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  1. 1


    In: Human population, biodiversity and protected areas: science and policy issues. Report of a workshop, April 20-21, 1995, Washington, DC, edited by Victoria Dompka. Washington, D.C., American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS], International Directorate, 1996. 11-7.

    This chapter presents the recommendations of natural and social scientists, policymakers, and natural resource managers at a 1995 population and biodiversity workshop. The recommendations pertain to policy and field-oriented scientific research priorities. Three guidelines are identified. 1) Scientific research must pertain to improvement in the understanding of the relationships between human population dynamics and biodiversity loss and protection. 2) Effective research involves a number of specific approaches. 3) Research funding must be provided by policymakers and institutions. For example, research must involve a review and analysis of existing scientific data, information, and knowledge about the links between population, biodiversity, and protected areas; relevant government and nongovernment policies; and lessons learned from success stories. Population dynamics research should focus on how population dynamics effect on biodiversity in the local protected area and on the root causes of the population dynamics that negatively impact on biodiversity. Long and short term impacts must be considered. Available population dynamics data sources need to be identified for specific sites. Data should be collected in order to fill in the data gaps. A flaw in existing data is aggregation within political rather than ecological boundaries. Participants recommended determining which aspects of resource consumption and pollution were linked with population dynamics' effect on biodiversity and protected areas. Population dynamics issues include topics in population dynamics, biodiversity, resource consumption, local people, and social, cultural, and economic issues.
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  2. 2

    Indigenous peoples, population, and sustainability.

    Barsh RL

    In: Beyond the numbers. A reader on population, consumption, and the environment, edited by Laurie Ann Mazur. Washington, D.C., Island Press, 1994. 290-9.

    The Karluk of Alaska in the US have a 4000 year old heritage that is dying. The impact of "civilization" is evident in high fertility and in community landfills piled high with consumer trash. The high fertility actually is a sign of recovery after years of malnutrition, high mortality, and ecological degradation. Although there is control of productive lands, overpopulation and population driven poverty create few alternatives. Indigenous people desire development, self determination, and cultural rights, which can only occur through redistribution of resources. The study of indigenous people can provide important information on how human societies can and do self-regulate population. There are important differences in the practices of indigenous herders, horticulturalists, and fishermen compared to large scale ranching and modern industrial fisheries. Evidence suggests that intensive grain monocultures for feeding urban centers historically in Aztec Mexico contributed to severe soil destruction compared to traditional methods of interspersing crop species with labor intensive biodiverse gardens. Traditional societies developed not necessarily equal resources but at least balanced and complementary distribution of important resources, both spiritual and material. Ecological sustainability was possible because it did not rely on inequality and increasing consumption, and did rely on population management. Roman imperialism changed European peasant societies by replacing egalitarianism and nonmaterialism with accumulation, personal status, and power. When Europeans became increasingly landless and dependent on wages, more people became an economic good and indigenous sustainable order broke down. At present, indigenous populations reflect materialism, ecological recklessness, and extensive warfare. Wage incentives, insecure tenure, land degradation, and absolute poverty are conditions that weaken cultural constraints on consumption and that justify large families. Global interdependence has exacerbated the danger of overestimating the long term stability of climatic factors. A lasting solution is the restoration of security, reciprocity, social values, and ecological caution of indigenous civilizations.
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