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Report of the ESCAP/UNDP Expert Group Meeting on Population, Environment and Sustainable Development: 13-18 May 1991, Jomtien, Thailand.
Bangkok, Thailand, United Nations, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP], 1991. iv, 41 p. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 106)The 1991 meeting of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific considered the following topics: the interrelationships between population and natural resources, between population and the environment and poverty, and between population growth and consumption patterns, technological changes and sustainable development; the social aspects of the population-environment nexus (the effect of social norms and cultural practices); public awareness and community participation in population and environmental issues; and integration of population, environment, and development policies. The organization of the meeting is indicated. Recommendations were made. The papers on land, water, and air were devoted to a potential analytical model and the nature of the interlocking relationship between population, environment, and development. Dynamic balance was critical. 1 paper was presented on population growth and distribution, agricultural production and rural poverty; the practice of a simpler life style was the future challenge of the world. Several papers focused on urbanization trends and distribution and urban management policies. Only 1 paper discussed rural-urban income and consumption inequality and the consequences; some evidence suggests that increased income and equity is associated with improved resource management. Carrying capacity was an issue. The technological change paper reported that current technology contributed to overproduction and overconsumption and was environmentally unfriendly. The social norms paper referred to economic conditions that turned people away from sound environmental, cultural norms and practices. A concept paper emphasized women's contribution to humanism which goes beyond feminism; another presented an analytical summary of problems. 2 papers on public awareness pointed out the failures and the Indonesian experience with media. 1 paper provided a perspective on policy and 2 on the methodology of integration. The recommendations provided broad goals and specific objectives, a holistic and conceptual framework for research, information support, policies, resources for integration, and implementation arrangements. All activities must be guided by 1) unity of mankind, 2) harmony between population and natural resources, and 3) improvement in the human condition.
POPULI. 1991 Jun; 18(2):24-34.Between 1979-81 and 1986-87 cereal production per capita declined in 51 developing countries and rose in 43 out of the 94 countries for which Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data are available. Imports of cereals by developing countries rose from 20 million metric tons between 1969-71 to 69 million metric tons by 1983-85. This figure is projected to be 112 million metric tons by 2000. The deficits in developing countries have been made up by surpluses in developed countries; however, the drought of 1988 caused world cereal stock to drop from 451 million metric tons in 1990. The previous level was a safe 24% of consumption, the lower level was dangerous at 17%. Food crisis is brought about by 3 factors: 1) social organization, level of income, and lifestyles determine levels of consumption; 2) technology that is in wide spread use determines the quality (damaging or sustaining) and the quantity (waste products) of effect on the environment; 3) population serves as a multiplier of the 1st 2 factors to determine total impact. Another related factor is inequality which leads to poverty. Population plays another role as land is divided with each generation until the per household land holding is so small that it can not sustain the community. In 57 developing countries, 50% of the land holdings are smaller than 1 hectare. Also, every year 24 billion metric tons of topsoil are lost to erosion. Left unchecked this could lead to a 30% reduction in food production. Decertification has claimed 65 million hectares in the last 50 years just in sub-Saharan Africa. There are strategies for food security: 1) national population programs; 2) integrated planning of future needs; 3) sustainable development; 4) rural agricultural extension; 5) special extension services for women, who are the majority of the farmers in rural areas; 6) give women more legal rights so they can inherit land; 7) increase education for women in rural areas; 8) community development; 9) increase programs for maternal and child health; 10) support integration of traditional and emerging technologies for food production.
[Third World cities: points of accumulation, centers of distribution] Les villes du Tiers Monde: theatres d'accumulation, centres de diffusion.
Tiers-Monde. 1985 Oct-Dec; 26(104):823-40.Attention was called over 3 decades ago to the very rapid growth of Third World cities and the significance of the differences between their patterns of urbanization and those of industrialized countries. Their demographic growth occurred much faster and depended much more heavily on high fertility, their economies were geared more to export of raw materials than to manufacturing and were unable to create massive numbers of jobs to absorb the growing labor force except in the unproductive tertiary sector, and it appeared unlikely that they would be able to produce entrepreneurial classes of their own. Several economic developments during the 1970s affected the world economy and the patterns of urbanization of the Third World: the decline of the principal capitalist economies and the multiple increases in the price of oil, the floating exchange rate, the considerable increase in consumer goods, and the increasing costs of labor in industrialized countries, among others, created new conditions. World economic interdependence, international control of investment and exchange, and volume and mobility of capital increased at a time of rapid economic growth in some Third World countries, especially those whose governments took an aggressive role in promoting growth and investment. Some Third World cities now seem to be developing according to a more western model, but the same cannot be said of all Third World countries, and international economic evolution appears to have led to increasing polarization between countries as well as within them. The 1 domain where a certain convergence has occurred is consumption, beginning with the privileged classes and filtering to the lower income groups. Consumption of collective and individual consumer goods, which is concentrated in the largest cities, increases dependence on imports, technology, knowledge, and usually debt. The modern productive sector and its distribution activities become implanted in the cities to such a degree that it becomes more and more difficult for the consumption needs of regional cities and rural areas to be satisfied except through manufactured products from the capitalist sector of the principal city or through imports from industrial countries. Despite the fact that some Third World cities will be enormous by the year 2000 and that their social structures and labor forces will not closely resemble those of European cities, the thesis of "pseudourbanization" appears invalid for several reasons: the model of sectorial changes in the European labor force was not followed by the industrializing countries of North America; some Third World countries (excluding India and China) appear able to absorb most of their surplus rural population into the modern sector, and Third World cities appear less and less to be merely centers of culture. New research during the 1970s on Third World urbanization contributed several crucial elements to the analysis: recognition that insertion of developing countries into the international economic order has been a major influence on their urbanization patterns, appreciation of the role of migration in urbanization, realization of the potential role of the state in mitigating spatial and structural inequalities created by the urbanization process, and recognition of the need for more detailed microeconomic studies and construction of more elaborate models of Third World economies.