Attitudes Towards the Environment in Term Paper

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The Partido Revoluationario Institucional Party was an "enormous social network that reached the most remote parts of the country..." (Aerni, 2001) the PRI Party is accredited with having created "the largest public interest groups such as Unions, Farmer Organizations and Consumer Organizations and it somehow managed to keep the political influence of the powerful Catholic Church under tight control." (Aerni, 2001) in order to assess agricultural biotechnology and the environment from the view of developing countries it would also be necessary to asses the traditional crops grown in developing countries. For instance, Mexico begin modernizing its agriculture following World War II and established a research center CIMMYT which was an international research center for the improvement of corn and wheat and later added was high-yielding corn varieties. The agricultural revolution in the Philippines began when the International Rice Research Institute was established in the 1960s.

Stakeholder Perception of Domestic Problems in Agriculture and the Potential of Genetic Engineering in the Philippines

Source: (Aerni, 2001)

Stakeholder Perception of Domestic Problems in Agriculture and the Potential of Genetic Engineering in Mexico

Source: (Aerni, 2001)

Aerni (2001) states that the study states findings that three significant differences in "the perception of Mexican and Filipino respondents" are reported and specifically "Whereas the participants in the Philippines strongly agree that 'organic farming' in the Philippines (includes alternative plant breeding and alternative pest management) is a better strategy for resource-poor farmers to ensure their own food security, the Mexican participants seem to be indecisive in their judgment of the statement. " (Aerni, 2001) the same difference in view is applicable tot the statement that the "potential of pests to break the built-in resistance of pest-resistance crops questions the 'sustainability' of pest-resistant transgenic crops." (Aerni, 2001) Aerni (2001) points out that it was noted in this study that public confidence in stakeholders plays a very large role in environmental issues. The following chart shows the institutions and the level of public conference vested in these institutions by Mexican stakeholders.

Institutions and Public Confidence Rated by Mexican Stakeholders

Source: (Aerni, 2001)

The following chart illustrates the extent to which the listed groups exert an influence on public opinion in Mexico and the Philippines.

Assessed Influence on Public Opinion

Source: (Aerni, 2001)

In both Mexico and the Philippines, Academia is the acknowledged leader in the public debate surrounding agricultural biotechnology. The following chart illustrates the assessed influence of the listed organizations on the debate on agricultural biotechnology.

Assessed Influence on the Debate on Agricultural Biotechnology

Source: (Aerni, 2001) report published April 25th, 2006 by the World Public Opinion Research Organization states that a poll conducted in thirty countries finds that a worldwide consensus finds that climate change is a problem of a serious nature. As a matter of act in a poll of 33,237 individuals worldwide conducted by GlobeScan Incorporated between October 2005 and January 2006 states: "Across all countries, on average 90% say that 'climate change or global warming, due to the greenhouse effect' is a serious problem. Only three countries have less than eight in ten endorsing this view." (World Public Opinion Research Organization, 2006) the highest percentage of countries who state the climate change is not serious were: (1) the United States (21%); (2) Kenya (19%); (3) China (17%); and (4) Nigeria (16%). The following figure lists the countries in which the polls were conducted and the ratings of serious vs. not serious by individuals polled in those countries which were polled and listed in this study.

Climate Change: A Serious Problem or Not?

Source: GlobeScan Organization (2006)

March 13th 2007 report entitled: "Poll Finds a Worldwide Agreement that Climate Change is a Threat" states that conduction of an international poll reveals a "widespread agreement that climate change is a pressing problem." The survey was conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and World Public Opinion Org. And includes 17 countries, which represent more than 55% of the world population. The following chart indicates the response of each country in their views of global warming with the three responses given for them to choose from to include: (1) Until we are sure that it is really a problem, we should not take any steps that would have economic costs; (2) Should be addressed, but its effects will be gradual, so we can dealt with the problem gradually by taking steps that are low in cost; and (3) a serious and pressing problem. We should begin taking steps now even if this involves significant costs. (GlobeScan Organization, 2006)

Views of Global Warming

Source: BBC World Survey Poll (2007)

The following figure shows the 'Threat Assessment of Global Warming' by countries participating in the poll.

Threat Assessment: Global Warming

Source: BBC World Survey Poll (2007)

Findings of the survey reveal a great amount of concern related to the environment and when asked to rate the importance of several foreign policy goals seven countries stated, by an overwhelming majority in all countries that improving the global environment is "at least an important goal and majorities call it a 'very important' one. The results from those seven countries are as follows:

Australia - 99% (stating very important: 88%)

South Korea - 96% (stating very important: 66%)

The United States - 93% (stating very important 54%)

Armenia - 86% (stating very important: 54%)

China - 85% (stating very important: 54%)

Thailand - 83% (stating very important 61%)

India - 79% (stating very important: 51%) (BBC World Survey Poll, 2007)

In another poll conducted by BBC News entitled: "All Countries Need to Take Major Steps on Climate Change: Global Poll" states that the largest majority of the world hold the belief that strong action must be taken to address global warming in both developing and developed countries. This poll states that 22,000 individuals in 21 countries were polled for their responses concerning global warming and the environment. The report states that "an average of eight in ten (79%) say that 'human activity, including industry and transportation, is a significant cause of climate change." (BBC news World Service Poll, 2007) Participating countries in the poll reported by BBC News include those as shown in the following illustration.

Countries Participating in the BBC News Poll

Source: BBC World Survey Poll (2007)

Findings of the BBC Worldwide Survey Poll include the fact that the countries with largest majorities favoring taking major steps on climate change are in Europe (Spain, 91%; Italy, 86%; France 85%). Additionally stated in the findings is that overwhelmingly in favor of significant action are the Latin American countries of: Mexico (83%); Chile (78%); and Brazil (76%);


This work has clearly demonstrated that an erroneous belief is held by many who state the claim that developing countries are less interested in the environment and hold less interest in addressing environmental concerns than are other countries. Developing countries have been demonstrate by this study to have a great interest in environmental concerns and specifically as related to crop research and development for the purpose of developing better producing and hardier crops. Furthermore, the developing countries are just as concerned and attuned to climate change environmental impact of climate change as are the developed countries.


Dunlap, Riley E. (1994) International Attitudes Towards Environment and Development. In Helge Ole Bergesen and Georg Parmann (eds) Green Globe Yearbook of International Cooperation on Environment and Development 1994. Oxford University Press. 115-126. Online available at

Holl, Karen D. et al. (1999) Knowledge of and Attitudes Toward Population Growth and the Environment: University Students in Costa Rica and the United States. Environmental Conservation Journal 1999. Cambridge University Press 10 May, 2002.

Aerni, Phillip (2001) Public Attitudes Toward Agricultural Biotechnology in Developing Countries: A Comparison Between Mexico and the Philippines. STI Research Report. 2001 July. Harvard University. Online available at

30-Country Poll Finds Worldwide Consensus that Climate Change is a Serious Problem (2006) Concern Growing Sharply 25 Apr 2007. World Public Opinion Organization. Online available at

Poll Finds Worldwide Agreement that Climate Change is a Threat (2007) World Public Opinion Organization. 13 Mar 2007. Online available at

All Countries Need to Take Major Steps…

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