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Edited by Dr Heinrich Wohlmeyer, Austrian Association for Agriculture Research and Vienna University of Agricultural Sciences, Austria and Theodor Quendler, Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning, and, Department of Landscape Architecture, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
ISBN 1 874719 45 4
The ambitious goal of this book is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of liberalised world trade, in particular in the agricultural sector, and to investigate to which extent the current WTO agreements provide the necessary fail-safe devices to react to trade-related negative impacts on sustainability, environmental protection and food security. The background and interrelationship between the WTO, the tenets of sustainable development and the unique features of the agriculture and forestry sectors are explored, and conclusions regarding the deficits of the world trade system and its conflicts with basic societal goals - such as sustainability - are drawn.
Agriculture and forestry have a particular affinity with what the authors call 'strong sustainability' and are to be one of the major agenda items in forthcoming WTO negotiations. The book proposes that sustainable agricultural production techniques such as integrated and organic farming provide a series of related services to community and environment which could be severely prejudiced by wholesale trade liberalisation and the imposition of the large-scale production methods of the mega-trade giants of the USA and Europe.
And yet the concept of sustainability is referred to only tangentially in the existing WTO agenda. The WTO, Agriculture and Sustainable Development argues that, without a formal recognition of this failing, the premise that free trade is inherently advantageous for all countries is a falsehood. Further, unfettered liberalisation is unsustainable and a social and environmental multilateral framework must be agreed to reinterpret or adapt a host of WTO regulations that are at odds with sustainable development.
1. Preliminary issues and basic considerations
Section 1: The current performance of the world trade system and the World Trade Organisation
2. The present legal basis of the world trade system
3. The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade and basic aspects of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
4. The producer support estimate and the aggregate measure of support: suitable gauges for evaluating agricultural and trade policy?
Section 2: The theory of international trade
5. A few remarks on trade theory
6. Free trade and its effects: some critical comments
Section 3: International trade: agricultural and environmental aspects
7. International trade on the rise: a brief introduction
Sigrid Stagl and Tobias Reichert
8. Sustainability: a challenge for future economic and social policy
Theodor Quendler and Bernd Schuh
9. Agriculture, trade and the environment
10. The special case of agriculture
11. Reasons for measures aimed at the stabilisation of production and markets in the agricultural sector
12. Important factors influencing future scenarios regarding food supplies, world population and environment
13. Environmental issues and their significance for agriculture and the food industry
Theodor Quendler and Tobias Reichert
14. Analysis of current developments in international agricultural trade
15. The World Trade Organisation and Agenda 2000
Section 4: Theoretical propositions for harmonising sustainable agriculture and free trade
16. Solutions within the existing theoretical framework: environmental and trade policy measures
17. Ecological economics as a new integrative approach
18. Conclusions and proposals for solutions
Theodor Quendler, Franz Weiß and Heinrich Wohlmeyer
19. Final remarks
List of abbreviations
The majority of the text in this book was translated from the original German into English by Renée von Paschen and Liese Katschinka.