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  1. 1

    Population and the environment: a cross-country exploration of deforestation in low income countries.

    Geores ME; Bilsborrow RE

    [Unpublished] [1991]. [35] p.

    In this paper we explore linkages between population growth and environmental degradation in low income countries, focussing on deforestation. The analysis is primarily based upon country-level data from 85 developing countries with 1990 populations of over one million, and is considered quite preliminary. At the outset it is important to acknowledge three major difficulties in examining these interrelations. First, the available data are suspect. We have used what appears to be the most comparable available data from various UN agencies and the World Resources Institute; however, environmental data are particularly weak for much of the developing world. In some of the developing countries, population and agricultural censuses--the major sources for cross-country data--are not regularly taken. Furthermore, rural populations are sometimes not separately reported by countries which do have a census. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    Tree farming and forest conservation in Chile: do replacement forests leave any originals behind?

    Clapp RA

    Society and Natural Resources. 2001; 14(4):341-356.

    Advocates of plantation forestry assert that tree farms "relieve the pressure" on natural forests. This article examines the assumptions implicit in the argument that expanding replacement forests will help preserve native forest ecosystems, and considers their validity in Chile, one of the nations most advanced in the transition from old-growth to plantation forestry. Exotic plantation forestry in Chile surpassed native forestry in production volumes in the 1960s, and has captured markets formerly supplied by Chile's native hardwoods. The economic pressure on the native forest, however, has been not relieved but exacerbated, because of the emergence of an international (mainly Japanese) market for low-value hardwood. In a world of plantations, native forests are valuable only during the lag between plantation establishment and maturation. Paradoxically, replacement forests may increase the vulnerability of native forests by relegating them to the role of a stopgap supply, alternating between overexploitation and abandonment. (author's)
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  3. 3

    Population-environment linkages. Executive summary.

    Population Resource Center

    Washington, D.C., Population Resource Center, [1989]. [4] p.

    A brief summary is provided of the population/environment linkages: population growth and environmental degradation, natural resources and world consumption patterns, food production, urbanization, and atmospheric and climate change. Simple cause and effect models are not possible, but there are numerous examples such as in Java where population grew from 25 to 95 million and resulted in 1 million hectares of land unusable for basic agriculture. The world population doubled in 40 years to 5.17 billion and is currently growing at the rate of 1.7% or 89 million persons/year. With continued declines in fertility, population may stabilize at 10.2 billion in 2190, of which 90% will live in the developing world. Population growth in one country or region affects another, e.g., tree cutting in Nepal and India leads to soil erosion and flooding in Bangladesh. Deforestation also leads to topsoil depletion, which is occurring at the rate of 26 billion tons/year. Deforestation destroys biological diversity. Although tropical forests make up only 6% of land area, 50% of plants and animal species with potential value in medicine, agriculture, and science inhabit these forests. 66% of original species in sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia have been destroyed. 7.3 million hectares of closed tropical forest are eliminated yearly, and 44 million hectares are degraded through logging. Fuelwood is being cut faster than supplies are being refurbished. Wetlands and 60% of grasslands are degraded. Deserts are appearing at the rate of 6 million hectares/year. Low income households contribute to this degradation. 25% of the world's population in the developed world consume 75% of commercial fuels, 71% of steel, 48% of grain, and 85% of forest products. 80% of world trade goes to 25% of the world's population. Natural resource depletion is enhanced by developing country governments in order to pay debts and provide employment. Food production increased by shifting forest and grasslands to crop or pasture land. Asia has successfully increased output by 85% with fertilizers, irrigation, and improved crop strains and increased croplands by only 4.2%, but cannot sustain these gains. 33% of the developing world population will reside in urban areas, and 66% of the existing urban population live in unacceptably polluted environments. Global warming and ozone depletion, serious concerns related to modernization, must be stopped.
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  4. 4

    Workshop report on human population dynamics and resource demand, 30 November - 1 December 1990. IUCN -- the World Conservation Union, 18th General Assembly, Perth, Australia.

    International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources [IUCN]. Social Sciences Division. Population and Natural Resources Programme

    Gland, Switzerland, IUCN, 1991. viii, 53 p.

    A report on a human population dynamics and resource demand workshop includes a discussion of 1) the ambiguities of sustainable development 2) implementing the principals of caring for the earth, 3) families, communities and sustainable use of natural resources with examples from Australia, Korea, Nepal, Colombia, and Burkina Faso, and priorities and followup action on population and natural resources. The Appendices contain brief accounts of the preassembly meetings, the workshop agenda, a list of participants, a concept paper on population and environment links, a resolution on human population dynamics and resource demand, a resolution on women and natural resource management, a report on the meeting on future orientations of The World Conservation Union's "women and the natural resource management program," and a list of papers available on request. Ambiguities pointed out, for example, by Dr. van den Oever were that population growth, which is a demographic phenomena, needs to be considered separately from resource consumption at high levels. Another distinction was made between decreasing the rate of population growth and stopping population growth entirely. Stable populations continue to grow until they become stationary. Another distinction was made between the demographic data available and the lack of similar data on natural resources such as trees, plants, or animals. Another, discussant, Professor Malin Falkenmark, noted the lack of attention paid to the single most important resource to sustain life, water. In order to implement principles of caring for the earth, universities and students must become more involved in advocacy and in the real world. Policy decisions are difficult to make in Pakistan. Americans think that their own over-consumption needs to be checked before they can interfere in developing countries. The priorities are population growth, dealing with the inequities between rich and poor, resource consumption, and not ignoring the southern developing countries while eastern Europe currently receives attention.
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  5. 5

    Establishing a national policy framework for biodiversity conservation.

    World Resources Institute; World Conservation Union [IUCN]; United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP]; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO]; UNESCO

    In: Global biodiversity strategy: guidelines for action to save, study, and use Earth's biotic wealth sustainably and equitably, [compiled by] World Resources Institute [WRI], World Conservation Union [IUCN], United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP], in consultation with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO], UNESCO. [Washington, D.C.], WRI, 1992. 37-54.

    It is at the local level where people forfeit or preserve biodiversity. Yet government policies develop incentives that either help or restrain local action. Even though governments tend to intervene in markets for a variety of reasons (e.g., encourage industrial growth), many development policies do not value environmental resources and sometimes accelerate depletion of natural resources and biodiversity loss. They even encourage overexploitation of species, alteration of natural environments, and oversimplistic agricultural ecosystems. It makes economic and ecological sense to reform these policies. For example, governments which subsidize individuals for using natural resources strains national economies and hinders development. Industrialized countries subsidize agriculture at an annual cost of US$150 billion from the outlay of consumers and taxpayers although it drains the environment. 57% of the European Community's budget supports agricultural prices whereas only 1% goes to protect the environment. Indonesia lost US$2 billion between 1979-82 due to its forest policies. Therefore investments in biodiversity conservation more than compensates for savings due to policy reforms. National resource and trade policies must consider biodiversity's potential benefits which include enhanced food security, economic development, and improved medical care. Thus countries need to reform public policies that decrease or misuse biodiversity. These existing policies include forestry, coastal and marine ecosystems, freshwater ecosystems, and agricultural policies. They also need to approve new public policies and accounting methods that encourage conservation and equitable use of biodiversity. Countries must provide widespread access to family planning services and more funding to promote family planning use and reduce consumption through recycling and conservation.
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  6. 6

    Issues and questions.

    Kirdar U

    In: Change: threat or opportunity for human progress? Volume V. Ecological change: environment, development and poverty linkages, edited by Uner Kirdar. New York, New York, United Nations, 1992. 1-10.

    Even though we have improved human well-being over the last 30 years, poverty continues to thrive. Overproduction, consumption, and poverty pose serious threats to our entire planet and ecological systems. Scientists and policymakers are beginning to understand that elimination of poverty and sustaining the environment are connected in a complex manner. Nevertheless, the financial and policy commitments to change the ecological unsustainable actions needed for short-term survival of the almost 500 million poor people in the world fall behind awareness. Overproduction and consumption, especially in industrialized countries, is a leading reason why the environment continues to deteriorate. In developing countries, the leading reasons are poverty and limited economic opportunities. Thus, as developing countries become more developed, they must integrate environmental protection into development. Rising levels of carbon dioxide caused by combustion of fossil fuels is increasing the earth's temperature, which if left unchecked, will eventually expand our oceans. Deforestation is occurring at an alarming rate in developing countries, due to increased demand for tropical hardwoods by developed countries and the poor expanding land for agricultural purposes. Rapid population growth strains the natural resources of a country, resulting in deforestation, soil degradation, and reduced water supplies. Both industrialized and developing countries agree that global action and cooperation are needed to achieve sustainable development. Convincing lobbying efforts of nongovernmental organizations, conservationist groups, the media, and think-tanks, not governments, are responsible for putting environment and development at the top of the agenda. Governments and citizens recognize that many environmental issues cross international borders, e.g., air and water pollution. A broad consensus on many issues exist for global development, ranging from protection of the atmosphere to protection of human health.
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  7. 7

    The role of population growth in global warming.

    Bartiaux F; van Ypersele JP

    In: International Population Conference / Congres International de la Population, Montreal 1993, 24 August - 1st September. Volume 4, [compiled by] International Union for the Scientific Study of Population [IUSSP]. Liege, Belgium, IUSSP, 1993. 33-54.

    Global warming is a relatively new issue for demographers, although many theories link population growth to environmental impact. There are different ways to quantify the responsibilities for global warming, and, by presenting a set of scenarios, it is possible to assess the roles of various factors. The topic of population and climate has been avoided since publication of a 1915 claim that certain climates are conducive to high levels of civilization. The link between population and the food supply has been of continual concern, however, since the time of Confucius. Recent studies of the connection between family planning and environmental degradation conclude that simply slowing growth will not provide a short-term solution. Some attempts to quantify the links between population and climate change have been relatively simple, such as comparisons between less developed (LDC) and more developed (MDC) countries' fossil fuel-derived carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, or CO2 emissions from deforestation, or per capita CO2 emission. Others have been more complex, including developing an index of various greenhouse gases called the "Greenhouse Warming Potential." This index has been criticized by 2 Indian scientists who propose that natural sinks to absorb pollution should be assigned each country on the basis of population, with the share of pollution to be based on any excess. Another complex quantifier is the Ehrkich-Holden equation, I = PAT, where I is negative impact on the environment, P is population size, A is affluence, and T is environmental impact/quantity of consumption. The problem with the use of this equation lies in aggregation; it must be applied to a homogeneous region to yield useful indicators. The equation also ignores the impact of international trade. Tabulation of annual CO2/capita emissions for 9 regions of the world in 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, and 1990 and, for the same time periods, tabulation of the role of population growth in past CO2/capita consumption in MDCs and LDCs are variously assigned 1950 values which are compared to real annual data, lead to following conclusion. Population increase in LDCs contributed much less to CO2 emissions than did consumption and population increases in MDCs. This would argue for an emphasis on changing consumption habits in MDCs to reduce CO2 emissions and allow population growth to be checked to achieve sustainable development. As demographers become familiar with the debate on global warming, they can apply their techniques to place the role of population in its proper perspective.
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  8. 8

    [To be as they are] Essere come loro.

    Galeano E

    RIVISTA DELL'INFERMIERE. 1992 Jan-Mar; 11(1):43-7.

    The Third World emulates the First World of development by taking the same road to modernization out of backwardness. However, if the poor countries achieve the level of production of rich countries, the planet will perish. It is already gravely damaged by industrial civilization's consumer society. In the last 20 years, while the population has tripled, erosion has destroyed the equivalent of the whole cultivable area of the United States. 15 million hectares of forests are lost every year, and 6 million are transformed into deserts. the result is destruction of the Amazon tropical forests, deforestation for beef production in Costa Rica to serve the US McDonald's chain, indiscriminate pesticide use, and unbridled consumption of energy and natural resources (the consumption of one northern American equals that of 50 Haitians). The richest countries that make up 6% of the world's population consume 1/3 of all energy and natural resources. The massive application of the American way of life could lead to the collective suicide of humanity. In the US, unlimited consumption has resulted in more working hours and the doubling of stress in the last 20 years, with consumption of almost half of the tranquilizers sold worldwide according to WHO data. Urban air pollution is horrendous in Mexico City, and toxic fumes from cars without catalyzers burning unleaded gas pollute Latin American capitals. Crime and violence abetted by television shows is rampant. The cholera epidemic in February 1991 at the Peruvian coast and in Lima killed 100 people in a few days because of a lack of serum owing to reduced health care outlays. The costs of progress in Latin America include lopsided and strained development (45% of Chile's people live in poverty compared to 20% in 1970). A 1990 article in the magazine Stern about Germany's economic production indicated that the damage caused equals 1/4 of the gross national product.
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  9. 9

    Drafts: Agenda 21, Rio Declaration, Forest Principles.

    United Nations Conference on Environment and Development [UNCED] (1992: Rio de Janeiro)

    [New York, New York], United Nations, 1992. [500] p.

    Drafts of Agenda 21 of the Rio Declaration on Forest Principles is a massive and detailed account in 4 parts: 1) the preamble and the social and economic dimensions, 2) conservation and management of resources for development, 3) strengthening the role of major groups, and 4) means of implementation. There are 40 chapters largely devoted to issues concerning management of water resources. The Appendix includes the Adoption of Agreements on Environment and Development note by the Secretary General of the Conference and the Proposal by the Chairman of the Preparatory Committee of May 7, 1992; 27 principles were agreed upon. Also included is the nonlegal binding authoritative statement of principles for a global consensus on the management, conservation, and sustainable development of all types of forests by the Secretary General and the preamble and principles. Part I is concerned with international cooperation in increasing sustainable development in developing countries, the reduction of poverty, the change in consumption patterns, demographic dynamics, the protection and promotion of human health conditions, the promotion of sustainable human settlement development, and the integration of the environment and development in decision making. Part II includes atmosphere protection, integration of planning and management of land resources, deforestation, managing fragile ecosystems, conservation of biological diversity, protection of the oceans, seas, and coastal areas as well as a rational use of resources, protection of freshwater resources, environmental sound management of hazardous wastes and solid wastes and sewage, and safe and environmentally sound management of radioactive wastes. Part III is devoted to the preamble, global action for women, children and youth in sustainable development, recognition and strengthening of the role of indigenous people and communities, strengthening nongovernmental organizations, local authorities initiatives in support of Agenda 21, strengthening workers and trade unions, the scientific and technological community, and strengthening the role of farmers. Part IV identifies financial resources and mechanisms, environmentally sound technology transfer, science, promotion of education and public awareness, international institutional arrangements, international legal instruments and mechanisms, and information for decision making.
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  10. 10

    Human appropriation of the products of photosynthesis.

    Vitousek PM; Ehrlich PR; Ehrlich AH; Matson PA

    BIOSCIENCE. 1986 Jun; 36(6):368-373.

    Earth's resources are consumed by one of its 5-30 million species, homo sapiens or man, at a rate disproportionately greater than any other species. Man's impact on the biosphere is measured in terms of net primary production (NPP). NPP is the amount of energy remaining after the respiration of primary producers (mostly plants) is subtracted from the total amount of biologically fixed energy (mostly solar). Human output is determined by 1) the direct NPP used for food, fuel, fiber, or timber, which yields a low estimate, 2) all NPP of cropland devoted to human activity, and 3) both 1) and 2) and land conversion for cities or pastures as well as conversion which results in desertification and overuse of lands. This last output determination yields a high estimate. Calculations are made for global NPP and each of the 3 estimates of low, intermediate, and high human output. Data are based on estimates by Ajtay et al., Armentano and Loucks, and Houghton et al. and on the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) summaries. Petagram (Pg) is used to calculate organic matter; this is equivalent to 10 to the 15th power grams or 10 to the 9th power metric tons. Carbon has been converted to organic matter by multiplying by 2.2. Matter in kilocalories has been converted to organic matter by dividing by 5. Intermediate or conservative estimates have been included. The standard of biomass is 1244 Pg and an annual NPP to 132.1. The NPP of marine and freshwater ecosystems is considered to be 92.4 Pg, which is a low estimate. The low calculation of human (5 billion persons) consumption of plants at a caloric intake of 2500 kilocalories/person/day is .91 Pg of organic matter, which equals .76 Pg of vegetable matter. The global production of human food is 1/7 Pg for grains and for human and livestock fed, or .85 Pg of dry grain material and .3 Pg in nongrain dry material with dry grain material and .3 Pg in nongrain dry material with a subtraction of 20% for water content. 34% or .39 Pg is lost to waste and spoilage. Consumption by livestock, forest usage, and aquatic ecosystems is computed. The overall estimate for human use if 7.2 Pg of organic matter/year or 3% of total NPP/year. The intermediate figures take into account, cropland, pastureland, forest use, and conversion; the overall estimate of human use is 42.6 Pg of NPP/year of 19.0% (42.6/224.5) of NPP (30.7% on land and 2.2% on seas). The high estimate yields human use of 58.1 Pg/year on land or 40% (58.1/149.6) of potential land productivity or 25% (60.1/149.8 + 92.4) of land and water NPP. The remaining 60% of land is also affected by humans. The figures reflect the current patterns of exploitation, distribution, and consumption of a much larger population. These patterns amount to using >50% of NPP of land; there must be limits to growth.
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  11. 11

    Beyond "vasectomies for groceries": a rejoinder to Joseph Fletcher.

    Bello W

    FOCUS. 1993; 3(2):43, 47-50.

    Rebuttal is made to a theory that developed countries should not provide famine relief to countries whose population size has exceeded their carrying capacity and that developing countries must also accept contraceptives and encourage vasectomies to receive development aid. This view is based on assumptions and arguments that more than 10 years of research, analysis, and informed debate have made anachronistic. 20% of the world's population who live in developed countries consume 80% of the Earth's resources. At present levels of consumption and waste, the 57 million people born in developed countries in the 1990s. Japan has few natural resources and limited agricultural capacity and, thus, has already exceed its carrying capacity. Still it has one of the world's highest standards of living and a high degree of ecological stability. Japan has displaced its resources and environment costs to less wealthy and less powerful countries. Japan's demand for tropical woods, for example, is responsible for rapid deforestation in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos. It exports its industrial pollution to developing countries, largely by relocating pollution intensive heavy and chemical industries to other Asian countries. Population growth is not the leading reason for the famines in the Sahel. Global climactic change, conflict between the superpowers in the Horn of Africa, and export agriculture (e.g. during the 1984-1985 famine, Ethiopia exported green beans to England) contributed greatly to these famines. To reduce fertility rates, society must work to raise living standards, cultivate equality, and people's control over their lives, and improve women's status. Sri Lanka, China, and the Indian state of Kerala are examples of how political commitment to social welfare, including a commitment to increasing women's status, contributed to sizable reductions in population growth despite only moderate levels of per capita income.
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  12. 12

    Our country, the planet: forging a partnership for survival.

    Ramphal S

    Washington, D.C., Island Press, 1992. xxi, 291 p.

    The only person to serve on all 5 independent international commissions on global issues (e.g., the Brundtland Commission on Environment and Development) analyzes and compares scientific research to reveal the nature and magnitude of human excesses and their inherent dangers. He proposes recommended solutions from other international organizations. He urges us to achieve these solutions during a new era of enlightened change beginning with an Earth Charter at the June 1992 Conference on Environment and Development. This era depends on political will and the will of the people to accept and adopt long-term programs to protect the planet and to secure equitable access to its resources (i.e., a revolution in human consciousness). Sustainable development is based on needs, particularly those of the Earth's poor, and environmental limits. The rich tend to live in the industrialized countries of the North and account for 25% of the world's population, yet they consume 80% of commercial energy (i.e., burning of fossil fuels). In 1991, the world's worst polluter, the US, did not commit to stabilizing or reducing carbon dioxide output coming from consumption of fossil fuels. Since this consumption is almost entirely responsible for global pollution, the North must curb energy consumption. The author also petitions the North to help the South defeat poverty--the world's worst polluter, because the environment and world development are interconnected. He proposes a multilateral program comparable to the Marshall Plan implemented after World War II. The example of clearing tropical forests for timber exports and farming illustrates how poverty contributes to environmental pollution (e.g., it contributes to the build up of carbon dioxide, thereby threatening our atmosphere).
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  13. 13

    The third revolution: environment, population and a sustainable world.

    Harrison P

    London, England, I.B. Tauris, 1992. xi, 359 p.

    Crisis sometimes spurs revolutions. The revolution that needs impetus is sustainable development. The issues of rapid population growth, consumption and technology, and environmental destruction are complex. Overstating the importance of population growth is no better than ignoring it as an important factor. Five village case studies reflect empirical evidence of the nature of the problems: Musoh, Malaysia; Ranomafana, Madagascar; Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire; Kalsaka, Burkina Faso; and Hatia Island, Bangladesh. The example in Malaysia reflects the myth that forest people do not put pressure on the environment, which is only true when population density and consumption are low and technology is limited to sticks and blowpipes. Various theses about population are traced from Robert Wallace, William Godwin, and Thomas Malthus through critics such as William Hazlitt, Karl Marx, Henry George, and into the modern period of Ester Boserup, Paul Ehrlich, Dennis Meadows, and Paul Simon. The result is ideological chaos. The author reflects on the growth of the environmental crisis, the shortages of food, fertile land, energy, and minerals, and the state of biological diversity. The Madagascar example, illustrates past creative processes and present destructive ones. Deforestation, forest adjustments, land degradation, marginal people and areas are considered. Burkina Faso exemplifies how soil erosion can be stopped with appropriate use of technology on marginal slopes, but the balance between population and resources is lacking. In the Cote d'Ivoire example, author reflects on the growth of nonagricultural work, urbanization, the environmental impact of cities, solid waste generation and disposal, polluted waters, and atmospheric pollution. On Hatia Island population density, harsh environmental conditions, and cultural patterns which place women in inferior positions show the nature of poverty and interaction with population growth, which is exacerbated by natural disaster. A general theory of impacts is proposed based on Barry Commoner's concepts and charted. The options for action are identified. Shakespeare's Hamlet syndrome is referred to in the hope that action is not delayed until almost too late.
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  14. 14

    The case that the world has reached limits.

    Goodland R

    In: Population, technology, and lifestyle: the transition to sustainability, edited by Robert Goodland, Herman E. Daly, Salah El Serafy. Washington, D.C., Island Press, 1992. 3-22.

    Population multiplied by per capita resource consumption denotes the total flow (throughput) of resources from the ecosystem to the economic subsystem, then return to the ecosystem as waste. The global ecosystem's source and dump uses have a finite capacity to support the economic subsystem, so throughput growth does not lead to sustainability. The major limit to throughput growth is fossil energy use. The human economy now uses around 40% of the net primary product of photosynthesis and with a doubling of the world's population that figure rises to 80%. The 2nd evidence of limits is global warming resulting from carbon dioxide buildup caused by burning fossil fuels (beginning with the Industrial Revolution) and by deforestation. The hole in the ozone layer is evidence of the planet's limits to absorb chlorofluorocarbon pollution. Ultraviolet B radiation enters through this hole posing an increased risk of depressed immune systems, skin cancer, and declining crop yields and marine fisheries. Decreased productivity of the land caused by soil erosion, salination, and desertification is the 4th evidence of limits. Population growth and activity have already decreased the earth's biodiversity. Developing countries exceed limits because their populations are so large (77% of the world's total) and continue to grow faster than they can provide for themselves (90% of world's population growth). Yet developed countries consume more than 70% of the world's commercial energy. Reducing poverty, educating girls, improving women's status, and meeting the unmet demand for family planning would curb population growth. Qualitative development must replace quantitative throughput growth to achieve sustainability. We can do so by accelerating technical improvements in resource productivity (producing more with less), reducing population growth, and redistributing resources (e.g., technology transfer) and wealth from developed to developing countries.
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  15. 15

    An economic justification for rural afforestation: the case of Ethiopia.

    Newcombe KJ

    In: Environmental management and economic development, edited by Gunter Schramm and Jeremy J. Warford. Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989. 117-38.

    The UN Development Programme/World Bank assessment of the Ethiopian energy sector in 1983 recognized the large gap between supply and demand of firewood and the need for a massive afforestation effort to reduce the imbalance. For the great majority of rural settlements, the use of modern petroleum fuels is fiscally inconceivable. There are 5 stages of ecological transition in Ethiopian smallholder systems until almost all tree cover is removed, and a high proportion of the cow dung produced is sold for cash in urban markets. Soil erosion is dramatic and nutrient-rich topsoil is much depleted. There is a total collapse in the production of organic matter. Peasants abandon their land in search of food, and starvation is prevalent. Evidence in the direction of the terminal state is seen in the fact that firewood in Addis Ababa has increased at the rate of 9%/year during the past decade. The 1981-82 Ethiopian livestock census estimated the total cattle population at 24.6 million. Dung production was estimated at roughly 23.2 million tons. A survey of fuels found that in some towns in Eritrea and Tigrai up to 90% of total household cooking is done with dung transported from the rural hinterland. In the present marketplace, dung returns more money when sold as fuel than it does when used as a fertilizer to produce additional grain. Nevertheless, rural afforestation produces a fuel of higher quality for less than 1/4 of the cost of the dung. In economic terms, in rural areas afforestation is justified in order to replace dung with wood as fuel. Dung could then be used as fertilizer. There is a 35-70% economic rate of return based on the costs of planting trees and the net productive increment in grain production from the retention of dung as a fertilizer. Afforestation programs provide an attractive medium to longterm rural development strategy with important benefits of added energy supplies, increased agricultural output, and environmental protection.
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  16. 16

    Population as a cause of global warming.

    Carr R

    [Unpublished] [1990]. [4] p.

    Global warming is caused by greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activities. Carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), nitrous oxide, and low level ozone trap the earth's infrared heat in the atmosphere thereby increasing global temperatures. The adoption of the Montreal Protocol on phasing out CFCs leaves carbon dioxide and methane as major contributors to global warming. 1/2 of greenhouse emissions consist of carbon dioxide, mostly from fossil fuels and deforestation. Deforestation is caused by fuelwood needs of 2 billion people, slash-and-burn agricultural expansion, and cattle ranching, particularly in Central and Latin America. Methane emission increased by 11% in the 1980s, mainly from rice paddies and cattle. At the current 1.7% rate of population growth the world's population may exceed 10 billion by the middle of the 21st century. With only 5% of the world's population the US emits 24% of greenhouse gases. However, by 2030 the increased population in less developed countries will contribute twice the amount of emissions than the added population in developed countries, as they are emulating a higher standard of living with more energy use. China's share could mount, as it has embarked on quadrupling economic production by 2000. There are about 500 potential contraceptive acceptor women in the developing world who need supplies and information, but these countries lack the funds. Provided worldwide contraceptive prevalence increases from 45% to 71% by 2025 the total population will stabilize at 10.2 billion. Otherwise, it could soar to 14 billion within a century with unforeseen environmental repercussions.
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  17. 17

    A forum: how big is the population factor?

    Sadik N; Wattenberg BJ; Daly HE; Commoner B; McHugh JT; Singh K

    EPA JOURNAL. 1990 Jul-Aug; 16(4):29-33.

    6 protagonists responded to the issue of population growth and its likely ramifications: Nafis Sadik, Ben J. Wattenberg, Herman E. Daily, Barry Commoner, James T. McHugh, and Karan Singh. Sadik stated that at the current rate of growth the world's population could double in 40 years. In 1990 the total reached 5.3 billion with the addition of another 92 million people that year. At this rate the number could reach 6.25 billion by 2000, 8.5 billion by 2025, and 10-11 billion before leveling off around 2085 with 96% of this growth in the developing countries. The African rate of growth of 3-4% cancels out development programs. The present signs of environmental stress include the impairment of the ozone layer, acidification, depletion of rain forests, and erosion. According to Wattenberg the problem is not population, it is culture, what people do that makes the difference. In south Korea, Indonesia, India, China, Brazil, and Mexico there have been major decreased in fertility since the early 1960s. Free market opportunities with family planning offer the solution. Daly opined that affluence was the main environment problem. Poverty induces higher fertility and environmental degradation; the specter of the consumption level of the average Indian rising to the levels of the average Swede looms; thus the consumption of industrial countries must be reduced. Commoner declared that the demographic transition as it had occurred in developed countries explains population growth as a result of improved living conditions and reduced mortality before fertility plummets because of even higher living standards. The economies of developing countries must be strengthened to eliminate poverty whereby they can attain stable populations. Cooperation among nations, enhancement of human life and dignity, and intensified efforts to provide family planning were advocated by the others.
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  18. 18

    Stress on land resources: is population the main cause?

    Parikh JK

    [Unpublished] [1992]. 11 p.

    Population growth in many developing countries puts stress on land and natural resources. On the other hand, the ever-increasing material comforts of affluent lands also cause severe stress on the environment. There are wide differences in livestock productivity levels: 748 kg of milk/cow in developing and 3469 kg of milk/cow in developed countries, respectively. Meat production is 154 kg vs. 228 kg/cow. Although in 1988, 76% of the world's population resided in developing countries, their share of cereals consumption was 52%, and their meat and milk consumption levels were 36% and 28%, respectively, of the world's total. However, 71% more animals are used in developing countries to produce these meat and milk consumption requirements. India and China with 50% of the world's population are below the average per capita and overall consumption levels of developing countries. The disparities of consumption levels increase from a factor of 3 to 20 and more for iron, steel, gasoline, and electricity. In the short run population growth inhibits economic development and per capita consumption producing less environmental stress. Consumption of land-based products such as meat, milk, sawn wood, paper and fertilizer by the developed countries is more much profligate than in developing countries. The problems of deforestation and soil erosion are problems of poverty and backwardness. Present land and livestock resources are adequate to furnish 59% and 70% of needs, respectively, if technology could be improved. The environmental pressure exerted by the developing countries could be further reduced by improved productivity in agriculture and in animal husbandry. Although population growth by itself is not the cause of land-related environmental stress, reducing the population growth rate is desirable to lessen the severity of problems in future.
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  19. 19

    Land use and management in PR China: problems and strategies.

    Cai Y

    LAND USE POLICY. 1990 Oct; 7(4):337-50.

    The conflict between population and land in China results from high population density, declining availability of arable land, decrease in cropland, overgrazing, inability to afford imported grain, and expansion of land use for urbanization. Unwise decisions have been made. These decisions have resulted in land degradation, soil erosion, deforestation, degradation of grasslands, waste of land for freight storage or waste disposal due to low grain prices, and nonagricultural constructions on croplands. Ineffective land management problems are identified as: 1) the lack of an economic means of guiding land use and land is not valued; the lack of any mechanism to ensure economic land use including public lands which are not accounted for with rent; 2) the lack of integration of departments into the decision making structure and too many departments making decisions about the same land; 3) the lack of choice in land use which results in higher government departments being unaware of local conditions, and the lack of appropriate investment which results in short-term exploitation; and 4) surveys are inadequate for decision making. The strategies suggested for improvement in land use management include low resources expenditure in production and appropriate goods consumption. The goal is to sustain subsistence with gradual improvement through development. Land resources must be conserved and the environment protected. The solutions to depend on food imports or reduce the nutritional level deny the equally plausible solution to generate a higher level of input. The profit motive and scientific agricultural practices could accomplish this end. Reclamation for cropland is possible for 8 million hectares of wasteland in wide areas in Sanjiang Plain and 3.4 million hectares in small pockets in Eastern Monsoon China. Traditional agriculture must be transformed and an optimum scale of land operation established. Land tenure reform is necessary. Regional conditions must prevail as the guiding principles. Several implementation strategies are suggested: controlling population growth and establishing a balance between expenditure and land productivity, expanding and conserving forest areas, increasing agricultural investment, reforming land tenure, adjusting land product prices, strengthening land administration, developing other industries, and reforming economic and political systems.
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  20. 20

    Burning the Third World's last tree.

    Barber B

    WASHINGTON POST. 1990 Dec 30; C2.

    Deforestation for fuel wood was on the rise again after 1973 oil price increases. Between 1976-86, the use of wood for fuel increased 35%. In 1987, 50% of the world's population were using wood for cooking and heating. 1.7 cubic meters/year of wood are burned. The energy use equivalent in oil would be 21 million barrels of oil/day. The example is given of Costa Ricans return to wood use from electric stoves after the oil price increases of 1979. Current high oil prices again can only mean greater wood use. The tobacco and tea industry have also switched to wood and then to dry products due to oil price increases. Past patterns of use coupled with increased population and higher inflation and debt means a greater impact. Deforestation for agricultural use in the 1990s is expected to be >370 million acres. 40-50 million acres/year are burned mostly for agricultural use, but the next largest use is for fuel wood. In the US, 20% of forests are used for fuel and the remainder for industry, while in developing countries, 95% of energy comes from biomass, usually wood. In India and China, animal and crop residues are used for fuel instead of for soil fertilization. Wood is also wasted to produce charcoal. Deforestation in Thailand may have resulted in a decrease in rainfall; erosion occurs when rain comes. Wood burning also contributes to increases in carbon dioxide which cause global warming. When plantings equal burnings, carbon levels remain constant. The present ration in Latin America is 10 trees cut to every 1 planted, in Asia the ratio is 5 to 1, in Africa 29 to 1. 1.5 billion people over cut forests, and 125 million either cannot find enough wood or cannot afford it; by 2000, 2.8 billion will be short of fuel wood. Biomass burning also contributes to buildup of methyl chloride, which adds chloride to the atmosphere and the destruction of the ozone layer. The amount released is estimated at 26% emitted by the Third World. Amazon forest burning should cease by 1995 and biomass burning reduced by 50% over the next 15-20 years. The return to wood means lower living standards. The hope is that technology will generate more efficient wood-burning stoves or replacement fuel.
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  21. 21

    New approaches for environmental management.

    Mohrmann JC

    Development. 1992; (2):17-21.

    A Vice President of the Society for International Development discusses practical ways to manage the environment by developing and executing an ecologically sustainable policy on food and energy. Despite the abundance of international declarations and guidelines since 1972, many ecological tragedies have taken place: drought in Africa; chemical leak in Bhopal, India; and nuclear fallout from a nuclear reactor in Chernobyl in the former USSR. Deforestation; burning of fossil fuels; release of methane from rice planting, cattle farming, and waste dumps; release of chlorofluorocarbons are all contributing to the rising temperature of the planet's atmosphere. Reforestation is needed to break down excess carbon dioxide. Local development projects and universal development strategies are needed to solve this great ecological problem. The only sustainable solution to the food problem includes a definition of ecological limits for international and national agricultural policies and development and use of agricultural techniques that guarantee a sustainable food supply. In industrialized countries, farmers must reduce agricultural overproduction and use less intensive production methods to protect soil and ground water. We must begin rational consumption of energy and using alternative forms of energy such as wind, water, and sun. These efforts require considerable financial, human, and technical resources through international cooperation. A multidisciplinary approach is needed to implement various alternative supply models. We must return to regional and local planning and action and also establish an orderly transfer of technology and research by improving education, communication, and training. This transfer cannot be a 1-way transfer, however. The European Common Market is an example of international cooperation to address common problems.
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  22. 22

    Energy issues and opportunities.

    Reddy AK

    In: The global possible: resources, development, and the new century, edited by Robert Repetto. New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 1985. 363-95. (World Resources Institute Book)

    Policymakers in developing countries must orient environmentally sound energy strategies toward their needs so that they rely only on themselves for those needs. Policymakers in developed countries should make their energy strategies be economically stable, environmentally safe, and strategically secure. The domination of oil worldwide is a relatively recent occurrence. In 1973, the oil exporting countries imposed an embargo which raised oil prices, caused an oil scarcity, and panicked oil markets. This forced many developed nations to cut back on oil consumption but oil resources will still deplete. People in developing countries depend on fuelwood which they are depleting rapidly. Oil prices exclude most of the population here. This results in deforestation, erosion, and desertification in developing countries. Nuclear power is an energy source that poses concerns over reactor safety and radioactive waste disposal in developed countries. Fossil fuel use degrades the planet. Vital interests of developed countries in outside territories make for global insecurity and a threat of nuclear war. This condition results in nuclear weapons proliferation. Thus they need to lessen their dependence on foreign oil and develop their own energy sources. Yet energy is needed now to grow and to distribute crops to stave off malnutrition. To reduce energy demands, population growth must slow down, but energy is needed to stimulate population decline. Thus nations must adopt energy strategies to bring about sustainable development worldwide. These strategies should disassociate energy consumption from gross national product and incorporate improvements in efficiencies of energy end use technologies. National policies must bring energy prices in line with marginal costs to allow markets to work better. Governments should also eliminate subsidies to energy producers. Energy service industries which market conservation technologies and services would also conserve energy. International cooperation is needed to improve energy conservation and cease nuclear proliferation.
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  23. 23

    Biology and the balance sheet.

    Meadows D; Rothenberg J; Sinai A; Wilson EO; Myers N

    EARTHWATCH. 1992 Jul-Aug; 6-9.

    For the past several decades ecologists and economists have been engaged in a debate. Ecologists have a philosophy that is based on the belief that the carrying capacity of the Earth refers to the integrity of ecological systems. Economists have a philosophy that is based on the belief that the carrying capacity of the Earth refers to human welfare. There has been some progress in the debate. Economists are now starting to realize that ecology must be factored into economic models. This is especially true when economics are dependent on something ecological. Food production is a classic example. If the ecology is damaged to a certain degree, then it cannot grow food and food prices rise in that area. Ecologists are now starting to realize that economic markets are good places to make changes in the ecology. Tax credits and government subsidies of money or land are examples of economic forces that can be harnessed to protect the ecology. Population is a factor of great importance, but consumption is equally as important. Every year Bangladesh adds twice as many people to its population as the US, yet each American consumes 20 times more energy than each person from Bangladesh. So while the population growth rate in developing countries does legitimately threaten the ecology, so does the high consumption levels in developed countries. To the credit of the economists, technology and innovation has to date managed to solve all the major problems humanity has created. But, to the credit of the ecologists, there are several very serious problems, E.G., deforestation, decertification, drought, famine, global warming, and ozone depletion that do not appear to have imminent solutions. As ecological conditions worsen, economists and ecologists will continue to work more closely if for no other reason than necessity.
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  24. 24

    Urbanization and the urban environment.


    Urban health hazards in the rapidly urbanizing areas of developing countries are described, and ways to mitigate them by sustainable development are discussed. Urban health problems are serious in developing countries because population growth is so rapid, diseases of underdevelopment and poverty and of modernization are combined, and resources are so limited. The urban populations in developing countries suffer lack of safe water (25%), sewage disposal (50%), solid waste collection (30-50%), crowded living conditions, inadequate housing, indoor and outdoor air pollution, traffic, noise, and effluents from industry. These conditions result in high prevalence of asthma, bronchitis, diarrhea, respiratory infections, tuberculosis, meningitis, as well as stress, mental illness, accidents, violence, antisocial behavior, drug and alcohol abuse. Sustainable development for cities implies that meeting the needs of today's people will not compromise the life of future generations. This is difficult in cities because sustainable urban development must be linked to rural development. The more populous and spread-out the city and the richer its inhabitants, the larger is its demand on resources and the larger is the area from which it draws. Thus deforestation and soil erosion in rural areas result from city demands, but impoverish rural people, causing them to migrate to the city. Many rapidly growing South And Central American cities are sited in fragile ecozones where sustainable use of natural resources is problematic, and land is controlled by a small elite. The poorer cities in developing areas have the advantage of using resources far less wastefully than do First World city dwellers. As they develop and continue to grown, however, even they will demand substantial increases in nonrenewable resource use.
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  25. 25

    Progress report on UNRISD activities 1990/1991.

    United Nations Research Institute for Social Development [UNRISD]

    Geneva, Switzerland, UNRISD, 1991. [6], 61 p.

    Progress in implementing the research program and related activities of the UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) between July 1990 through June 1991 is described. An autonomous institution within the UN, UNRISD seeks to promote research on pressing problems and contemporary social issues associated with development. UNRISD Director Dharam Ghai explains that the Institute takes a holistic, interdisciplinary, and political economy approach in its research programs. Some of the highlights of 1990-91 are described, as well as UNRISD's progress in 8 general areas of research. The first category of research is that of 1) environment, sustainable development and social change, and area that includes the following subtopics: resource management, deforestation, women and their environment, and the socioeconomic dimensions of environment and sustainable development. The remaining general categories include: 2) crisis, adjustment, and social change; 3) participation and changes in property relations in communist and postcommunist societies; 4) ethnic conflict and development; and 5) political violence and social movements; 6) refugees, returnees, and local society: interaction and development; 7) socioeconomic and political impact of production, trade, and use of illicit narcotic drugs; and 8) patterns of consumption: qualitative indicators of development. A list of all publications during the year is included as well as a list of all board and staff members.
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