CHENNAI: The economic and technological developments around the world are having direct repercussions on the environment. What was once considered as localised environmental impacts, which could easily be rectified, have now become widespread effects which may soon be irreversible. Addressing this issue, a national symposium on ‘Contemporary issues in environmental economics’ was organised by the Loyola Economics Association for Development (LEAD) on Thursday.

“If the resilience of the ecosystem and other natural balances are disturbed, fundamental damage can be caused. The obligation to preserve the natural resources cannot, therefore, be wished away. The question is not one of preventing or eliminating environmental deterioration totally. The question is how to minimise it such that the future generations can live as well as we are,” said chief guest and expert, C Rangarajan, former chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister.

Answering the question of whether or not developing countries should pursue growth first and then solve environmental problems, he said, this concept is not maintainable because in most situations it is not possible to revert to the old state of affairs once certain things have been destroyed. Economists call this phenomenon — path-dependent equilibrium. It is necessary that ecological and growth concerns are addressed simultaneously.

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