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Title: The investment promotion and environment protection balance in Ethiopia's floriculture : the legal regime and global value chain
Author: Stebek, Elias N.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 6784
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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The thesis examines the balance in the objectives of investment promotion in Ethiopia, i.e. the enhancement of development and well-being in the context of environmental sustainability. The flower sector is used for the purpose of thematic focus due to the tension that exists between the benefits in the enhancement of cut flower exports and the corresponding challenges in labour conditions, environmental compliance standards and in the sustainability of the economic benefits. In spite of the Ethiopian legal framework on sustainable development, many economic actors tend to pursue its weaker interpretation which is further debilitated by gaps in the institutional framework. There is thus the need for caveat against delinking investment promotion towards economic development from social wellbeing and environemntal sustainability which in the flower sector requires environmental mainstreaming (EM) and sustainability impact assessment (SIA) so that illusive economic benefits would not lead to irreversible environmental harm. It is argued that the contribution of investment promotion pursuits in Ethiopia’s flower sector towards sustainable development and rising standards of living depends upon the extent to which the sector moves towards sustainable floriculture which is drastically different from flower export boom that arises from unprotected soil and water resources. Three contradictions permeate the challenges toward sustainable floriculture in Ethiopia. The ownership profile and the marketing niche of flower farms under distress show that domestic-owned farms are the ones that are most severely hit by these challenges. The first contradiction arises from the tension among the three (economic, social and environmental) pillars of sustainable development and the institutional gaps despite laws that protect the environment. The second contradiction relates to the tension between the positive role of technoscience in sectors such as floriculture vis-à-vis its hegemonic features and the potential harm if it is improperly applied in developing countries. The third tension is attributable to the buyer-driven global value chain which requires social and environmental compliance standards in flower growing and meanwhile pushes down the profit margin of flower growers in developing countries like Ethiopia. This not only puts pressure on working conditions and the environment but also renders the economic benefits illusory and unsustainable. The research is based on sociological and legal inquiries, and also includes case study which involves in-depth interviews and on-site observations. The study, inter alia, recommends that hydroponics, integrated pest management and multimodal water sources ought to be encouraged in all new flower farms and future expansion projects. In the absence of such thresholds accompanied by enhanced competitiveness and effective institutional capabilities of regulation and governance, the flower export boom which results from unprotected soil and water resources is economically unsustainable and does not bring about social wellbeing and environmental sustainability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: YaʼItyop̣yā yagebrenā meremer ʼinestiteyut (Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research) (EIAR)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HC Economic History and Conditions ; K Law (General)