Working Group on Development
The Working Group on Development and Environment in the Americas, founded in 2004, brings together researchers from Latin American countries to study the social and environmental impacts of economic liberalization. The goal of the Working Group Project is to contribute empirical research and policy analysis to the ongoing policy debates on national economic development strategies and international trade. Hosted by Tufts' Global Development and Environment Institute, the Working Group Project has completed three projects, with a fourth in the planning stages..
Globalization and the Environment: The first Working Group project, on the environmental impactsof trade liberalization, produced the policy report, Globalization and the Environment: Lessons from the Americas, which also appeared in Spanish. Based on a detailed set of case studies, which were collected into a book in Spanish, the report makes clear that economic liberalization has a poor record in promoting economic growth and environmental protection.
Globalization and Foreign Investment: Foreign investment is perhaps the most sought-after prize in trade negotiations, yet evidence suggests that trade agreements do not always bring foreign capital, and that foreign investment does not always spur economic development nor environmental improvements. The group produced a policy report 2008 (in English, Spanish, and Portuguees) and a book in 2009, Rethinking Foreign Investment for Sustainable Development: Lessons from Latin America, with a foreword by Jose Antonio Ocampo, that compiles the detailed case studies. In 2011, Working Group members Lyuba Zarsky and Leonardo Stanley published "Searching for Gold in the Highlands of Guatemala: Economic Benefits and Environmental Risks of the Marlin Mine."
Globalization and Agriculture: Based on seven detailed case studies, researchers analyze the limited promise of export agriculture for development and document the perils to small-scale farmers from rising imports. The report,The Promise and the Perils of Agricultural Trade Liberalization: Lessons from Latin America, was published in 2008, and the case studies were published in book form in Spanish in 2009.
Intellectual Property and Regional Integration: This collaborative study will address the relationship between expanded and strengthened Intellectual Property rights and national development strategies. Working Group experts will assess how Latin American countries can reconcile the demands for increased intellectual property protection with their obligations to protect public health and promote national economic development.
This web page is hosted by the Global Development and Environment
Institute (GDAE) at Tufts University in the United States, one of the
sponsors of the Working Group.