Sustainable Development in Jamaica

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Achieving sustainable development in Jamaica is unattainable given the present cultural norms of the country. A recent study conducted by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) defines sustainable development as “a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are made consistent with the future as well as present needs of a nation. Sustainable development requires a country to be able to grow economically while protecting the natural environment at the same time, so that a stable relationship exists between human activities and the natural world. Cultural norms can be identified as the as the behaviour patterns that are specific to a particular group of people. Within this essay I will discuss three factors that are present in the cultural norms of the country, which makes the achievement of sustainable development in Jamaica unattainable.

Sustainable development in Jamaica is unattainable based on the continuous exploitation of our environmental resources, the rigorous impacts of globalization on the country’s economy and the poor social norms practiced by the citizens of the country. Firstly, the environmental resources of Jamaica are constantly being destroyed to facilitate the building of numerous structures, for example the tourist hotels along the island’s coastline. These buildings do not conform to the laws of nature because they call for the dumping of the ocean, deforestation and the improper use of land space which results in pollution.

The dumping of the ocean results in the death of marine life through water pollution, deforestation promotes the destruction of the ozone layer through the removal of trees and the improper utilization of land space by the citizens which promotes land pollution and squatting in inappropriate areas. These acts against the laws of nature hinders the country from achieving sustainable development because it results in the destruction of natural resources which cannot easily be rebuilt or replenished for present or future use.

Secondly, globalization also makes it impossible for Jamaica to achieve sustainable development. This is so because it gives foreigner investors’ opportunities to come to Jamaica, establish businesses, generate profit from these businesses and then relocate back to their home countries with the profits they have gained with very few, if any stipulations. Globalization also promotes free trade which results in trade imbalance for Jamaica because we are not able to export as much goods as we import; and thus Jamaicans have developed a preference for foreign goods.

It also promotes unemployment for Jamaican citizens through the utilization of foreigners to perform jobs which also results in brain drain. Globalization as resulted in a downfall in the economical status of Jamaica, this renders the island incapable of sustaining its development. Finally, the social norms practiced by Jamaicans also acts as a hindrance to the island’s ability to achieve sustainable development. This is true because Jamaicans have poor work ethics due to the fact that they lack timeliness, social unity and co-operation skills.

This results in the development of a “get rich quick mechanism. ” As a nation Jamaicans have also developed media madness and are easily influenced by what is seen, heard or read in the media. They have also began to devalue the educational system of the country and therefore, education no longer facilitates entrepreneurship within the country but instead engenders educated individuals to become employees rather than employers. The poor social norms of the country affect sustainable development and make it impossible for citizens to improve their lifestyles and experience a sense of comfort and well being.

In concluding, achieving sustainable development in Jamaica is unattainable due to the present cultural practices of exploiting environmental resources, the impacts of globalization and the poor social norms practiced within the country. These practices makes it impossible for Jamaicans to adopt lifestyles and developmental paths that respect and work within the limits of nature and thus renders the country incapable of promoting economical, social and physical growth while protecting the natural environment at the same time.

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