5023.0: Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - Board 9

Abstract #28689

Examine the environmental impacts of globalization on members of the African Diaspora

Sacoby Wilson, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1000 Smith Level Road, Apartment C1, Carrboro, NC 27510, 9199602777, smwilson@email.unc.edu

Globalization is a massive effort to connect the world through policies of economic integration, internationalization of human communication systems and destabilization of the nation-state. Specifically, it is a movement to increase the economic stability of developing countries via the introduction of new export markets and global trade agreements that are intended to increase the financial well-being of poor individuals in these countries. Unfortunately, a direct effect of globalization is the degradation of the social and physical environments such as those in West Africa because there is an exploitation of human and natural resources by transnational corporations. Many global companies establish facilities in developing African countries that have laxed environmental laws, poor labor agreements and political instability, which take advantage of these conditions to increase their economic gains. However, this adversely impacts the environmental and social health of the host communities. Comparable siting patterns are visible in the Southern United States, where African-American communities are selected to host pollution-emitting facilities that have negative effects on the surrounding environment. This study will show that there are similar environmental hazards created by transnational corporations in African-American communities and communities in Western Africa. Specifically, a Geographic Information System (GIS)will be utilized to spatially examine the distribution and environmental impacts of transnational corporations in the Southern United States and developing nations in Western Africa from an environmental justice perspective.

Learning Objectives: Define globalization and understand its negative environmental impacts on developing countries in Africa Apply environmental justice principles to compare environmental inequities in the American South and West Africa Utilize Geographic Information Systems to spatially show environmental hazards in American South and West Africa

Keywords: Environmental Justice, Geographic Information Systems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 129th Annual Meeting of APHA