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Introduction

The aim of this report is to establish the linkages between the design and implementation of decentralization policies on the one hand, and the effects of those policies on poverty alleviation, equity, and environmental sustainability, on the other.

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Recent years have brought new evidence of a burgeoning water crisis in mainland Southeast Asia. Cycles of flash floods and droughts emerged as the most serious threat to Vietnam’s growing agricultural economy.

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The government of Lao PDR has recently promulgated a series of laws and policies governing the allocation and use of natural resources. These reforms have positive long-term implications for rural development and environmental protection.

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Since the 1960s, more than a million kilograms of deadly sodium cyanide has been squirted onto coral reefs in the Philippines to stun and capture ornamental aquarium fish. More recently a growing demand for larger reef food-fish has vastly increased the incidence and spread of cyanide-fishing.

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Resolving global environmental and economic problems requires a new kind of international cooperation among nations. Only if the Northern industrialized nations set their own houses in order can this cooperation be achieved.

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Widely recognized as a unique and authoritative assessment of the world's natural resouce base, the World Resources series has been praised as "a consumer's guide to the globe." Building on earlier editions, World Resources 1988-89 gives special attention to envi

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