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International Business - "natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability"

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Of the 38 nations listed by the UN as the least developed nations, 16 are landlocked. How might being landlocked contribute to slower development?

Bodies of water, unlike mountains, deserts, and tropical forests, attract people and facilitate transportation. Water as a topographical feature is an important natural resource, necessary for life and critical for industry. Water is crucial for agriculture and manufacturing, the term is "virtual water" and its use is invisible to most consumers.

Bodies of water that are significant because they provide inexpensive access to markets in the interior of various nations are called inland waterways. Switzerland benefit of the Rhine waterway, which is a system of rivers and canals that is the main transportation artery of Europe. To illustrate the Rhine's significance, one-half of Switzerland's exports and three-fourths of its imports are pass through the city of Basel, the Swiss inland port.

In Africa, where 14 of the world's 20 landlocked developing countries are located, access to the coast is a major issue. Governments must construct costly, long truck routes and extensive feeder networks for relatively low volumes of traffic. Furthermore, governments in countries with coastlines through which the imports and exports of the landlocked nations must pass are in a position to exert considerable political influence.

Bolivia offers a good example of this struggle. It lost an outlet to the Pacific Ocean in the 1879-1883 War of the Pacific with Chile. Thus, Bolivia must ship through Arica, the free port in northern Chile, and inland waterways.

Comment on the potential of oil shale and oil sands as future energy sources.

The major oil sands are located primarily in Canada and in Venezuela. As unconventional oil development comes on-stream, oil sands and other sources of oil that is not easily recoverable, grouped together as heavy oil, are the future for oil companies. New deposits of oil sands have been discovered in Congo, as well. The sands, which contain bitumen, a tarlike crude oil, account for about 39 percent of Canada's crude oil production. Canadian reserves could meet global demand for about 5 years. Recent projections are that oil-sands production will move from 1.1 million barrels per day in 2006 to 3.0 million barrels per day by the years 2015. In addition, new technologies such as steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) enable producers to reach additional resources deeply located to mine from the surface.

Oil-bearing shale is fine-grained sedimentary rock that yields 25 liters or more of liquid hydrocarbons per ton of rock when heated to 500oC. The largest source of this material is the three-state area of Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming, in the United States. Oil recoverable from processed oil shale using existing technology is estimated to be at almost

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