch institute 2004, as cited from Dauvergne 2005b:37).     18 “Europe’s ecological balance of trade […] is distorted; it imports more than three times the amount of energy and materials it exports. Moreover, EU countries shift environmental burdens to the South. Both ecological rucksacks of raw material imports and the pollution/energy- intensity of manufactured import goods have increased. Therefore, the perception of a clean and eco-efficient Europe largely rests on a rich country illusion“ (Wuppertal institute 2007:2).  Such figures show that local production in wealthy nations is supplemented by international flows of materials and goods, and that the people and economies of some countries have become dependent on overseas resources.   However, this dependence is more complex than implied by the simplistic view that the rich are consuming on the natural resources of the poor (Myers and Kent 2004). As populations in “transition economies” become more affluent, their consumption demands rise.  Countries which in the past were mostly self-sufficient (albeit with a lower material standard of living) are eventually unable to meet the increasingly diverse and growing consumption demands of their populations and begin to depend upon resources imported from overseas.  At the same time, they continue to deplete their own resources.  Due to the unique human and physical characteristics of individual nations outlined above, certain countries are virtually totally dependent on foreign resources and ecosystems for products and materials such as petroleum, minerals, and foods such as grains. Often, however, dependence relationships do not conform to the dictionary definition of the word dependence. In many cases the importing country does not absolutely require a certain product (e.g., bananas) and can live without it.  Although there are several reasons certain countries import products from other countries, my focus in this research is not on the reasons for specific import behaviour, but rather on the fact that when a country does import goods/products it ‘depends’ on the exporting country’s ecosystems to provide those goods. Interregional dependence is not only dependence on final products; it is also the dependence of one region on specific biotic and abiotic conditions in the distant producer region.  These conditions allow the production to happen in the first place (e.g., Bananas in Costa Rica; wheat in Canada). However, to grow / produce products several physical inputs are needed (e.g., land, water, energy, chemicals). As will be discussed in chapter ‘VI’, it is the use of these inputs which directly and indirectly put pressure on the ecosystem, and risks its sustainability.     19 Various authors have acknowledged similar facets of such interregional dependence: As early as 1972, Borgstrom (1972:75) used the concept of Ghost Acreage to emphasize the ‘invisible’ cropland that some countries necessarily ‘import’ to supplement their domestic farmland. Odum (1975) identified extra land areas required by cities in energy terms. Siebert (1982) and Opschoor (1987) introduced the idea of environmental space which recognized that there is a limited availability of space on earth for both stocks (i.e. resources) and sinks (i.e. capacities to absorb waste) to sustain human needs. Folke (1988) investigated the extent of marine ecosystem area appropriated to sustain fish farming and fishing in the Baltic Sea. Cronon (1991) presents the idea of “nature’s metropolis”, where he discusses Chicago’s historic dependence on its surrounding nature and its environmental implications. Rees’ (1992, 2004) ecological footprint concept emphasizes the importance of distant hinterlands in the context of urban dependence on supporting lands. Brown et al. (2000: Chapter 25) discuss Costa Rica’s level of dependence on imported resources. Both, Brown (2006:9) and Hanson and Martin (2006:16) demonstrate China’s increasing dependence on overseas resources.  To accept the implications of interregional dependence, one needs fully appreciate the perspective presented here: modern life is ‘sustained’ on a continuous supply of large amounts of natural resources (i.e., ecosystems goods) that originate not only in local ecosystems but all over the world. The increasing volume of resource demand raises critical questions about the abilities of ecosystems to continue supporting the human enterprise. As consumers generally cannot see and often do not hear about the ecological conditions of distant ecosystems, it is hard to make the mental connection between their consumption and its impact on supporting ecosystems, wherever they may be.   20 2.2.3.2   Impact The opposite of ecosystem stability is ecosystem degradation, in which the ecosystem becomes less able to support humans and non-humans with its services (Odum 1963). Ecologists look at ecosystems in terms of structure and function, which are strongly interconnected. Ecosystem structure refers to the ecosystem’s components; both biotic and abiotic. Ecosystem function is the way the system’s components interact and behave; the way the system self-regulates. Ecosystem functions are the ecosystem services that support human life. Nevertheless, modern techno-industrial society sees ecosystem structures or components, as mere commodities that can be used, bought and sold. Ecosystem structure and function are altered by natural processes, such as climate and geological forces, but increasingly major changes are induced by people.  Interregional Impacts As discussed in this chapter, the common focus on environmental impact is mostly on the producer; in this case, the exporting country. From an interregional perspective, the consumption of imported products is thus a partial driver of ecological degradation of producer ecosystems. Daly (1997:1) discusses the use of ecosystem services and argues: “On a global scale, different groups of people are now living at one another’s expense […]”.  Interregional ecological impacts are a result of both: (I) the sheer volume of material flows between an importing country and its suppliers; (II) the specific ecological consequences resulting from resource (over)exploitation in these exporting countries. However, it is often difficult to discern how much of the total system degradation be ascribed to trade-dependence between nations.  Growing or producing different products has different potential impacts. What is produced, the methods by which it is produced or harvested, and the specific location combined with the scope of consumption, determine the actual impact.  Various researchers have studied different dimensions of interregional ecological impact: Crosby (1986) identifies what he calls Ecological Imperialism, the historical ‘biological expansion’ of Europe between 900 and 1900. Tucker (2000) presents an historical perspective, mostly from the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, on what he calls the U.S. role in the ecological degradation of the tropical world. His focus is on the U.S. imports of several agricultural products and the emergence of multinational companies which promoted that trade. MacNeill et al. (1991) presented the idea of “ecological shadows”: certain countries’ economic activities impose ecological problems on others. Dauvergne (1997) studied Japan’s ecological  21 shadow on south East Asia. He focused on the forestry sector, outlining the complexity of consumption and the political interests of individuals and multinational companies that contributed to deforestation. Myers (1981) presented the ‘hamburger connections’ where he argued for the connections between meat consumption in North America and deforestation in Central America. Henson and Martin (2006:16) discuss China’s increasing reliance on international commodity chains, focusing on such issues as soy beans from Brazil, palm oil from Malaysia and their connections to deforestation.  2.2.3.3    Responsibility The acknowledgment that humans play an important part in ecological change raises several questions of responsibility. These include: Who is ultimately responsible for ecological degradation? Should the responsibility (and blame) be placed only on local actors and resource owners? If the production of export products imposes ecological impacts on the exporter, should not the importing country share the responsibility for that degradation? In whose interest is it to prevent or minimize ecological degradation? I argue that it is in the interest of both producers and also of foreign consumers.  Arguing for joint responsibility in the context discussed here is charged. Although global scale problems are increasingly recognized by the international community, international law assigns responsibility for resource management preventing ecological degradation to sovereign states (Barrett 2003). Countries have the right to exploit their natural resources for their own development (UNCED 1972). Hence, despite the existence of external drivers activities that lead to local ecological degradation are considered foremost an internal responsibility of local governments (Wapner 1998).  Recently we have become aware of the fact that local activities can create burdens at the global level and that the only way to address these problems is through global cooperation. This understanding has led to dozens of international agreements that attempt to tackle regional and global problems (Barrett 2003; Mason 2005). Nonetheless, mitigation of most environmental problems is still regarded as a national responsibility (e.g. reducing greenhouse gas emissions), and not an interregional one.      22 Interregional responsibility:  The increasing rates of globalization and trade in the last few decades have begun to foster dialogue about responsibility to ecological change (e.g., Litfin 1998; French 2000; Mason 2005; Brown 2006). There are two major reasons for import dependent nations to ‘take responsibility’ for distant ecological change: the issue is driven by both moral responsibility and by practical self interest. The first discussed in the following paragraphs while the latter is part of the discussion in chapter ‘IV’.  Importing nations should assume moral responsibility for the consequences of their material demands on either ecosystem integrity or social welfare in exporting countries. If country ‘A’ imports from country ‘B’ and as a direct or indirect consequence, country ‘B’ experiences ecosystems degradation, country ‘A’ arguably has some moral responsibility for country ‘B’s ecological integrity.  However, it appears from several trade disputes in the last few decades that countries are expected to stay out of other countries ‘business’ and are not expected to  intervene even positively in areas of other states’ sovereignty (Litfin 1998; Wapner, 1998). Even in cases where states try to show some kind of interregional moral responsibility they are frequently blocked by international free trade rules.  One of the most well-known examples is the 1980s U.S. - Mexico tuna dispute. In this case the U.S. banned tuna imported from Mexico because Mexican fishing methods harmed dolphins. GATT’s Dispute Resolution Panel ruled in favor of Mexico, forced the U.S. to stop its ban, and argued that the U.S. had no right to interfere with the Mexican fishing practices. According to international law, countries are obligated to act and take responsibility in a case of human suffering, but they are not expected to do the same in cases of risk to ecological systems. Principle 12 of the Rio Declaration states that:  “[…] Trade policy measures for environmental purposes should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or disguised restriction on international trade. Unilateral actions to deal with environmental challenges outside the jurisdiction of importing countries should be avoided.”   States, individual consumers, and Trans-National Companies (TNC) are three major players whose activities contribute to ecological changes around the world, and therefore I believe should also assume some responsibility for ecological change.    23 States’ responsibility – The interregional responsibility of states can be viewed from the pollution perspective or the trade flow perspective. As previously discussed, the pollution perspective focuses mainly on the negative results of cross-boundary pollution and polluter responsibility (Mason 2005).  It is widely agreed and well documented that states are not allowed to negatively impact others’ environments (UN 1972; 1992). Principle 21 of the Stockholm Declaration proclaims that: “States have …the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction of control do not cause damage to the environment of other states or areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.”  By contrast the argument that states relying on import goods bear some responsibility for ecological damage resulting from harvest or extraction in producer regions, has not been accepted in the realm of policy-making or international agreement.  Consumers’ responsibility – Consumers are not a single unit but rather a collection of individuals, each one making choices based on his or her personal preferences. It is the aggregation of consumer preferences and lifestyles that has the potential to either force a tremendous ecological impact or minimize it. States are limited in their willingness to take responsibility for interregional consequences of their actions, and they are engaged in restrictive international trade agreements. Individual consumers however, can take some responsibility for their actions by choosing certain patterns of consumption, and they can pressure their governments and TNCs to take responsibility for the interregional impacts of their activities. Like states, consumers’ responsibility should be both moral and practical. It would be fair to say, though, that most consumers are not aware of ecological consequences of their lifestyles, and therefore have no incentive to alter their consumption patterns, or to push their governments and the supplying TNCs to make significant changes.  Trans-National Companies’ (TNC) responsibility – Within the last few decades a relatively small number of large TNCs have become dominant in the global economy (Brown 1972; Buckman 2004), and act as catalysts for increasing globalization (Buckman 2004). While headquarters of these TNC are mostly located within a few rich countries, their activities occur around the world and contribute to a wide array of ecological change. In many cases TNCs have greater power and resources than sovereign states (Brown 1972; Barrett 2003). Attfield (1999:24) argues:  24 “ [TNCs] are frequently in a position analogous to that of middle ranking countries, for they alone often have power over issues such as the continuation or discontinuation of the cultivation of wetlands or the felling of forests”.   He further emphasizes the lack of responsibility of many TNCs for the consequences of their activities: “…while the economic system may make them answerable only to their shareholders, the external costs of their operations may well affect people in all continents and for generations to come, and other species too.”   TNC activity is interregional. TNCs seek location advantages, for example, by investing in jurisdictions with minimal environmental regulation (Korten 1995). TNCs should practice interregional responsibility on moral and practical grounds. Indeed some TNCs have been engaged in voluntary corporate environmentalism (Hoffman 2001), exercising their corporate responsibility. Corporate responsibility comprises moral actions taken by firms that have some kind of commitment to ecological protection (Mason 2005). However, some argue that these are symbolic acts that do not come close to reducing the ecological impacts created by these companies (Korten 1995; Attfield 1999). TNCs should assume practical responsibility as well; in a ‘full world’ with limited opportunities for substitutions, an ecological change in one place can jeopardize the continued vitality of TNCs and their ability to supply consumer demands.   25 Chapter III  -  Globalization, Trade and Ecological Change  In this chapter I focus on two aspects of modern economic activity: globalization and trade. Both are highly relevant to the development of an interregional ecology approach. These two themes are interrelated and ‘feed’ each other; globalization encourages and advocates trade, and trade (particularly free trade) is a key driver of deepening globalization. Separately and together the two are both positively and negatively connected to the state of supporting ecosystems all over the world. I discuss the two concepts and outline their potential benefits and shortcomings. I then examine some of the connections between globalization, trade and ecological changes, and discuss the extent to which globalization and trade facilitate or hinder those systems.  3.1   Globalization  Globalization is a major trend at the beginning of the 21st century. Dozens of books and articles have been written about the process, and it has been defined in many ways. Some of these advocate the process, highlighting the benefits of globalization, while others emphasize its problematic nature. As a result of this dichotomy, the following questions become important: What is globalization? Why do we need globalization? What are its costs? And what are the connections to ecological changes?  Close to a hundred definitions of globalization currently exist (Das 2004). Although these definitions vary, there are many common elements:  “The term implies increased linkages across national boundaries, expansion of the international market economy, and a complex and integrated world society” (Lechner and Boli 1999; as cited from Lofdahl 2002:5).  Speth (2003:1) defines globalization as: “Compression of the world and the tightening of all the linkages – economic, political, social, and environmental – between developments here and events in far corners of the world.”  Friedman (2002:64) also uses spatial terms to describe globalization, defining it as: “The integration of everything with everything else… of markets, finance, and technology in a way that shrinks the world from a size of medium to a size of small.”  The integration of the spatial dimension with the issue of time and speed of events is also central to the concept. It has been emphasized that technology is a major component in globalization (Speth 2003).  26 Probably the first and most famous description of the phenomenon was by McLuhan (1962) who described the world as ‘Global Village’, and argued that by using advanced technology we shrink time and space. Clapp and Dauvergne (2005:20) write: “In simple terms globalization means that the events and actions in one part of the world are affecting people in distant lands much more quickly, and with greater frequency and intensity.”  Although there are many other variations on these themes, most definitions recognize world-wide economic integration and increasing connections between activities in certain places and activities/changes/impacts in other places.  Although the use of the term globalization has been fashionable since the 1990’s, the process itself started long ago (Speth 2003). It is widely thought to have begun at the 1945 conference at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, which led to the creation of the ‘Bretton Woods institutions’ – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (Mander 2003). But globalization can also be seen as sourced from much older processes such as modernization and colonization (Clapp and Dauvergne 2005). It accelerated with the European age of exploration, the colonial period and the development of technology that expanded international commerce and exchange (French 2000). Some see globalization as an extension of imperialist and colonialist processes and a way to maintain the current hegemony of the west (e.g., Shiva 1993; Isaak 2005). Robertson (2003) describes three main waves of globalization. The first of these began with Columbus’s (1492) and Da-Gama’s (1497) ‘explorations’ and ended before the industrial revolution. The second was a result of the industrial revolution (the 18th century) and continued until the start of the Second World War. The third wave began at the end of World War II and continues today.  Buckman (2004: chapter 4) discusses the ‘engines of globalization’. He recognizes three major engines: (I) Trans-national corporations (TNCs) which control most of the investments, trade and employment decisions in many countries around the world; (II) The international financial institutions (e.g. IMF, World Bank, WTO), created to oversee the management of economic globalization, which therefore have tremendous impact on globalization processes; and (III) Perhaps most important, are the world’s governments which continue to push forward the current processes.     27 3.2   The case for and against economic globalization Currently, most mainstream economic analysis and the leading economists favor globalization (e.g., Das 2004; Bhagwati 2004; Stiglitz 2006). They see globalization as a wealth creator, arguing that the globalization of trade, finance, and investment will improve the lives of all people by increasing per capita gross domestic product. In short, globalization is being promoted as the means to lift millions out of poverty (Das 2004; Goklany 2007). Part of the logic behind this assertion is that globalization allegedly results in more efficient use of resources, resulting in higher productivity and faster rates of global economic growth (Bhagwati 2004). Advocates of globalization argue that globalization increases international competition as countries struggle for a larger share of global markets, making the economy more efficient. Competition and free trade contribute to national specialization, following the theory of comparative advantage (discussed further in the trade section), and specialization will further increase resource productivity and efficiency.  At the same time several authors question globalization because, while it creates wealth, the already wealthy population benefits most (e.g. Buckman 2004; Isaak 2005). Isaak (2005) argues that globalization might push millions into deeper poverty and that it carries negative environmental and cultural consequences. Daly and Farley (2004: chapter 18) challenge one of the keywords of globalization – efficiency. They argue that globalization is far from efficient, from their perspective three elements required for efficiency:  (I) A large number of nearly identical competing firms is required, but in reality the global economy is controlled by a relatively small number of TNCs. (II) Freely shared information and perfect knowledge of the market are expected, but once again a relatively small number of firms (mostly from the wealthiest parts of the world) hold the patents (i.e., the monopoly) for producing and manufacturing advanced technologies and consumers remain ignorant of most market conditions. (III) Finally strong incentives to internalize costs should exist, but what actually happens is that countries that internalize the social and environmental costs of production have higher prices and lose competitive advantage in international trade (Daly 2001; Daly and Farley 2004).        28 3.3   Trade  As mentioned above, globalization and trade are interrelated. Robertson (2003) emphasizes the theoretical connections between the two. Each ‘wave’ of globalization is connected to a period of increasing global trade. If globalization makes our world seemingly ‘smaller’, trade is one of the major mechanisms. If globalization is efficient, competitive trade is regarded as the major tool to implement this efficiency. If globalization is about creating wealth and increasing economic growth, it cannot happen without trade.  Human trade for distant resources is not a new phenomenon. From the dawn of history, people have been involved in trading goods and materials over long distances. This trade has played an essential part in the development of societies. Traditionally trade was supplemental to local self- sufficient production and consumption. Daly and Farley (2004:309) discuss local production for local consumption as a “cake” while international trade is the “icing”. Within the last few decades however, the scale of demand for materials and goods has changed, and there has been an increasing shift in consumption from local sources to overseas sources (French 2000: chapter 4; Schutz et al. 2004). In certain cases the icing has turned into the main ingredient of the cake.  3.4   The case for and against free trade  Mainstream economists see trade, particularly free trade, as an important source of the wealth of economies (e.g., Bhagwati 2004). Free trade, like globalization, is promoted as a growth engine, a global wealth and prosperity creator (e.g., Beckerman 1995; Bhagwati 2004). Indeed, based on the increase of trade rates within the last few decades, specifically the increase of trade by the wealthier nations of the world, it seems that trade does benefit economies. Like globalization, free trade is also considered by economists to encourage efficiency.  Two economic theories explain the logic behind free trade and its potential benefits: absolute and comparative advantages. The basic assumption behind any trade is that it is voluntary - neither party is forced to engage in the trade (Daly and Farley 2004). The ‘Absolute Advantage Theory’ originated by Adam Smith in 1776 suggests that if one country can produce certain products at lower absolute costs than another country, and another country can do the same for  different products, each has an interest in trading with the other. Each country specializes in producing goods for which it has an absolute advantage. However, based on that logic, in cases where certain countries can produce many goods more cheaply than other countries, Smith argued that there is no basis for trade.  29 Ricardo (1817) argued against Smith: both countries can benefit from trade even if one country has absolute advantage for all goods. The key to understanding this is to look at the ‘Comparative Advantage’ and not only at the absolute advantage. Comparative advantage is the ability of a firm/country to carry out a particular economic activity/produce a particular good more efficiently than another activity/good. This means that: if country ‘A’ grows oranges more efficiently than it grows bananas, relative to country ‘B’, and country ‘B’ grows bananas more efficiently than it grows oranges, relative to country ‘A’, then country ‘A’ has a comparative advantage in growing oranges and country ‘B’ has a comparative advantage in growing bananas and any trade of bananas and oranges between the two countries will benefit both. They can produce more of what they are relatively efficient in producing and import other products. Comparative advantage theory recognizes that even though a certain country can produce all its needs, it still can benefit from trading with another country if each country has comparative advantage in the production of certain goods. The idea is that by giving up on producing certain goods that some one else has a comparative advantage in producing, each trading party frees resources to specialize on those goods for which it has a comparative advantage. In theory, the increased efficiency will benefit both countries. Comparative advantage theory adds one of the most important dimensions to the free trade discussion in the field of economics (WTO 2007). Referring to the question of how both trading parties will gain equally from the trade, Ricardo argued that if a firm thinks it will not have gains from the trade it will not join it.  Daly and Goodland (1991) and Daly and Farley (2004) question some of the assumptions of free trade. First, when free trade adherents argue for more efficient production of goods, they generally refer to efficiency in terms of labor and capital input, ignoring other factors including various so- called “externalities”. If a certain country extracts coal for trade reasons, the extraction creates problems such as depletion of the coal mine, pollution, various social costs, etc. Second, increased costs associated with transportation are largely ignored. It makes more sense to import oranges from Costa Rica than to grow them in the U.S. if the true costs of transportation are not reflected in the price. Third, the benefits of free trade are frequently confined to specific groups, “We are concerned that global economic integration via free trade will favor a privileged minority at the expense of the majority in both the industrial and developing countries” (Daly and Goodland 1991). The wealth free trade creates accrues to a few and by-passes those who need it most. Fourth, while specialization has some benefits, it carries several problems such as the loss of economic diversity and a reduction in occupational opportunities. Daly and Cobb (1989:213) argue for the fact that Ricardo’s comparative advantage, which is one of the justifications for free  30 trade, does not work in the modern world. For comparative advantage to function, capital must not be free to flow across national boundaries. Ricardo assumed that there would be no movement of capital; capitalists would have an incentive to invest in those sectors of their domestic economies in which the country had a comparative advantage. However, if capital can flow freely, then it is likely to go to those countries that have absolutely lower labour and resource costs, regardless of domestic comparative advantage.  As discussed above, trade is one of the major mechanisms of globalization, and globalization propels trade forward. The discussion continues by adding supporting ecosystems into the trade- globalization equation.  3.5   Globalization, Free trade, and ecological change  What are the relationships between globalization and ecological change? Does trade facilitate or hinder the state of supporting ecosystems?  Those who feel that globalization and free trade contribute positively to the state of ecosystems argue for the two major benefits of current processes: globalization and free trade as engines of wealth (Easterbook 1995; Simon 1996) and as catalysts for efficient use of resources (Das 2004; Bhagwati 2004). It is widely assumed in mainstream economics that poverty is a major source of ecological degradation (e.g., WCED 1987; Hollander 2003; Bhagwati 2004), thus globalization and trade are viewed as part of the solution (Bhagwati 2004; Das 2004). Further, it is argued that globalization and trade generate the necessary wealth to pay for environmental improvements (Beckerman 1995; Bhagwati 2004). The U.N Agenda 21 (chapter 2) supports the above arguments:  “Environment and trade policies should be mutually supportive. An open, multilateral trading system makes possible a more efficient allocation and use of resources and thereby contributes to an increase in production and incomes and to lessening demands on the environment. […] An open, multilateral trading system, supported by the adoption of sound environmental policies, would have a positive impact on the environment and contribute to sustainable development.”  These allegedly positive relations between economic growth and the state of the environment are explained by the concept of the ‘environmental Kuznets curve’. The environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) is an analysis of relationship between levels of income per capita (i.e., per capita GDP) and environmental degradation (e.g., different sorts of pollution). The relationship has been interpreted such that in the early stages of economic growth, degradation and pollution increase, but beyond a certain level of income per capita the trend reverses. Thus, high-income levels of economic  31 growth appear to lead to environmental improvement. This implies that the environmental impact indicator is an inverted U-shaped function of income per capita. As economist Wilfred Beckerman argued: “the strong correlation between incomes and the extent to which environmental protection measures are adopted demonstrates that, in the longer run, the surest way to improve your environment is to become rich” (Beckerman 1992, as cited from Rothman 1998).  The conclusion of most studies on the EKC hypothesis is that some environmental indicators do indeed show improvement with increased income, with or without an initial period of deterioration (Stern 2003), but that other, particularly globally important pollutants do not.  The other argument for the contribution of globalization and trade is increased efficiency. Advocates of globalization argue that global resource exploitation will become more efficient, and that cleaner technologies and standards will be distributed (Das 2004). If, indeed, globalization leads to efficient use of resources, then the process of globalization and the implementation of free trade reduce the human pressure on the ecosystems. It has also been argued that global corporations can play a role in improving the environment because they have the ability (which, in many cases governments do not) to spread advanced environmental management practices, technologies, and techniques around the world (Speth 2003). Theoretically then, advances will not only be implemented by wealthy nations, but by all.  Not everyone is convinced that globalization and free trade can benefit ecosystems. While it may be true that globalization and free trade increase wealth and efficiency; that increase leads to the consumption of more natural resources and the production of more waste (Rees 2002; 2004; Dauvergne 2005b). Globalization has extended consumer lifestyle and over-consumption to many more people around the world (Myers and Kent 2004). As described above, the ‘environmental Kuznets curve’ has been used to explain the positive connections between economic growth (assumed to be partly the result of globalization and free trade) and environmental improvements. However, that relationship is problematic. One major aspect the EKC ignores is the fact that economic growth means an increase in material / energy consumption (Rees 1995). Rothman (1998) further challenged the EKC hypothesis by highlighting the differences between production-based and consumption-based approaches. He argued that all cases where the EKC hypothesis seems to work focused on local production impacts rather than on consumption. In other words, as income increases two phenomena occur: first, cleaner production which does mean less local pollution, but second, increased consumption levels meaning more rapid depletion. Increased consumption is ignored by proponents of the EKC.  32 Daly and Farley (2004:331) question the efficiency argument for globalization. They point out that the real goal of globalization is not simply to produce what we currently produce more efficiently, but to keep increasing the scale of production, a proposition which is inherently unsustainable. They also highlight that integration into a global system gives us only one chance to see if the system works; we cannot compare different ways of living and their ecological implications. It has been also argued that globalization and free trade decrease the ability of national governments to regulate and cope with environmental management challenges (Speth 2003). While it is true, as argued above, that TNCs can implement advanced technologies and environmental management tools, they need incentives to do that; incentives that may not exist (Daly and Farley 2004). Countries are also expected to embrace national specialization although it can have potentially negative impacts on the ecological systems where it occurs. Countries with high rates of biodiversity and with considerable ecological assets may put their natural endowments at risk if they specialize. Specializing in certain field(s) might enhance comparative advantage in the short run, but it cannot promise advantage in the future (a sustainability approach looks ahead). Future changes in global preferences might leave the specific country with fewer trade options and without resources to diversify or to expand their practices.  3.6 An interregional ecology perspective on Globalization and Trade:  Both globalization and trade have been presented as positively shrinking the world (Friedman 2002). However, globalization can also increase the distance between cause and effect. As the separation between primary resource extraction and ultimate consumption widens, consumers are spatially insulated from many impacts of consumption (out of sight out of mind). In a globalizing world, commodity chains grow longer, more complex, and become more deeply transnational. As key decisions are removed from primary producers and costs are externalized, feedback on actors from the resource (e.g., land, fishery, forest) in both production and consumption is severed (Princen 1997; Princen et al. 2002). Several researchers have argued that in a world of globalized trade consumers are blind to the negative ecological effects of distant resource exploitation and production created in part by their own resource demands (e.g. Princen 1997; Conca 2002; Daly and Farley 2004; Rees 1994; 2002; 2004). By inhibiting knowledge, information, and contextual understanding of the production process, globalization may stimulate consumption (Princen 1997; Conca 2001). Consumers lack the information and incentive to behave ‘sustainably’ even if they would otherwise be disposed to do so (Rees 1994; Princen 1997; Conca 2002). In other words, although trade can be a positive mechanism, it also blinds  33 consumers to the negative ecological consequences of trade (Rees 2002b). Moreover, Rees (1994) incorporates the concept of carrying capacity and argues that through trade, some countries import carrying capacity of other countries, in many cases at the long term expense of the exporting country’s people and their ecological systems.  Indeed, as argued by the EKC, economic growth often leads to increased investment in reducing local consequences of economic activities such as air and water pollution; still, economic prosperity increases ecological impacts at other spatial levels through elevated consumption of overseas resources (i.e. interregional ecology), and through generation of cross-boundary emissions and wastes such as atmospheric carbon dioxide (i.e interregional ecology). Two examples of local policies that have interregional ecological consequences are: (I) Forest conservation policies in China and Finland have contributed to increased rates of wood imports from Russia resulting in increasing deforestation in that country (Mayer et al. 2005:359). (II) The introduction of the auto catalyst in Europe in the mid 1980’s decreased transportation source air emissions and contributed to improving health in that region; however it significantly increased the emissions in Siberia where one of the major components of the catalyst (the metal palladium) is extracted (Schutz et al. 2004:36). These extra-regional negative impacts do not show up in Kuznets curve assessments, but are nonetheless real and important. So, while globalization and trade increase GDP, they create a different set of problems, sometimes on different set of scales.    34 Chapter IV  - Interregional Ecology and Sustainability in a Globalizing World  In recent decades both human population and the world economy have grown dramatically. While material growth has contributed to human wellbeing in much of the world, it has also dramatically increased the degradation of critical ecosystems and related life support functions on every continent (UNEP 2002; MEA 2005). Rising awareness of the problem and the increasing debate on the related issues has forced a discussion about the consequences of current trends, a discussion which has congealed around the now well known concept of “sustainable development”. Since being popularize by the Brundtland report (WCED 1987), the term sustainable development has been defined in many ways in efforts to capture its interdisciplinary nature. In the process, sustainable development has become for many a kind of verbal ‘magic bullet’ that implies we can reduce our impacts on ecological systems while we continue to develop and improve the state of humanity. Sustainable development emphasizes human-nature relationships, and inter/intra generational equity relationships. Sustainability values and goals aspire to combine the ecological, social, and economical dimensions of life for the long run as well as for the short. Since the term entered the mainstream vocabulary and became part of the discussion on humanity’s future, it has been analyzed from different perspectives (e.g., Rees 1992; 1995; Norgaard 1994; Robert et al. 1997; Dale 2001; Adams 2001; Robinson 2001; 2004).  It seems that the more we discuss the concept the more complex it becomes. Often sustainable development combines environmental, economic and social dimensions to imply some kind of balance among these variables. It also describes a process by which humans should respond to the environmental and social crises facing us (Robinson and Van Bers 1996; Keiner 2006). Although different sectors and communities disagree about the usefulness of the concept of sustainability, it is internationally recognized (Dale 2001; Sneddon et al. 2006). Some even argue for the emergence of a new “sustainability science” (e.g. Kates et al. 2001; Clark and Dickson 2003; Reitan 2005).  My aim in this chapter is to connect the interregional ecology approach discussed in previous chapters to the concept of sustainability; emphasizing the importance of understanding interregional connections as part of the discussion on sustainability and development toward sustainability. I open with a short background of the concept. I then present some perspectives on sustainability and their connections to the interregional ecology approach and discuss the place of such an interregional approach to sustainability in current discussion on sustainability.  35 4.1   Background  The use of the term sustainability can be traced to the 1970s. Goldsmith et al. (1972) define a sustainable society as “one that to all intents and purposes can be sustained indefinitely while giving optimum satisfaction to its members.” One of the results of the increasing awareness of environmental issues was the 1972 Stockholm Conference on Human Environment. Though the term sustainable development was not officially discussed, the Stockholm conference is recognized as a key event in the emergence of the sustainable development debate (Mebratu 1998; Adams 2001). The ideas behind sustainability as well as the discussion of sustainable development are connected to much earlier periods (Mebratu 1998; Dresner 2002). Several milestones are: the ‘theory of limits’ and the work of Malthus, who considered as the first economist to foresee limits to growth caused by resource scarcity; Schumacher’s who questioned the scale of the economy and economic units (Schumacher 1973); and the 1972 Club of Rome publication, Limits to Growth that argued for the need to change our growth patterns and highlighted the limits of earth’s natural systems to support humanity.  The IUCN used the term Sustainable Development (1980) as part of its World Conservation Strategy.  They defined development as:  “the modification of the biosphere and the application of human, financial, and living and non- living resources to satisfy human needs and to improve the quality of human life”.  They related development to sustainability: “For development to be sustainable it must take account of social, ecological, and economic factors; of the living and the non-living resource base; and of the long-term as well as the short- term advantages”.  A year later the World Watch Institute published Building Sustainable Development (Brown 1981). Brown argued for the need to look beyond short term environmental consequences and face up to the institutional changes required to create a society that would be able to stay indefinitely within environmental limits (as cited from Robinson 2001). The growing discussion of sustainability, specifically combined with development issues (i.e., “sustainable development”), drove the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED 1987) to define sustainable development as:   “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising on the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED 1987:43).   36 This definition popularized the concept and ever since, sustainable development has become part of the mainstream dialogue, internationally recognized and used on a daily basis (Dale 2001; Dresner 2002). Indeed, the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (i.e. the Rio Summit) inspired by the WCED, put the concept of sustainable development under the world spotlight and promoted its ideas (Brown 1997; Adams 2001; Speth 2003).  Though ‘sustainable development’ has succeeded in uniting widely divergent theoretical and ideological perspectives into a single broad conceptual framework, various individual disciplines have established their own narrower definitions (Estes 1993; Drummond and Marsden 1999; Dresner 2002). Ever since its emergence, and particularly after it became part of the mainstream, sustainable development has been discussed and criticized by scholars holding different perspectives (e.g., Norgaard 1994; Rees 1995; 2002a; Daly 1990; 1996; Robert et al. 1997; Robinson and Tinker 1998; Drummond and Marsden 1999; Robinson 2001; 2004; Keiner 2006).  4.2 The Biophysical approach towards ecological sustainability  The biophysical approach towards sustainability is rooted in biology and ecology. Sustainability from this perspective can be defined as living within the means of nature (Daly 1990; Karl et al. 1997; Rees 2002; Wackernagel et al. 2002) which requires maintaining sufficient natural capital (Costanza 1991). This framework suggests four criteria for sustainability (Daly 1990; 1996; Robert et al. 1997):  (I) Not using renewable resources faster than they are replenished. (II) Not using nonrenewable resources faster than renewable substitutes can be found for them. (III) Not significantly depleting the diversity of life on the planet. (IV) Not releasing pollutants faster than the planet can assimilate them.   Similarly, Simon and Ekins (1998; as cited in Neumayer 1999:193) provide a list of sustainability standards: (1) stable climate; (2) Undepleted ozone layer; (3) Biodiversity at current levels; (4) No loss of function for non renewable resources; (4) Sustainable harvest at desired level of renewable resources; (5) Limiting emissions to critical loads in order to protect human health; (6) Maintenance of an un-spoilt countryside; (7) Maintenance of environmental security in restricting environmental risks to low levels.    37 Physical scientists and ecologists are accustomed to the idea of limits (Holling 2001). Natural systems must exist subject to the unyielding laws of thermodynamics (Odum 1997). Systems ecology explores the implications of these laws for living organisms (Kay 1991; Odum 1997). “Two of the fundamental axioms of ecological and evolutionary biology are that organisms are exuberantly over-productive, and that limits set by time, space, and energy are inevitably encountered” (Holling 1994). Thus, from an ecological perspective, sustainability must find ways to limit population and consumption levels. These ideas reflect an understanding that nature provides services to humans (e.g., Daly 1997; 1999; Myers 1991; 1997; MEA 2005; WRI 2007); acknowledgment that humans are not the only living creatures on this planet (e.g., Mooney and Ehrlich 1997); recognition that the earth’s ecosystems have limited capacity to sustain them and us (Holling 1994; 2001); and that the ecosystems upon which we depend are complex systems which we cannot completely understand (e.g., Georgescu-Rogen 1971; Odum 1989; 1997; Holling 2001). “ The ecosphere ability to sustain productivity and biodiversity of ecosystems, and thereby to sustain society with its demands for services and resources from the ecosphere, is dependent on very complex interactions between the various species within the ecosystems, and between the ecosystems and the surrounding geophysical world” (Robert 2000:244).   Ehrlich et al. (1977) and Robinson and Van Bers (1996:10) emphasize human dependence on nature’s sustainability:  “The health, well-being, and ultimate survival of our own species are linked to, and dependent upon, the health and sustainability of ecological systems”. And “Sustainability requires that human development proceed in a way that maintains the long term health and productivity of natural systems”. For sustainability, it has been argued humanity needs to find ways to live within nature’s carrying capacity:  “Man is like every other species in being able to reproduce beyond the carrying capacity of any finite habitat. Man is like no other species in that he is capable of thinking about this fact and discovering its consequences” (Catton, 1980:6).   “Sustainability means improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems” (IUCN, UNEP, WWF, 1991).  “Learning to live sustainably implies taking the measures necessary to ensure that all members of the human family can live satisfying lives within the means of nature (i.e. within the long term carrying capacity of the earth)” (Rees 2002b).     38 Carrying capacity is traditionally defined as the average number of individuals of a given species that can occupy a particular habitat without permanently impairing the productive capacity of that habitat (Rees 2002b). The human carrying capacity of a defined habitat is its maximum sustainably supportable load, and is a function of human population size and material/energy throughput (Catton 1980; Rees 2002b).  Malthus opened the modern debate on carrying capacity when he forecast limits to growth due to resource scarcity (Mebratu 1998; Rees 2002b). Malthus’ thesis has been challenged and dismissed by many, particularly mainstream economists, because technology has thus far overcome immediate problems of resource scarcity at least for the wealthy elite. However, from the biophysical perspective of sustainability, the issue of carrying capacity remains very relevant.  Historically the discussion of human carrying capacity has been framed around two issues: population and resource consumption. Questions about population carrying capacity appeared in the 1960s with Ehrlich’s (1968) book ‘The Population Bomb’ and population increase continues to be a major issue as highlighted by Cohen’s (1995) book ‘How Many People Can the Earth Support?’. Hardin (1980; as cited in Rees, 2002b:11) argued “Carrying capacity is the fundamental basis for demographic accounting”. The second issue for discussion on carrying capacity was and still is of human material and energy use (Meadows et al. 1972; Catton 1980; Wackernagel and Rees 1996; Rees 2002b).  Catton (1980) argued that human carrying capacity involves more than the number of people that can live. It is also about the ability of earth to support a growing human population and to satisfy that population’s material demands. From this perspective the supportable population varies inversely with average per capita material consumption - i.e. with lifestyles.  While that biophysical approach to sustainability imply for the importance of interregional ecology perspective on ecological changes the discussion is still at the conceptual level and does not make explicit connections between the sustainability of one place and that of another.         39 4.3 The mainstream economic - centric approach towards ecological sustainability  Not everyone sees carrying capacity as relevant to sustainability; many economists and techno- optimists believe that the concept, as applied to modern humans, is defunct:  “There are no limits to the carrying capacity of the earth that are likely to bind any time in the foreseeable future. … the idea that we should put limits on growth because of some natural limit, is a profound error and one that… would have staggering social costs.” (Summers 1991: as cited in Rees 2002b).  “ with current and near current technology, we can support 15 billion people in the world at twenty thousand dollars per capita for millennia – and that seems to be a very conservative statement” (Kahn, in respond to the limit to growth 1972, as cited in Meadows et al. 2004).  Even the Brundtland Commission subscribed to this vision. The commission argued that global sustainable development can be achieved even with a five to ten-fold expansion in industrial activity by the mid 21st century on ground that as the global economy expands, trade and technology will be able to compensate for the depletion of natural resources and the loss of life support services. Indeed trade and technology are seen as the major mechanisms that make carrying capacity irrelevant to humans. The argument is that any human population that can trade surpluses of a certain resource for another resource is not restricted in population or economic growth by the limited carrying capacity of its own territory.  Low and Gleeson (1998) divide what they call “mainstream (i.e., reformist) sustainable development” into categories. Following their framework I will discuss the two major approaches: market environmentalism and ecological modernization. Market environmentalism sees the market as the most important mechanism for mediating between people and regulating their interaction with the environment. It involves a political agenda of ‘rolling back’ the state, deregulating markets and extending market relations into society and its relation with the environment. Market environmentalists argue that:  “The ‘green economy’ will be a capitalist economy. And just as the economy theoretically reaches a level of equilibrium in which social needs are met, so the green economy will theoretically reach a level of ‘sustainable development’ in which the capacity of the planet to provide raw materials and absorbs wastes is not overstretched” (Low and Gleeson, 1998:81).       40 According to market environmentalism the further market exchange penetrates into the environment, the greater the efficiency of environmental management. Market environmentalism is the result of a growing engagement by economists in the sustainable development mainstream. This approach to sustainability follows the mainstream market liberal economics approach as presented by many economists (e.g., Solow 1974; Simon and Kahn 1984; Simon 1996).  While market environmentalism is the dominant force in mainstream sustainable development (Adams 2001; Rees 2002a) another approach has emerged: Ecological modernization. Though this approach toward sustainable development is still very ‘econo-centric’ it recognizes and argues that the market cannot completely reflect the state of the environment or progress toward sustainable development (Beckerman 1994). Accordingly, the state, its institutions, and its ability to regulate the market are of critical importance. Ecological modernization takes a very similar approach to that of market environmentalism. Both believe in the value of economic growth, globalization, trade, foreign investment, technology, and the notion of sustainable development. Still, while the market environmentalism approach highlights the benefits of free markets, ecological modernization emphasizes the need for institutions and regulations to force the market to deliver on its promise (Adams 2001; Clapp and Dauvergne 2005).  Both, market environmentalism and ecological modernization approaches to sustainability focus on the problems of human organization rather than on any ecological limits. They emphasize human ingenuity and resilience to change. However, I believe that in order to make the required adjustments for sustainability, such as increasing prices, taxes etc. negative feedback from the supporting ecosystems should reach individual consumers and their governments. As discussed above the more we become engaged in a global economy the less we experience negative feedbacks and therefore do not recognize that we have a real interest in making a change.  A major distinction between the biophysical and economic approaches is their attitude towards the place and importance of the natural ecosystems for human sustainability. That difference is often presented under the terms of strong versus weak sustainability. Those who argue for strong sustainability (biophysical approach) see natural capital as essential to human sustainability; they demand that each natural capital stock is kept constant over time. On the other hand weak sustainability (mainstream economic approach) starts from the assumption that natural capital, human made capital, and human capital are close substitutes. Weak sustainability involves the principle of trade-offs between losses to natural capital in one project and gains elsewhere, and the substitution of either human made capital or human-induced natural capital for lost natural capital.  41 In the context of this dissertation, a problem I see in the weak sustainability approach is that quite often increasing human capital in one region results in declining natural capital in other parts of the world. Moreover, while it is true that natural capital can be used for increasing human well- being, as discussed in previous chapters, that well-being is strongly connected to maintaining a sufficient amount and quality of natural capital. In other words, for sustainability, the substitutes of natural capital with other forms of capital should be within the boundaries of the natural system.  4.4   The ecological economics approach towards sustainability  “Ecologists study non-human species and the ecosystems that sustain them by measuring and analyzing the physical flows of energy, material and information essential to the continuous restructuring and self-organization of those systems. By contrast, most economic analyses are money-based. They ignore both the biophysical context of the economic process and the behavioral dynamics of ecosystems within which it takes place.” (Rees, 2000:4)  Various authors argue that current economic systems do not reflect the function and behaviour of our natural life support systems, nor do they recognize that all human economies are dependent upon nature (e.g., Boulding 1966; Georgescu-Roegen 1971; 1977; Daly 1973; 1991; 1996; Costanza and Daly 1987; Costanza 1991; Rees 1992; 2000; 2002a; Norgaard 1994; 2001). The emergent field of Ecological Economics challenges the mainstream economics approach to sustainability by emphasizing the dependence of social and economic systems on ecological systems and by characterizing the economy as an integral part of the natural environment (Costanza 1991; Rees 1995; Daly and Farley 2004). Ecological economics attempts to bridge the gap between the field of conventional ecology and mainstream economics.  “From the relative objectivity of ecology, humankind’s fundamental relationship to the rest of nature is functionally similar to that of the millions of other species with which we share the planet. Like other organisms, we survive and grow by extracting energy and material resources from the ecosystems of which we are a part; like them we “consume” these resources before returning them in altered form to the ecosphere. Thus, far from existing in splendid isolation, the human economy is and always has been an inextricably integrated, completely contained, and wholly dependent sub-set of the ecosphere” (Rees, 1992:6).  The Ecological Economics approach to sustainability confronts one of the fundamental basics of mainstream economics – economic growth. Ecological economists argue that economic growth means growth in material and energy consumption, and that these expansions are not infinitely sustainable. Also they argue that development does not necessarily mean growth.  42 Hence, the concept of sustainable development offers an alternative to conventional growth- oriented thinking (Sneddon et al. 2006:260). One ecological economics definition of sustainability regarding the limit of material growth is “the amount of consumption that can be continued indefinitely without degrading capital stocks including natural capital stocks” (El Serafy, 1991:168).  “Sustainability is a relationship between dynamic human economic systems in which: human life can continue indefinitely; human individuals can flourish; and human cultures can develop; but in which effects of human activities remain within bounds, so as not to destroy the diversity, complexity, and function of the ecological life support system” (Costanza 1991:9).  “[…] development without growth – a physically steady-state economy that may continue to develop greater capacity to satisfy human wants by increasing the efficiency of the resource use, but not by increasing resource throughput” (Daly 1992:333).  In summary, the ecological economics approach to sustainability combines the biophysical and economic approaches. It highlights the need for such interregional approach, the need to quantify and document the flows, their connections to ecological changes and to make sure that we are living within the means of nature.  Ecological economists have brought up several ideas for sustainability; some are very relevant to this dissertation. For example Costanza (1991) Norgaard (1994) and Daly (1999) suggest that: (I) ecosystems goods and services must be incorporated into economic accounting to support decision makers with a comprehensive picture of the reality. (II) We need to consider material and energy balances and to devise ways of keeping track of multiple material and energy flows. (III) We need to continue learning and understanding the consequences of human activities on the ecosphere, both for the short and long run. (IV) We need to learn how different scales of human activities interact, and how we might construct multi-scale operational definitions of sustainability.  These ideas will be developed and explored in detail in the following chapters.  43 4.5 Integrating an interregional ecology approach and sustainability:  “The spatial scale of sustainability must be global; human society within the biosphere. However, all tools and approaches seem to set system boundaries according to geographic or administrative borders and boundaries. The use of system boundaries is understandable to the extent it enables analyses and evaluations that are not left undone due to too heavy data, financial, human and time resource requirements. But this cannot be acceptable if the definition of the system boundaries and exclusion of aspects support decisions in organizations, in public policy and business management that contribute to unsustainability” (Korhonen 2006:3).  What is the appropriate scale at which to deal with sustainable development? Should it be local, regional, national or some other scales? (Costanza 1991; Daly 1992; Rees 2000)  The issue of scale has been debated ever since the sustainability concept came under discussion.  Researchers in the natural sciences (especially the field of ecology) have long realized the importance of scale (Gibson et al. 2000). Scale is defined as: “the spatial, temporal, quantitative, or analytical dimensions used to measure and study any phenomenon” (Gibson et al. 2000:218). When dealing with ecological change, and more particularly the reasons for change, the issue of scale rises again. The UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA 2003) investigates the scale at which ecological systems and ecological phenomena should be studied and monitored. It makes a distinction between two kinds of scales: scale of observation and scale of the phenomenon. The scale of observation is a construct based on human systems of measurement. Its components are: extent, resolution, and grain (Bloschl 1996 as cited from MEA 2003:107). The extent refers to the total area / time over which the phenomenon is observed. The resolution is the interval or distance between observations. The grain is the area or duration of single observation. The scale of the phenomenon refers to the phenomenon itself; (MEA 2003:108).  The scale of the phenomenon may be much larger than the scale of observation depending on the extent of the scale of observation (i.e. certain phenomenon will be monitored within the country boundaries but the consequences of that phenomenon have impact on a much larger region). That leads to a multi- scale approach (MEA 2003; 2005) which simultaneously uses larger and smaller-scale assessments: “it can help identify important dynamics of the system that might otherwise be overlooked. Trends that occur at much larger scales, although expressed locally, may go unnoticed in purely local scale assessments” (MEA 2003:107). The logic is that fully to understand a phenomenon and to be able to track its results requires that a multi-scale approach be taken.     44 Debates on sustainability policy highlight a range of viewpoints on the appropriate scale for policy development and implementation.  For example: Gardner (1990:337) argues for a bottom up approach in which decision making at the community level provides the framework for “achieving development to meet the needs/aspirations of the local population, respect cultural diversity, and maintain ecological systems”. The bottom up approach argues for local scale activity.  From that perspective, global sustainability will be the sum of many local sustainability activities. Others argue for a regional scale approach (Nijkamp and Soetemann 1988), claiming that local efforts alone are insufficient and a regional perspective is required when planning for sustainable development. For many, the nation state is considered the dominant scale at which decisions should be made and strategies implemented. IUCN et al. (1991) “Caring for Earth” report advocates a nationally based approach to sustainable development.  The authors of the report agree that local and regional measures should be taken, but argue that the state should be responsible for promoting sustainability. Drummond and Marsden (1999:12) argue that “the national and supra- national state remains the locus of most regulation” and therefore sustainability policies should be implemented at that scale. Clapp and Dauvergne (2005:70) emphasize the important role states have in creating ecological problems and in governing their solutions. Hence, most of the international discussions on sustainable development are at the national level (e.g., the UN summits, Agenda 21, the Kyoto accord etc.). The general assumption is that the sum of countries taking sustainable development action will eventually lead to global sustainability.  While all these scales are central for promoting sustainability, in an interconnected world where activities in one place create pressures on other places, where life in one location depends on the flow of resources from many others, I would argue that it is probably not enough to analyze sustainability in a single local dimension scales such as individual cities, regions or nations. Rees (2000) suggests that the scale which we should address sustainability is the scale of economic activity. Since we have an increasingly integrated global economy, then that is also the scale we should address sustainability. To fully understand the sustainability related connections between different regions of the world, we need to add an interregional scale for analysis. I argue that such an interregional ecology approach to ecological changes as discussed in details in chapter ‘II’ is very relevant to the discussion on sustainability and development toward sustainability. It based on the premise that in a growing, globalizing, increasingly interconnected world, achieving local and global sustainability demands a more explicitly interregional- international implementation framework, one based on recognition that sustainability anywhere is  45 linked, directly and indirectly, to sustainability elsewhere. It proposes that any given locale/region is dependent on the productivity and ecological sustainability of supporting regions, wherever on earth they may be located. Approaching sustainability conscious of interregional connections forces recognition that: 1) virtually every significant human population or country lives, in part, on energy/material flows to and from distant points all over the world, 2) consuming imported materials has the potential to create unseen unsustainable burdens on productive ecosystems in distant locales and, 3) ecological degradation in one region has the potential to jeopardize the sustainability of other regions.  Therefore the following definition incorporate the three strands of thinking at interregional ecology discussed in chapter ‘II’ with sustainability:  The conventional pollution strand:  This strand of interregional ecological thinking recognizes that economic production in one location of the world imposes assimilation burdens of useless waste on ecosystems in distant locales (e.g. transboundary pollution). This perspective clearly recognizes that sustainability in one place (or country) can be negatively affected by modes of production, sources of energy, material use, and transboundary waste flows of other countries.   The local production and consumption strand:  This version of interregional ecological thinking recognizes that local production and consumption anywhere that leads to local ecological degradation may risk the sustainability of distant regions as well. That is, in an ecologically interconnected world, changes in local ecological productivity may jeopardize the sustainability of countries that rely on imports from that region. Moreover, ecological degradation in one region (e.g. soil erosion, deforestation) may lead to changes in other regions (e.g. climate change).   The trade flow strand:  This component of “Interregional ecology” recognizes that consumption driven demand for imported materials in one part of the world imposes burdens on productive ecosystems in exporting locales. It recognizes that the sustainability of human society in any given locale/region is dependent on the productivity and sustainability of supporting regions, wherever on earth the latter may be located. Thus, irresponsible consumption anywhere can jeopardize the sustainability of supporting regions and ultimately of the consuming region as well.     46 Following the discussion in chapter ‘II’ societies anywhere are dependent on a set of ecological goods and services originated from regions all over the world, production activities in different supporting regions deteriorate ecosystems in those supporting regions. I argue here that societies have practical interests for their own sustainability to sustain those supporting regions wherever on earth they might be. In the following paragraphs I will make some of the theoretical linkages between the interest societies have in sustaining overseas ecosystems and their own sustainability.  4.5.1 Interregional interests:  Responsibility driven by self interest (or Practical responsibility) is the responsibility a country has for its own citizens. If country ‘A’ has become dependent on country ‘B’ for vital resources, then the government of country ‘A’ has an interest, even an obligation to its citizens to ensure that producer ecosystems of country ‘B’ remain viable. Furthermore, if the production of export products in country ‘B’ leads to deterioration of ecosystems in that country, and risks different ecological services (e.g. biodiversity, climate mitigation) that support future production and other more global services, it should also be the interest of country ‘A’ to sustain those ecosystems in country ‘B’.  The logic behind this kind of self-interest or practical responsibility can be framed by three major factors: (1) the limits to growth in a finite world (Meadows et al. 1972; 2004); (2) the shift from empty to full world (Daly 1991) and (3) the need to ensure ecological security (Pirages and DeGeest 2004).  Each factor underscores the need for responsibility driven by self interest and the need for an interregional ecology approach to sustainability.  (1) The limits to growth in a finite world – At the beginning of the 21st century, after a century of increasing human activity, expanding populations and rising per capita material and energy consumption, the MEA (2005) presented a gloomy picture of the state of global ecosystems. Indeed “The limits to growth” (Meadows et al. 1972) had already emphasized that in pursuing current growth patterns humans face a problematic future: “If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next 100 years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrolled declined in both population and industrial capacity” (Meadows et al. 1972).  As noted at the outset, resource consumption has accelerated significantly since 1972 and will likely continue to do so in the 2000s. According to an increasing number of studies we are already facing the limits of several critical resources such as food land, water, forests and fossil fuels:  47 Food land: “Most high quality agricultural land is already in production, and the environmental costs of converting remaining forest, grass land, and wetland habitats to cropland are well recognized… Much of the remaining soil is less productive and more fragile” (WRI 1998).   Water: “About one third of the world’s population lives in countries that are experiencing moderate to high water stress… By 2025 as much as 2/3 of world population would be under stress conditions. Water shortages… may put global food supplies in jeopardy…” (Meadows et al. 2004).   Forests: “There has been a clear global trend toward a massive loss of forested areas. … the current trends are towards an acceleration of the loss of forested area, the loss of residual primary forests, and progressive reduction in the internal quality of residual forest stands… Much of the forest that remains is being progressively impoverished, and all is threatened” (World commission on forests and sustainable development 1999).   Fossil fuels: “Our analysis of the discovery and production of oil fields around the world suggests that within the next decade, the supply of conventional oil will be unable to keep up with demand… Global oil discovery peaked in the early 1960s and has been falling steadily ever since… there is only so much crude oil in the world, and the industry has found about 90 percent of it” (Campbell and Laherrere 1998 as cited from Meadows et al 2004).  Concerns for resource scarcity has been condemned and pushed aside mostly by mainstream economists who argue for continued growth of the human economy (Simon and Kahn 1984), for our capacity to find substitutes for scarce resources (Solow 1974; 1992); and for humanity’s ability to stabilize any future ecological changes (Simon and Kahn 1984; Simon 1996). While it might be true that humanity has the potential to overcome various problems, people are slow to react to many ecological challenges because they do not perceive immediate negative feedback from them. We therefore remain unaware of the real state of the natural resources and systems we depend on, often because they are in distant parts of the world (Meadows et al. 2004). Globalization in its current form can be seen as a blinding mechanism (Goldsmith and Mander 2001), contributing to the distancing of necessary ecological feedback (Princen 1997; Conca 2002; Rees 2002a).  (2) A full world approach – Herman Daly (1991) coined the terms empty world and full world economics. He argued that humans have moved from living in a relatively empty world to a relatively full world. Daly’s approach counters the main stream optimistic economic view. He argues that we must acknowledge increasing resource scarcity.  “The human economy has passed from an era in which human-made capital was the limiting factor in economic development to an era in which remaining natural capital has become the limiting factor.” (Daly 1991:2)   48 “Historically, in the ‘empty world’ economy, manmade capital was limited and natural capital superabundant. We have now, due to demographic and economic growth, entered the era of ‘full world’ economy, in which the roles are reversed. More and more it is remaining natural capital that now plays the role of limiting factor (Daly 1995:50)  Various studies have attempted to calculate the extent to which humans have appropriated supporting natural system services. These studies supply us with estimates of the extent to which our world is getting fuller. One such group of studies estimated current human consumption of terrestrial net primary products (HTNPP). These studies show an average appropriation of between 30% and 50% of the terrestrial net primary products (Vitousek et al. 1986; Vitousek et al. 1997; Rojstaczer et al. 2001; Imhoff et al. 2004). Imhoff et al. (2004:872) emphasize the potential for an increase of HTNPP as a result of increasing global population and per capita consumption, especially in the developing parts of the world.  According to the WWF (2006), about 64% of global terrestrial productive ecosystems are already being appropriated as part of humanity ‘ecological footprint’. Including the land that would be required to sequester CO2 emissions creates a deficit of about 25% (WWF, 2006:29). The same study also indicates that from 1975-2003 the average per capita footprint increased by 14% while overall during the same period the per capita biocapacity decreased by 25%.  (3) Ecological security - Pirages and DeGeest (2004) and Pirages and Cousins (2005) dismiss the issue of resource scarcity and argue for an ecological security approach to the problems we are facing: “For the foreseeable future, resource scarcity is likely to be a relatively minor source of human suffering. Rather, infectious disease now is clearly the primary cause of premature human deaths and disabilities, followed by conflict among people, starvation, and various kinds of environmental disasters” (Pirages 2005:3).  Following Pirages (2005:4), ecological security is connected to humanity ability to sustain the equilibrium of the following: 1. Between human populations living at higher consumption levels and the ability of nature       to provide resources and services. 2. Between human populations and pathogenic microorganisms. 3. Between human populations and those of other plant and animal species. 4. Among human populations.     49 Either human activity or natural change can disrupt these equilibriums. Unfortunately, the literature is full of evidence of just such disruptions. The recent MEA (2005:1) estimated that about 60% of the ecosystems studied all over the world (which are supposed to represent the overall world ecosystems) have been degraded or being use unsustainably.  For all of the reasons outlined, countries around the world have direct and indirect self interests in maintaining the ecosystems that support them. Their direct interests are in regions that provide ecological goods such as food and forest products. Their indirect interests are much broader and can be divided into practical and ethical interests. The practical include such interests as maintaining ecosystems services that might have indirect regional or global effects (e.g., climate mitigation).  The ethical interest (which some will argue is also practical and part of the overall ecological security) can include the interest in unique ecosystems, or maintaining biodiversity for ethical reasons.  4.6 The place of an interregional approach to sustainability:  An interregional ecology approach as discussed here is still little appreciated and poorly documented. I believe four main factors can account for this under-appreciation: the lack of negative feedback; a local versus global perspective; the uncritical acceptance of the dominant economic model; and the place of consumption in industrial societies. Analysing these four themes contribute to understanding the current and potential future place of ‘interregional ecology’ approach to ecological change and sustainability.  No alarm or action without negative feedback: Negative feedback from supportive ecosystems can facilitate such an interregional ecology approach and its implementation into the local and international policy and planning. I believe that the lack of such feedback is a major reason for the low profile of the interregional approach in current discussions of drivers to local and global ecological changes.  The difference between traditional nomadic societies and our modern urban societies provides a good example. Nomadic societies were dependent on the ecosystems within which they lived. As long as those ecosystems could sustain them they remained in one place. When resources were exhausted or conditions changed they packed their belongings and moved on to the next place. Modern societies mostly live in permanent urban settlements. As emphasized, our dependence on ecosystems services has not been reduced but rather extended. The way we receive the resources  50 we depend upon has changed. While in traditional societies only a small fraction of goods were obtained through trade, in modern societies biophysical needs are increasingly met with trade goods from distant ecosystems. If ecological conditions deteriorate, we do not move our homes but instead buyers shift to other suppliers who still have healthy ecosystems to supply society’s demands.  There are many documented cases of ancient and more recent history that address degradation of ecological systems as a result of human activities (e.g., Ponting 1992; McNeill 2000; Diamond 2005). However, the degradation described in most studies predominantly impacts the local/regional society and leaves distant consumers largely untouched. An example is the collapse of the cod fishery in Canada’s Atlantic region (Rogers 1995). This collapse had a significant social impact on the local population but in general the negative feedback that consumers in Canada or elsewhere, received was minor; consumers either got the same fish from another source or moved on to eating another kind of fish.  Various authors have pointed out that the increasing distance between producers and consumers eliminates much-needed negative feedback that might otherwise temper consumer demands (e.g., Rees 1994; Princen 1997; Conca 2001; Daly and Farley 2004). Spatial and social distance between production and consumption increases as commodity chains grow longer, more complex, and become more deeply transnational. In the absence of negative feedback, neither governments nor private consumers can take the degradation of their supportive ecosystems into account. Consumers lack the information and incentive to behave in a more sustainable fashion even if they are disposed to do so (Conca 2001).   Although, or perhaps because, we are living in a globalizing world, we cannot see most of the negative ecological consequences of our activities. It is probably a basic human characteristic that we mostly care for what appears to immediately affect us (e.g., a polluted river passing through town). The more distant impacts are and the less we feel affected by them, the less we care – “out of sight, out of mind” or as it is said in the Hebrew language, “Far from the eye, far from the heart”.      51 Popular attitudes and international law have not caught up to global reality: In general, the international community still sees most ‘environmental’ problems as relatively small-scale (pollution) problems that are mainly of concern to local or, at best, national governments (MacNiell et al., 1991; Speth, 2004; Mason 2005). Traditionally, governments have responsibility for only those environmental issues that unfold within their own boundaries. Thus, even as global change accelerates, the policy focus of most countries and international organizations is at the local/national level (UN 1992; Vitalis 2003; Clapp and Dauvergne 2005). The situation is complicated by the fact that national sovereignty remains a core principle of international politics—every country has the right to exploit its domestic natural resources as long as that exploitation does not directly impact other nations (Litfin 1998; UN 1973; 1992).  The issue of national sovereignty can explain the place of the three strands of interregional ecology discussed above: the conventional production strand, the local production and consumption strand and the trade flow strand. It emphasizes why the former is becoming more legitimate in international policy (Litfin 1998; Mason 2005) and why the local and trade flow strands remain subsumed under traditional rights of national sovereignty. Cross-boundary pollution is considered to undermine other nations’ sovereignty while resource exploitation within national boundaries is considered legitimate. This legitimacy is maintained in spite of the facts that: the local exploitation might supply the demands of another country; the exploitation might degrade the local ecosystems and their ability to provide services; that degradation might indirectly impact other nations; and that exploitation might benefit a small group of people and harm much larger populations.  Focusing on the local scale makes sense as this is the level at which we are probably most efficient at making decisions, implementing, and enforcing them (Daly and Cobb 1989). Since the first international discussions on global environmental problems, responsibility for action has been assigned at the national level. This tactic assumes that if every country follows a certain path the result will be positive for everyone (UN 1973; 1992). However, as we largely do not receive negative feedback from our activities, our local actions are not likely to reflect awareness of our dependence on others, nor the impact we may have on them.  Another dimension of the problem is a global one. Issues such as ozone depletion and climate change have been discussed and international agreements have been signed. But even here the focus is an obligation for each country to reduce/change impacts within its political boundaries; in certain cases to prevent impact on the regional or global environment. The well known Kyoto Accord, for example, commits each country to reduce its own emissions. Limited attention is paid to the  52 emissions a country indirectly emits while importing from another country. That perspective was raised in discussions by the International Committee on Climate Change and is part of several recent academic studies but it has not been implemented yet. The idea is for example that part of the CO2 China produces might be attributed to U.S. consumption and vice versa. Another representative example would be the Canada - Costa Rica Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (part of the free trade agreement between the countries), which discusses some of the ecological problems each country faces but does not address the role, self interest and responsibility each of the sides has on the state of the ecosystems within the other’s political boundaries (Environment Canada 2002).  As ecological degradation at the global scale continues, taking a single dimension perspective that monitors and reports ecological problems at one particular level is not enough. An interregional ecology approach can relate some of the degradation processes in a certain country to demands in another. While it is true that there are many drivers for degradation, taking an interregional approach can certainly highlight those drivers which are connected to production for export.  If the path we are taking is toward a globalized world, we should understand and be able to see the ecological dependence of one region on another. Without this understanding we are blind to many of the ecological consequences of our lifestyle choices.  The current mainstream economics perspective: I argue that the nature of the prevailing economics paradigm is a major reason for the lack of attention to such an interregional ecology approach. The lack of negative feedback and local perspectives are a result of, and at the same time provide legitimacy for, current economic thinking. The focus of economic development is mostly on the local level. Many environmental issues first appear as small-scale pollution problems that are mainly of concern to local governments (MacNiell et al. 1991; Speth 2004). Pollution problems are regarded as “externalities” by economists. Since the 1960s some environmental economists have proposed instruments to internalize the pollution consequences of economic activities. However, resource depletion driven by material consumption is almost never discussed. Economists are generally confident that the free market system will signal a scarcity of resources by increasing costs which will lead to reduced consumption and more efficient or different modes of production. Moreover, many economists dismiss concern for resource scarcity on grounds that human ingenuity can create an unending supply of substitutes for depleted biophysical resources (e.g., Simon 1981; Beckerman 1995). Some assert that there are no limits to potential harvests (Solow 1972; Summers 1991; Simon 1999).  53 By contrast, the relatively new field of ecological economics challenges many mainstream economic assumptions of unconstrained growth (e.g., Costanza and Daly 1987; Costanza et al. 1991; Daly 1991; 2001; Rees 1992; 1995; Norgaard 2001). As world population and resource extraction increase, our ability to substitute one resource with another is increasingly limited, and the impact of extracting the required resources begs the question: Can we continue to increase material outputs without major penalty? (Rees 1992; 1995; Norgaard 2001; Daly and Farley 2004:112; Robinson 2004). The interregional perspective on human ecology supports ecological economics analyses. It emphasizes that while globalization and trade can bring short term material benefits around the world, it also accelerates resource depletion and ecosystem degradation.  Consumption versus production perspectives: It has been widely acknowledged that, for sustainability, changes in global production and consumption patterns are required. For example: Principle 8 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992) emphasizes the need to “reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption”. Chapter 4 of the UN Agenda 21 explicitly identifies unsustainable production and consumption patterns as “the major cause of the continued deterioration of the global environment” (UN 1992: 4.3). The Johannesburg Summit (WSSD 2002) recommended development of a ten year framework of regional and national initiatives on sustainable consumption and production. The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (1995) defined both sustainable production and consumption:  “Sustainable production involves the creation of goods and services using processes and systems that are non-polluting; conserving energy and natural resources; economically efficient; safe and healthful for workers, communities and consumers; and socially and creatively rewarding for all working people. Sustainable consumption entails the use of services and related products which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimizing the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life-cycle so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations.”  Adam Smith, one of the fathers of current neo-classical economics, wrote in his famous manuscript ‘The Wealth of Nations’ (1776): “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production…” (as cited from Boulding 1945). Although Smith was not dealing with issues of ecological sustainability, and the context of his writing was different, he emphasized the need to look at the role consumer demand plays in production. Boulding (1945:1) argued that despite the focus on consumption by Smith and several other economists, the development of economic thought has shifted towards production, distribution, and exchange. Production and consumption approaches to sustainability are a result of different world views and different kinds of  54 understanding and interpretations of the sustainability issue. As will be suggested later in this dissertation, both contribute to the discussion of interregional ecology and, I believe, can contribute to sustainability.  Although consumption has been identified as a major cause of environmental problems and a change of consumption patterns recognized as a potential key to sustainability, it is most often production processes and patterns that are addressed in sustainability literature (Princen 1999; Cohen and Murphy 2001; Princen et al. 2002; Tucker 2002). It is widely accepted that the producer is the polluter, and so if anyone should carry responsibility for pollution or any other damage it should be the producer. Attempts to increase consumer responsibility and to alter consumption patterns have not yet succeeded (Barber 2003).  The focus of the production approach to sustainability is mitigation of ecological problems associated with material economic production. A key concept of this approach, which has found its way into many sustainability related policies, is efficiency. The simple logic is that more efficient means of production employing new technologies can reduce throughput and therefore the negative ecological impacts of production (Von Weizsacker et al. 1997 ; Hawken et al. 1999). This approach to sustainable development fits well within mainstream economic thinking that views economic growth and the function of the market as the main mechanisms for achieving sustainability. Nonetheless, it acknowledges some biophysical constraints and attempts to reconcile economic growth with ecological limits. Ever since the beginning of the 1990s, researchers have suggested that we can increase our industrial efficiency by a factor of four and even ten (e.g., Von Weizsacker et al. 1997; Schmidt-Bleek 1997).  Unlike the production approach which relies on efficiency as a means to achieving sustainability, a consumption approach is linked to the idea of sufficiency (Princen 2003; 2005). Proponents of sufficiency, argue that efficiency is useful, but will not lead to ecological sustainability.  Instead, it leads to increased consumption. Rees (2005; as cited from Herring 2006:13) points out that improvement in the efficiency of resource use, such as with computers, leads to a decline in the price of products, a mass market and hence a large global consumption of resources. The same argument is made for the case of the automobile (Princen 1997): while it is true that the fuel efficiency (and emissions) per km have reduced within the last few decades, overall fuel consumption have increased as more people use more cars to travel much farther distances.    55 The sufficiency argument aligns with the biophysical approach to sustainability in acknowledgement of the limits of the earth’s ecosystems carrying capacity and in recognition of the problematic nature of current human lifestyles. It challenges those who live in the wealthier parts of the world to consider the negative ecological impacts of their consumption (e.g. Durning 1992; Princen 1999; 2003; 2005; Princen et al. 2002; Cohen and Murphy 2001; Rees and Westra 2003; Myers and Kent 2004; Dauvergne 2005b). Unlike the efficiency approach, a sufficiency perspective focuses on social change much more than it does on technical change.  Finally I believe that the reasons for the place of interregional ecology in the sustainability discussion discussed above are critical to understanding of the place of consumption approach: (I) The lack of negative feedback - As long as there is no negative feedback there is no reason to change our consumption patterns. If we can always replace the sources and find substitutes, and technology can reduce some of the negative impacts of production, then we can continue to increase material consumption. (II) The local perspective - As sustainability is addressed mostly at the local level it makes sense to reduce the pollution impacts of production at that level.  We see local pollution as the responsibility of the producer to be dealt with in the producer region. Even if the producers are far away, rich consumers are blind to the impacts or content to ignore them. (III) The current economic perspective – Proponents of current mainstream economics characterizing consumption as essential to human well-being, they are primarily focused on increasing income and consumption. On the other hand, they are concerned with making production more efficient because efficiency can reduce material and energy costs and seem to decrease externalities while actually raising wages and lowering prices, this further increasing consumption.             56 Chapter V - Modeling an Interregional Ecology Approach to Sustainability  As appear from previous chapters, four key words capture the lesson of the interregional approach to sustainability: Interdependence, impact, self-interest and responsibility. In the increasingly interconnected world of today, any region ‘A’ can easily become dependent on resources provided by distant ecosystems in regions ‘B’ and ‘C’ far beyond its domestic boundaries and ‘B’ and ‘C’ may, in turn, become dependent on products of ‘A’. Production of consumption goods anywhere has the potential to degrade the ecosystems and natural processes that directly and indirectly provide those goods and services. This raises questions regarding interest and responsibility. Humans are usually motivated by self-interest and tend to ignore negative effects of their selfish actions if they fall somewhere else or on someone else (Rees 2007). However, in an ecologically full world at the limits (e.g., Daly 1991; Meadows et al. 2004) ecological changes anywhere on Earth may have direct and indirect consequences for people everywhere. In the present context, both producers and consumers have an interest in maintaining the productive integrity of the ecosystems that provide an income to the former and valued goods and services to the latter. Therefore, should not both producers and consumers be held mutually responsible for the deleterious impacts of the production-consumption process?  After laying down the theoretical basis of such an approach to sustainability the next step would be to model these kinds of connections and to quantify interregional relationships. In this chapter I focus on creating the model; a model that will be empirically examined in the following chapters.  5.1 Background: As society has become more aware of the implications of global ecological change, the need better to understand the biophysical connections between human activities and global trends has been widely acknowledged (e.g. WCED 1987; EUROSTAT 2001a; UN 2001; MEA 2003; 2005). This understanding has accelerated the development of measurement tools emphasizing industrial metabolism (Fischer–Kowalski 1998) and the physical dimensions of the human economy (Ayres 1998; Daniels and Moore 2002). Tools such as: Material Flow Analysis (MFA); Physical Input Output Tables (PIOT); Life Cycle Assessment (LCA); Ecological Footprint Analysis (EFA); Environmental Space; and Material Intensity Per Unit Service (MIPS) are representative of the many methods that quantify the physical dimensions of human activities  57 and enhance understanding of human dependence on the natural world (Ayres 1998; Daniels and Moore 2002). Separately and together these tools contribute a great deal to the interregional ecology approach developed here. It is both, what each tool presents, and what is missing that I believe contributes to the approach studied here.  These measurement tools have several common properties which play an important role in developing an interregional approach to sustainability: First, they perceive the connections between human activity and the natural environment in terms of both resources (i.e., material and energy inputs) and wastes. Second, these tools reflect a “whole process” approach to either production or consumption. They measure not only economically relevant flows but also identify indirect effects and potential impacts (Daniels and Moore 2002). Third, each method can be implemented at different spatial scales (local to global) or at the product, sectoral or industry level (e.g., Birgenzu and Schutz 2001; Halberg and Weidema 2004; Kissinger et al. 2007). Individually and even collectively, however, these methods are deficient in important ways. Though some of the tools listed above imply systems complexity, they focus relatively narrowly on particular places or products and thus mostly overlook two key aspects of sustainability:  1) the geographical source(s) of trade goods and 2) the ecological consequences of production- consumption, particularly at the point of origin.  I focus here on four popular tools to show how they might be modified to include ecological impacts at both ends of the production-consumption stream: Material Flow Analysis (MFA), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Physical Inputs Outputs Tables (PIOT), and Ecological Footprint Analysis (EFA). In the following paragraphs I first describe each tool, highlighting some of its advantages and shortcomings. I then suggest how each tool can contribute to the interregional ecology approach presented here. I also present here the Commodity Chain analysis (CCA). This analytical approach, developed by sociologists, though dealing with issues other than ecological sustainability is relevant as part of the background for modeling interregional connections.          58 5.1.1   Material Flows Analysis (MFA)  MFA involves a systematic assessment of the stocks and flows of materials within any macro system – city, region, country – defined in space and time (EUROSTAT 2001a; National Research Council 2004). The purpose is to provide complete and consistent information about all movement, consumption and remaining reserves of energy and material within a relevant system. Analyzing material flows associated with a certain activity facilitates early recognition of problems such as future environmental load and resource depletion (Brunner and Rechberger 2004:4; National Research Council 2004: 17). MFA shows the connections between the economic subsystem and the ecosphere; resources are extracted from nature as inputs to the economy, transformed into products, and ultimately returned to ‘the environment’ as waste (Fischer-Kowalski and Huttler 1999; Hinterberger et al. 2003). MFA has emerged in various fields including medicine, chemistry, economics, engineering, life sciences, natural resource and waste management, and other aspects of environmental management (Brunner and Rechberger 2004:13). MFA has been conducted at scales ranging from the local to the international (e.g., Wolman 1965; Duvigneaud and Denayeyer De Smet 1975; Girardet 1999; Adriaanse et al. 1997; Matthews et al. 2000; Bringezu and Schutz 2001).  MFA has several positive qualities as a measure of environmental performance and sustainability: first, it attempts to account for all inputs of material and energy resources, and all outputs of waste. Second, it consolidates a large amount of data on the materials required for particular economic activities. Third, it serves as part of the foundation for other sustainability measurement tools such as Life Cycle Assessment, and Ecological Footprint Analysis. MFA also has significant shortcomings:  (I) The lack of connection to ecological degradation - Although MFA aggregates the inputs and outputs of economic activities or places, the links between MFA indicators and impacts on the environments are weak (Hinterberger et al. 2003:11). While revealing connections between the economy and nature, the method does not identify the impacts of material flows on exploited ecosystems. Finally, MFA uses the same metric in accounting for both self-producing and non- renewable resources, making no functional distinction between a tonne of fish and a tonne of coal.    59 (II) The failure to specify sources - MFA compiles inventories of materials involved in a production or consumption activity, but it usually does not identify the geographic sources of these materials. Some MFA researchers make a distinction between domestic material consumption and total material consumption, but do not explore the origins of corresponding inputs (Hinterberger et al. 2003:7). This omission is important because the extraction or harvesting of resources from different sources involves different methods/technologies and thus produces different ecological consequences.  5.1.2   Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)  LCA acknowledges that production and consumption contribute to adverse ecological effects, and that these effects can occur at all stages in the life cycle of a product. Indeed LCA has been defined as the “Compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle” (ISO, 1997). As Hinterberger et al. (2003) point out, there are many similarities between LCA and MFA—both account for material inputs and outputs – but while MFA usually focuses on larger systems, LCA focuses on specific sectors or products, tracing their impacts from cradle to grave. In addition, while MFA accounts for only material and energy use, LCA deals with both consumption and environmental impacts (mostly pollution). Finally, while some MFAs make the distinction between direct and indirect material and energy flows, most ignore the ‘hidden’ flows required for extraction or production of the primary flows in distant locales. LCA attempts to capture these latter flows for the specific products being assessed. LCA has become an important tool as industry attempts to become more responsive to sustainable development requirements, including strict environmental regulations in certain countries, and more efficient in the face of rising energy costs (Vizcarra et al. 1999; Halberg and Weidema 2004; Berg and Lindholm 2005).  LCA has several merits as an environmental performance and sustainability measurement tool. First, it acknowledges that any product involves use of diverse materials and energy sources. Second, LCA accounts for (some of) the environmental impacts generated in a product’s life cycle.  It thus identifies most potential points of intervention for improved material and energy efficiency and reduced pollution loading in the product’s life cycle. Its shortcomings include: (I) Loose connections to ecological degradation - While LCA does account for several potential environmental hazards, such as air and water pollution, it generally does not extend to broader issues such as landscape degradation, ecosystemic change, and source depletion.   60 (II) Failure to identify specific sources of materials - Although a product’s life cycle affects a variety of locations, most researchers present the impacts as if occurring at a single point or in “virtual space”; neither processes nor ecological consequences are tied to particular locations (Kollner 2003). Only recently have some LCA researchers, referring to LCA in the context of global trade, begun to ask questions about the scale and sustainability of human activity (e.g., Schlich and Fleissner 2005; Jungbluth and Demmeler 2005). (III) A product versus a whole economy approach – Most LCA studies focus on specific sectors or products, ignoring the consequences of larger scale economic activities. While it is important to study the life cycle and the incremental impacts of specific products, LCA presently ignores the relative contributions of products to the macro-scale ecological changes that result from aggregate economic activity.  5.1.3   Physical Input Output Tables (PIOT)  Input Output (IO) analysis is a top-down economic method that uses data from sectoral monetary transactions to account for the complex interdependencies of sectors in modern economies (Munksgaard et al. 2005). The Monetary Input-Output method (MIOT) was introduced by Leontief (1936). MIOT has played an important role in macro economic policy analysis and forms the basis of national economic accounting systems (Hubacek and Giljum 2003). Since the late 1960s, Input-Output methods have also been used to describe various connections between economic activities and the environment, again mostly in monetary terms. Material parameters were added to IO analysis during the 1990s with the development of Physical Input Output analysis (PIOT). PIOT extended conventional MIOT by accounting for actual quantities of resources and wastes. That is, like MFA, PIOT measures physical flows within the economic system, and between the economy and the natural environment. PIOT tracks natural resources from their entry into the economy, throughout their processing and use as commodities, to their return to the natural environment as waste (Daniels and Moore 2002). The goal is to characterize the physical structure of the economy and to provide scientists and policy makers with a tool for a comprehensive analysis of economy-environment relationships (Hubacek and Giljum 2003).  A major strength of PIOT is that input-output tables display the total input requirements for each unit of final demand. PIOT accounts for both the direct and indirect inputs/outputs of production within specific economics sectors and links the latter materially to other sectors of the economy. Uniquely, PIOT can be integrated with MIOT, thus combining physical and monetary flows in  61 the same tool. However, PIOT suffers from the same shortcomings as the other tools discussed above. Most significantly:  (I) Failure to connect to ecological degradation - Although PIOT accounts for the total material flows associated with economic activities, it does not link these to specific identifiable impacts within or beyond the specific study area. (II) Failure to specify sources of the materials - PIOT provides an accounting for materials required for the economic activities within a particular region (usually a nation). However, it does not trace these materials to source.  5.1.4   Ecological Footprint Analysis (EFA)  More than a decade ago, Rees (1992) introduced Ecological Footprint Analysis (EFA), a quantitative tool that uses data on energy and material consumption and waste production to estimate the biophysical ‘load’ that any specified human population imposes on its supportive ecosystems (Rees & Wackernagel 1994; Rees 1996; Wackernagel and Rees 1996). While the three methods discussed above generate data on material flows and, in some cases, their connection to ecological impacts, the EFA is unique in that it associates the material demands of the human economy to the corresponding terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem area ‘appropriated’ to fulfill that demand.  Thus, the ecological footprint of a specified population is the total area of land and water ecosystems required to produce the resources that the population consumes and to assimilate (some of) the wastes that the population generates, wherever on earth the lands/waters are located (Rees 2001). EFA tables quantify the energy and material requirements of consumption and compute the ecosystem area upon which the consuming population is dependent for those resources. A population’s EFA (demand) can then be compared to readily available supply—i.e., the study population’s domestic bio-capacity (its productive land/water area). EFA thus provides a way to determine whether study populations are living within thei