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Food security for a planet under pressure. Transition to sustainability: interconnected challenges and solutions.
[Durban, South Africa, University of KwaZula-Natal, Health Economics and HIV / AIDS Research Division], 2012.  p. (Rio + 20 Policy Brief)The challenge of feeding the world efficiently and equitably is considerable, but not insurmountable. Achieving food security for all, both now and in the future, depends on putting in place a strong foundation of multi-lateral and cooperative mechanisms that work across disciplines, sectors and national boundaries. Institutions operating effectively at multiple levels will be at the centre of sustainable food systems; these will need to be flexible, promote appropriate use of innovative technologies and policies, and recognize the increasingly important role of non-state actors in enhancing food systems. Above all, there is need for a strong focus on resilience, equity and sustainability. This brief sets out broad guidelines to help policy and decision makers work towards adopting a more coordinated and integrated approach to food security issues.
PNAS. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Early Edition.. 2010;  p.Substantial changes in population size, age structure, and urbanization are expected in many parts of the world this century. Although such changes can affect energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, emissions scenario analyses have either left them out or treated them in a fragmentary or overly simplified manner. We carry out a comprehensive assessment of the implications of demographic change for global emissions of carbon dioxide. Using an energy–economic growth model that accounts for a range of demographic dynamics, we show that slowing population growth could provide 16–29% of the emissions reductions suggested to be necessary by 2050 to avoid dangerous climate change. We also find that aging and urbanization can substantially influence emissions in particular world regions.
New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University, Economic Growth Center, 1992 Sep. 60 p. (Center Discussion Paper No. 671)We estimate money demand functions using cross-sections of U.S. states over the period 1929-1990. We arrive at a number of interesting conclusions: First, our estimates of the income elasticity lie between 1.3 and 1.5, significantly above one. Second, money demand is a stable function over an impressive sample period, 1929-1990. Third, income per capita is a better scale variable than consumption. And finally, after having been fairly constant between 1950 and 1980, the rate of technological progress (which determines the amount of money demanded for given incomes, price levels and interest rates) accelerated substantially over the 1980s. (author's)
New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University, Economic Growth Center, 1991 Jul. 33 p. (Center Discussion Paper No. 640)The recent literature on endogenous economic growth allows for effects of fiscal policy on long-term growth. If the social rate of return on investment exceeds the private return, then tax policies that encourage investment can raise the growth rate and levels of utility. An excess of the social return over the private return can reflect learning-by-doing with spillover effects, the financing of government consumption purchases with an income tax, and monopoly pricing of new types of capital goods. Tax incentives for investment are not called for if the private rate of return on investment equals the social return. This situation applies in growth models if the accumulation of a broad concept of capital does not entail diminishing returns, or if technological progress appears as an expanding variety of consumer products. In growth models that incorporate public services, the optimal tax policy hinges on the characteristics of the services. If the public services are publicly-provided private goods, which are rival and excludable, or publicly-provided public goods, which are non-rival and non- excludable, the lump-sum taxation is superior to income taxation. Many types of public goods are subject to congestion, and are therefore rival but to some extent non-excludable. In these cases, income taxation works approximately as a user fee and can therefore be superior to lump-sum taxation. In particular, the incentives for investment and growth are too high if taxes are lump sum. We argue that the congestion model applies to a wide array of public expenditures, including transportation facilities, public utilities, courts, and possibly national defense and police. (author's)
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.
Honolulu, Hawaii, East-West Center, 1986. x, 104 p.This report contains a review of the major developments in the Asia-Pacific region over the past quarter century, as well as examinations of the trends, issues, and challenges that will be critical to the region's future and to its relations with the US. The view of the region as an arena of internal and international conflict that prevailed in the 1950s and 1960s has been replaced in the 1970s and 1980s by a focus on the rapid economic progress of many of the countries. The region includes 56% of the world's population in 33 independent countries and several territories covering 19% of the world's land area. Part I of the report comprises 2 broad overviews dealing with prospects for peace and continued economic progress. Chapter I examines encouraging trends and continuing problems in the political developments and international relations of the region, while Chapter 2 provides a brief survey of economic trends and challenges in the principal countries and country groups: the newly industrialized countries, the resource-rich Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, low-income southeast Asia, China, South Asia, and the Pacific island countries. Part II examines specific topic areas related to regional economic development which reflect current policy emphases at the East-West Center. Chapter 3 assesses the relationship between the world economy and economic development in the region and analyzes future prospects for external trade opportunities and access to capital. Chapter 4 discusses the connection between population growth and economic development, while also examining the demographic transition in the area, the role of family planning, and future demographic challenges. The influence of declining fertility on increased savings and improved education is explored. Chapter 5 assesse the longterm sustainability of the region's remarkable resource base, which is already under severe strain from the numbers of people requiring food, clothing, shelter, and fuel. The chapter demonstrates the conflict between shortterm exploitation of resources and policies that protect the resource base in the longterm. Chapter 6 reviews changing patterns of supply and demand for minerals and fuels, noting significant additions to supplies of some minerals in Oceania. Based on worldwide trends, access to minerals and fuels is not expected to be a constraint on economic development.
In: Consumption, population, and sustainability: perspectives from science and religion, edited by Audrey R. Chapman, Rodney L. Petersen, and Barbara Smith-Moran. Washington, D.C., Island Press, 2000. 39-47.This paper examines questions about the impact of human population growth, technology, and consumption patterns on the environment, and considers to what extent science can provide answers. It notes that the impact of population growth is compounded by the fact that the greatest increase is taking place in poor countries, worsening the alarming rates of hunger, poverty and environmental degradation. Such problems limit the possibilities of achieving sustainable economic development and improving the quality of life. Moreover, it is noted that high rates of natural resource consumption and pollution, primarily in affluent countries, exert strong demographic pressures. In this regard, the inequality between poor and rich countries underlies the population- consumption-environmental crisis. In assessing the state of the environment and options for solving the problems, science has made various contributions such as knowledge, promotion of awareness of the interdependence of life forms, and provision of long-term global view. However, science has little likelihood of providing answers to critical issues due to the difficulty in measuring the interrelationships between human population and environment.
In: Consumption, population, and sustainability: perspectives from science and religion, edited by Audrey R. Chapman, Rodney L. Petersen, and Barbara Smith-Moran. Washington, D.C., Island Press, 2000. 23-35.To address various environmental concerns, members of scientific and religious communities have been working together on issues of population, consumption, and the environment. It is noted that both communities have significant contribution to make to their common endeavor. This paper discusses the contributions from science and religion. Science, it is noted, provides better understanding of the environmental impacts of the agricultural, industrial, and personal practices such as the awareness of ecological interdependence. On the other hand, both the religious and scientific communities have advocated a global perspective, respect for all forms of life, and concern about population growth and stabilization. Furthermore, contributions from the religious communities are reflected in their commitment to social justice and less consumptive vision of the good life than existing patterns in industrial nations.
PEOPLE AND THE PLANET. 1999; 8(4):10-1.This article focuses on the issue of consumption in relation to the growing world population. Over the past 25 years, world population increased by 53%, while world consumption per person increased by only 39%. If consumption continues to grow at 1.4%, the world consumption per person will rise by 100% over the next 50 years with the population increasing by only half that amount. The burden of reducing the environmental impact brought about by this increase lies on technology. Technology needs to deliver major changes in improving resource productivity, and decreasing the amount of waste created. Productivity such as global food production has kept up with demand. Malnutrition persists due to poverty, and not because of the inability of the world to produce enough food. However, the prospects are much worse for resources that are not traded on markets or subject to sustainable management such as groundwater, state forests, ocean fish, and communal waste sinks like rivers, lakes, and the global atmosphere. These resources are not under the direct control of people affected by shortage. People who want to change the way these resources are used or managed have to pass through the legal or political system. Usually, political responses are slow and there has to be a very widespread environmental damage before action is taken.
NATURAL RESOURCES FORUM. 1997; 21(3):161-7.This article offers a framework for developing viable drinking water services and institutional development in developing countries. The framework evolved from the authors' research and field experience in transition and developing economies. Viability is related to operative technology, appropriate organizations, and adequate cost recovery within the context of water resources, human and economic resources, sociocultural conditions, and other constraints. The ability of institutions to solve the problems of coordination and production depends upon player motivation, the complexity of the environment, and the ability of the players to control the environment. Third party enforcement of agreements are essential to reduce gains from opportunism, cheating, and shirking. Empirical research finds that per capita water production costs are 4 times higher in centralized systems and lowest in decentralized systems with coordination from a central party. Three-tiered systems of governments, regulators, and service providers are recommended. Management options must be consumer driven. The worst case scenario is consumer's reliance on vending and reselling with no alternative source of supply. Policies should have a strong focus on institutional reforms in the water sector, the development of a consumer driven water sector, facilitation of appropriate private-public partnerships, sound management of existing capital assets, a system for building viability into national strategies for the water sector, and financially self-sufficient and consumer responsible water supply organizations.
In: Growing numbers and dwindling resources, edited by Rekha Krishnan. New Delhi, India, Tata Energy Research Institute, 1994. 139-60.Consumerism in developed countries and high rates of population growth in developing countries threaten environmental sustainability. The author uses Ehrlich and Holdren's identity "I=PAT" to study anthropogenic impacts upon the natural resource base. Such impacts can be mitigated by reducing population growth, limiting affluence, and technological advances which lead to reduced production intensities. These three options are considered. With a view to sustainability, the role of issues such as poverty alleviation and environmental refugees are discussed. Noting priorities for environmental sustainability, the author stresses the need for initiatives in industrialized countries aimed at reducing per capita consumption and environmental throughput. The author also considers the roles of religion and poverty in environmental problems. Political will is needed to effect change in market structures and economic policy.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1989. xi, 126 p. (ST/ESA/213; E/CN.5/1989/2)The introductory section of this report on the world social situation describes the existing setting for social development, slow economic growth and scarce resources worldwide during the 1980s, and principal themes. The report was prepared by the Office for Development Research and Policy Analysis of the Department of International Economic and Social Affairs of the UN Secretariat, with contributions from the Center for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the UN Office in Vienna. It explores the changing structure of the family; the advancement of women; food consumption and supply; inequality and poverty; new technologies and their social impact; threats to the environment; social development, security, and disarmament; international cooperation against drug abuse, international terrorism, and AIDS; migrants and refugees; and changing perceptions regarding social development issues. An annex considers the changing social situation in Africa.
Washington, D.C., Population Action International, 1993. , 28,  p.Population Action International's (PAI) colorful brochure on environmental awareness focuses on the lessons of the past, the state of environmental science, the challenge of population growth, the path to stabilization, and group efforts. The story of environmental awareness unfolds with selected statements and pictures germane to seven points of view. The backside of each picture documents important statistics in table, graph, or chart form. 1) The view is expressed that human beings are adaptable and ingenious. Rapid population growth is viewed as posing challenges to the earth's capacity to support a variety of life forms and a decent quality of life. 2) Environmental trends reflect both the patterns of population growth and the patterns of consumption and technology use. Inequalities of power and wealth influence these patterns. 3) The conclusion is that past environmental impacts are disastrous to humans when thresholds are reached. 4) The view is held that all individual human action impacting on the environment must be considered in full for a comprehensive analysis of the population and environmental links. 5) The consequence of slowing population growth is the gift of time for preserving the environment and alleviating poverty. 6) Quality of life is improved when people are given the choice to make their own reproductive decisions. 7) Top priorities are assigned to closing the gap between rich and poor and reducing overconsumption. PAI aims to show a commitment to research, advocacy, and resources for stabilizing world population by offering universal reproductive freedom. PAI states its goals of access to safe affordable, voluntary family planning services and opportunities for women. The environmental program offers a profile of recent research and policy advice and disseminates the information in a timely and accessible way. Groups are encouraged to address population issues and take action to provide conditions conducive to population decline without jeopardizing an individual's reproductive rights. The aim is identified as establishment of a worldwide network of activists and organizations who exchange information and channel political power for constructive action.
In: Population -- the complex reality. A report of the Population Summit of the world's scientific academies, edited by Francis Graham-Smith. London, England, Royal Society, 1994. 349-61.Environmental carrying capacity is dependent upon population size and resource demand per capita. Confusion has arisen from mistaking effects for causes in analysis of the links between poverty, population growth, and environmental degradation. Economic growth in and of itself will not alleviate poverty. Income earning capacities for poor households must be increased, and price systems must be favorable to the poor. Economic growth is necessary in developing countries for relief of poverty, and an obstacle to this growth may be the lack of sufficient capital. Limitations on resources restrict economic growth. Studies have suggested that resource conservation subsidies and depletion taxes correct for open access and improve sustainability. Another option is more equitable reallocation of resources. Evidence suggests that income drives population growth. The Malthusian dilemma of balancing growth with food productivity does not account for technological advances. The impact of population growth on food productivity has not been realized yet. Growth of crop yields has slowed, but physical limits have not been reached. Signs of increasing pressure on food supply are famine and malnutrition. Correction for inequalities of distribution and access would relieve the impact on the poor. The risks to resource depletion are dependent on whether the focus is on population numbers or resource demand. Shaw has modeled the links between population, natural resource consumption, poverty, debt, and technology and environmental well-being; the resulting model shows the complexity of interactions that impact on sustainability. Environmental impact is also dependent on waste technologies, which are affected by consumption patterns. There is global economic interdependence, and narrow national self-interests need to be reversed to reflect global cooperation and survival.
In: Population and environment: rethinking the debate, edited by Lourdes Arizpe, M. Priscilla Stone, and David C. Major. Boulder, Colorado, Westview Press, 1994. 15-40.The chapter aim was to present new directions for constructing comprehensive social, political, and economic models of the environment and population links. Variables should include not just population size, but density, rate of increase, age distribution, sex ratios, access to resources, livelihoods, social dimensions of gender, and power structures. Sustainability must account for sustainable livelihoods. Today's challenges are on much larger scale without precedence. Out-migration is not now possible due to ecological mismanagement. The natural inequalities in geographic resource distribution are exacerbated by the economic power of capital in industrialized nations and elite groups in less developed countries. Solutions are not possible when the debate is deadlocked. Population growth is an "accelerating force" and interrelated with socioeconomic transitions. Consumption of natural and human made resources must be tied to population growth. Sustainable development must occur nationally, regionally, and globally. Demographic transition today has been occurring in ways different from the developed country models of socioeconomic change. The momentum of population growth, the age structure, and the consumption and impact of new persons on social and ecological systems must be accounted for. Carrying capacity concepts are difficult to estimate, in part because needs are determined by culture. Population growth has been used to obscure existing disparities and inequalities. Various theoretical postures have emerged: population growth as a cause of environmental depletion, technology as a solution spurred on population growth, consumption disparities as a cause, income inequality as a cause, and measurement deficits in determining the differential effects of population growth. Environmental change has always occurred in tandem with population change. Examples from the Lacandon rainforest illustrated the complexity of interactions.
Technological changes for increased production, changing consumption patterns and sustainable development.
In: Expert group meeting on population, environment and sustainable development. Bangkok, Thailand, Adnan, Mohd H. H., 1994. 85-93. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 126)This paper considers the consequences of technological changes such as those brought about by the industrial revolution, the green revolution, and the more recent information revolution. After an opening section which discusses how technology has simultaneously improved our standard of living and degraded the environment, the green revolution is further analyzed to reveal its adverse impacts. For example, the new high-yield variety crops have lower nutritional value than the crops from which they were derived, and there are serious problems associated with mechanism in farming. Next, the need to upgrade or adapt an appropriate technology so that it will be environmentally friendly while also achieving increased production is considered. In the fourth section, the crucial role that technology plays in increasing the complexity of the modern market place and in changing consumption patterns is considered. The discussion then moves from a consideration of our behavior as consumers to the identification of socially conscious consumers and promotion of "green consumerism" to the necessity of profiling segments of the population to identify consumption patterns. These comments culminate in a description of the responsible consumption which should be our goal. The consumption patterns related to sustainable development (the concept of needs in particular and the essential needs of the poor and the idea of technological and environmental limitations to attempts to meet those needs) are then addressed. Finally, approaches to promote sustainable development and responsible consumption behavior are presented, including "demarketing," recycling, education, use of the mass media, and support of citizen movements to promote sustainable development.
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. 1994 Oct; 114-22.At the time of the toolmaking revolution, around 1 million years ago, human numbers rose to 5 million. As humans invented agriculture and animal husbandry, the population grew to about 500 million. In 1994 the number was 5.6 billion; it may double or triple before leveling off again 300 years after the industrial revolution began. If the transition to a warmer, more crowded, more diverse world can be managed, there may be promise of an environmentally sustainable future. The reconstructed population series for 4 ancient regions, the Nile Valley (6000 years), the Tigris-Euphrates lowlands of Iraq (6000 years), the basin of Mexico (3000 years), and the central Maya lowlands of Mexico and Guatemala (2200 years) all show waves in which population doubled over the previous base and then fell by at least half. This raises questions about human life on the earth: perhaps even regions that are world leaders can collapse in modern times. Among likely threats are 3 areas of concern: 1) pollutants: acid rain in the atmosphere, heavy metals in the soils, and chemicals in the groundwater, 2) global atmospheric dangers of nuclear fallout, stratospheric ozone depletion, and climatic warming, 3) deforestation, desertification, and species extinction. 10 billion people would require a 4-fold increase in agricultural production, a 6-fold rise in energy use and an 8-fold increase in the global economy. 2.1 births per woman is required for zero-population growth, while the current birth rate is 3.2. In developing countries after World War II, the life expectancy at birth was 40 years, now it has increased to 65 years. The slowing of the rate of population growth everywhere is encouraging for sustaining life on the earth, which requires cohabitation with the natural world; limits to human activity; and wider distribution of the benefits of human activity.
In: Elephants in the Volkswagen: facing the tough questions about our overcrowded country, [by] Lindsey Grant. New York, New York, W.H. Freeman, 1992. 1-17.People in the US are beginning to realize that we are destroying the environment. Population size, per capita consumption, and technology fuel these environmental problems. The nation uses technological fixes and pleas for conservation to address these problems, but ignores population and consumption levels. We tend to have a bigger the better attitude toward consumption and this attitude and subsequent environmental degradation reduce the size of the population the environment can sustain. We must face the issue between personal freedom (a very strong and deeply rooted US sentiment) and social responsibility. Environmentalists have abandoned the maximum population approach and have adopted the concept of sustainability. Sustainability proponents believe that population size should not become so great that it destroys the carrying capacity of the Earth and its ability to support future generations. The US and other developed nations (e.g., the Netherlands) need a population policy. They also need to develop that considers humans as only a part of a functioning ecosystem and identifies an optimum population size, which allows us to achieve our national and social goals within that ecosystem. Macroeconomics and the scientific method are unable to serve as models to determine optimum population and, in fact, hinder the inquiry. We do not have the luxury to wait indefinitely for the systematic intellectual framework needed to study optimum population. Population is linked to air pollution, acid rain, global warming, unemployment, and ghettos. A population policy which limits immigration, has a national goal of a 2-child maximum family size, and shapes social policies to help realize this goal would help the US achieve a lower population size. In addition to the attitude that bigger is better other attitudes which lend themselves to considerable resistance to such a policy include those which revolve around self-interest, the injunction to be fruitful and multiply, and fear of coercion.
[Is the "general theory of population" always a general theory of population?] La theorie generale de la population est-elle toujours une theorie generale de la population?
POPULATION. 1992 Nov-Dec; 47(6):1411-24.The 2-volume "General Theory of Population," published by Alfred Sauvy in 1952 and reissued frequently, combined theoretical arguments and wide-ranging observations which furnished an appreciation of the complexity of relationships uniting population and society. The "General Theory" offered simultaneously a synthesis of demographic knowledge and a stimulus for further research. Established facts were presented, relationships specified, and conjectures requiring verification or rejection offered. This work examines a number of concepts proposed or developed by Sauvy in the "General Theory" and assesses the degree to which it can still be considered a "general" theory 4 decades after its original appearance. The theory of optimum population is the basic framework for volume 1, which analyzes relationships between population and the economy. Although demographers continue to consider some population sizes preferable to others, the concept of an optimum population has fallen out of use. However, Sauvy's reflections on the effects of technological progress on population and employment and his work on the analysis of consumption and the role of demand in demoeconomic dynamics remain of interest. Sauvy devoted a considerable effort to calculating the economic value of a man, a topic first considered in the 17th century. Estimation of the economic value of a man is related to problems of population aging, financing of pensions, and international migration, all areas of interest to Sauvy. Volume 2 of the "General Theory" introduced the sociological dimensions of population questions. Sauvy's views on population aging, on the desirability of increasing France's birth rate to ameliorate the consequences of aging, and on family policy were presented in the "General Theory." International migration, the economic and demographic problems of the Third World, and the benefits of education in the Third World were other prominent topics. Sauvy's "General Theory" can no longer be considered a general theory in the strict sense. Although Sauvy was aware of the complexity of interrelationships, the book lacks a systematic vision of society. The work also lacks an ecological dimension and a confrontation between theories of urbanization and actual experiences. It contains no development models that go beyond a mechanistic view of society. On occasion, value judgments intrude. The work as a whole, however, retains great interest, with its abundance of information and ideas and suggestions for future research.
Washington, D.C., World Resources Institute [WRI], 1987 Sep. , vi, 119 p.A team of members from Brazil, Sweden, India, and the US have conducted an energy analysis which focused on energy demand rather than energy supply. This end-use analysis is entitled the End Use Global Energy Project (EUGEP). The EUGEP global energy scenario for 2020 indicates a per capita energy use in industrialized countries of almost 50% lower than what it was in 1980 (3.2 kilowatts/person vs. 6.3 kilowatts/person). The scenario assumes a widespread shift from the inefficient noncommercial fuels to modern energy technologies in high efficiency applications. Other assumptions include limited growth in nuclear power, a balanced energy supply mix, and limits in use of fossil fuels especially coal. It finds that a mean 1.3 kilowatts/person could support the living standard present in western Europe in the late 1980s. The EUGEP scenario depicts a society in which global energy use is only 10% higher than it was in the late 1980s despite an increase in the population to 7 billions people compared with an increase of over 100% for conventional projections. This energy analysis serves only as an illustration of the technically possible. It communicates to policymakers that they have a choice. The analysts present case studies from Sweden and the US. They also address global energy and use as it applies in developing countries and market-oriented countries.
WORLD WATCH. 1993 Jul-Aug; 6(4):19-26.Usual trends in the world have changed direction in the 1990s. We do not yet fully know the consequences of these altered trends. As population continues to grow, basic agricultural and industrial production falls (e.g., 1%/year decline in grain production and 0.6%/year decline in oil production). Moreover, world economic growth has fallen .8% annually in the early 1990s. It is feared that these shifts are not short term as were the instabilities generated during the 1973 increase in oil prices. The shifts in the 1990s are not limited to several national political leaders (e.g., OPEC), but are a result of the collision between swelling human numbers and their needs and the limitations of the earth's natural systems on the other. These limitations include the capacity of seas to produce seafood, of grasslands to yield mutton and beef, of the hydrological cycle to generate fresh water, of crops to use fertilizer, of the atmosphere to absorb carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons, and of people to inhale polluted air, and of forests to resist acid rain. These constraints are forcing the realization that each nation must reduce consumption of the earth's natural resources and implement a population policy. The challenge is for social institutions to quickly check and stabilize population growth without infringing in human rights.
Scientific, technical, resource, environmental and health constraints on sustainable growth in agricultural production: into the 21st century.
[Unpublished] 1990. Presented at the Population-Environment Dynamics Symposium, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 1-3, 1990. , 24,  p.This draft paper is a summary on constraints on sustainable growth in agricultural production. The ideal circumstance for lifting these constraints is a country with slow population growth and rapid growth of income and employment in nonagricultural sectors. Productivity growth in major food grains pace with demand, but there is uncertainty in the future because of population growth and growth in income/capita which will increase consumption. The constraints are biological and technical on crop and animal production, resource and environmental on sustainable growth, and health on agricultural development. The issues and priorities for the 21st century are related to the question of how health treats might become a serious constraint on food production capacity. Four issues were identified: 1) that the problems are transitional, 2) that social scientists have a limited capacity to design the institutional infrastructure needed to sustain growth in agricultural production, 3) that more attention needs to be paid to providing more options in the design of technologies and institutions, and 4) that there are inadequate mean of monitoring changes in the sources of productivity and environmental change and the impacts on health. Thinking globally and acting locally is not possible any longer. Structures need to be designed to facilitate communication between different disciplines and to apply research findings. The highest incidence of AIDS occurs in countries with the weakest capacity to sustain food production. Soil erosion can be identified but there is no measure of its impact on food production. The author is cautiously optimistic about the future of agricultural production. The author is cautiously optimistic about the future of agricultural production. The research, supply, and production systems are much better equipped today to deal with food crises, but the challenges are institutional and technical. Institutions must be designed to protect the soil, water, and atmosphere from the impacts of agricultural and industrial intensification. The rate of economic change in developing countries also affects the capacity to achieve sustainable development. The landless or near landless are particularly vulnerable. If demand rises due to higher incomes, diversification of crops of higher value is possible.
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.
In: Poverty and rural development: planners, peasants and poverty, edited by K. Puttaswamaiah. London, England, Intermediate Technology Publications, 1990. 144-70.Insufficient regular supplies of water prevents increased agricultural production in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, but the possibilities for reducing water consumption to save water in rice field areas are complicated and only moderately optimistic. Sri Lanka's use of tractors as its technology-based solution to cut down on staggering and foster early cultivation was a mistake. Tractorization actually followed traditional buffalo tillage techniques. In addition, necessary institutional reform did not accompany tractorization. 25 years after introduction of mechanization, Sri Lanka addressed the need to improve the performance of institutions in water management and their relations with farmers. One institution reform of water management has been accomplished, the strategy choice for reducing water consumption hinges on the hydrological characteristics of each area, where water is in adequate supply for full drysowing crops and partial cultivation of intermonsoon crops. Variations are tillage on residual moisture and sowing a proportion of the drysowing crop area under nonpaddy crops and either paddy or nonpaddy crops during the intermonsoon period, depending on water availability. Irrigation administrators must be very familiar with delivery systems and committed to managing water to increase crop production. Further, there must be mutual sympathy between irrigation engineers and farmers. In order for appropriate motivation to occur, however, irrigation professionals must recognize the traditional bias towards construction and design and away from water management. Other past problems which must be overcome include poor living conditions in some remote areas leading to professionals being unwilling to work in these areas and widespread high turnover of senior staff. Politicians and irrigation professionals should visit remote schemes more frequently to gain a deeper commitment to water management.
Commercialization of agriculture under population pressure: effects on production, consumption, and nutrition in Rwanda.
Washington, D.C., International Food Policy Research Institute, 1991. 123 p. (Research Report 85)This research reports on the effects of increased commercialization on production, household real income, family food consumption, expenditures, on nonfood goods and services, and the nutritional status of the population in Rwanda. The process by which household food consumption and nutritional status are affected by commercialization is described with emphasis on identifying the major elements and how each element is influenced by the change. The issue was whether agricultural production systems and efficient use of resources can be sustained under population pressure. The study area was the commune of Giciye in Gisenyi district in northwestern Rwanda. The area is mountainous and has very poor quality and acidic soils, with a deficiency of phosphorus. Population increase averaged 4.2%/year. There is a high prevalence of underconsumption and malnutrition. Subsistence food production is becoming increasingly more difficult. New activities include production of tea and expansion of potato production. There is beer processing from sorghum and off-farm employment. The forces driving commercialization are identified, followed by a discussion of the production and income effects of the commercialization process, the consumption relationships and effects, the consumption/nutrition/health links, and the longterm perspectives on rural development. The research design, theory, and data base are described. The conclusions were that increasing the rate of change in agricultural technology for subsistence crops would not maintain even the current levels of poverty; there must be reductions in population growth. The recommended strategy is to encourage diversification of the rural economy with specialization in both agriculture and nonagricultural products and to improve the human capital and infrastructure base. Labor productivity needs to be increased as well as employment expansion. Labor-intensive erosion control methods such as terracing are recommended as a resource investment, which are assumed to take into account women and their time constraints. Tea production which is considered a women's crop has offered off-farm employment opportunities. Consideration must be given to land tenure policy and issues of compensation for loss of land during the commercialization process. Health and sanitation measures are needed concurrently with economic development.