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    091490

    Policy statement on population and the environment.

    Social Science Research Council [SSRC]; International Social Science Council [ISSC]; Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era [DAWN]

    FOCUS ON GENDER. 1993 Feb; 1(1):22-3.

    Inequalities in distribution of wealth, uneven use and distribution of resources, and human settlement patterns contribute more to environmental degradation than does population size. Current global economic strategies and policy decisions affect population and the natural environment. Large-scale technology and communications, the globalization of capital, subordination within world markets, and increasing consumption levels have broken down livelihoods and the environment. Therefore, contrary to popular opinion, population growth is not the key variable in environmental degradation. The erosion of livelihoods really affect women, especially poor women. Legal and political rights, women's economic independence, education, health, access to reproductive health services, and improved child survival greatly influence fertility decline. The disintegration of women's livelihoods restricts their access to health services and education. We cannot depend on capitalism to protect our livelihoods or the health of the environment. So nongovernmental organizations, international agencies, and national and local governments must do so. Assessments of intensive agriculture, industries destroying the social and physical environment, and military activities are critically needed. We need to reassess the macroeconomic forces affecting the natural environment and livelihoods of the poor. Communities should influence and demand policies and regulations preserving their access to resources. Women must participate more intensely in decision making. They should have access to key services. Citizens should have more access to information on environmental damage of industrialized products and processes. All of us need to advocate for more environmentally sound and sustainable forms of development and technology. People at the local, national, and global levels must work to change values that have caused overconsumption, thereby promoting a new ethic centering on caring for people and the environment.
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