Ngos: Help Or Hindrance? Essay, Research Paper
NGOs: Help or Hindrance?
In his article, John McCormick establishes that the number of NGOs present in the world today probably exists well into the six figures (P. 60). Assuming that the role of NGOs is to keep governmental organizations in check when it comes to environmental issues, it frustrated me to think that there actually could be such problems with environmental issues. Certainly hundreds of thousands of such organizations must be able to regulate the environment in an efficient manner so to keep the major problems in check, right? But I soon learned that the NGOs themselves, are often corrupt in their cooperation and may actually hinder the regulation of environmental standards.
Before attacking these NGOs, their specific contributions to environmental protections must be established. It seems that NGOs made the most significant gains at and after the Stockholm conference. They established specific practices that were aimed at protecting the environment not only at national levels, but internationally. NGOs acted as liasons between nations with alternative views. Most importantly, these NGOs were established to communicate the goals of such conferences as Stockholm and the Brundtland Commission, and to pressure cooperating nations into achieving these goals without the type of pressure that would create chaos amongst the nations.
Key to the growth of NGOs was the rapid advancement of communication technology. Not only did these advances in communication help to build stronger bonds among NGOs, but it also spurred on the growth of umbrella bodies for smaller local organizations. The Phillipines alone have 18,000 NGOs (McCormick 59).
I find that this huge number of NGOs, while at first may seem beneficial, most likely act to oppose each other. In a country the size of the Phillipines, I find it hard to believe, however environmentally aware its people are, that there can exist so many separate groups fighting for a similar cause. Which brings me to the limitations of the NGOs. It seems that with so many organizations worldwide working towards bettering the environment, there lacks an overall unity binding the groups together to reach a common goal.
Just as governmental agencies have run into problems internationally when it comes to agreeing on environmental issues, NGOs have come across similar obstacles in their attempt to protect the environment. The usual rivalry of northern industrialized views opposing those of the emerging southern ideals can be seen at the level of NGOs as well. So now, instead of governments arguing over environmental restrictions and allowances, the NGOs have joined in the fight. Does this necessarilly help the situation? Most likely the answer is no. In fact, the NGOs may be acting as salt in wounds that are already bleeding.
Part of the problem with these differing views is the formations of Federations within the boundaries of international NGOs. While the joining of multiple NGOs does help to create better communication and points of contact, they also hinder ……..??
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