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Workshop report on human population dynamics and resource demand, 30 November - 1 December 1990. IUCN -- the World Conservation Union, 18th General Assembly, Perth, Australia.
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.
INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE. 1996 Jul-Aug; 22-7.The Syr Darya River used to broaden into a rich delta at Kazalinsk, a town in central Asia's Kazakhstan, then dump into the Aral Sea, formerly the world's fourth largest lake. The Syr Darya River was once home to many species of fish and fowl, and a region of productive tugai forests. The river and lake, however, began shrinking in the 1960s as Soviet engineers and hydrologists siphoned off large amounts of water to irrigate cotton fields in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, in a drive to meet the Communist government's 5-year planning objectives regardless of environmental costs. By 1990, the Aral Sea had lost 66% of its original volume and the Syr Darya River now usually disappears into the desert west of town. Almost 1 million hectares of tugai wetlands were converted into desert between 1960 and 1990. Even though little remains alive in the Syr Darya as it passes through Kazalinsk, and what water remains is highly polluted by farms and cities to the east, the people of Kazalinsk still depend upon the Syr Darya for drinking water and other daily water needs, despite the health risks. Considerable morbidity in the region is attributed to this contaminated water supply. Water resources are being wasted everywhere in the interest of development. Like Syr Darya, and even in the US, many of the world's rivers no longer reach their former deltas. China especially has problems to resolve given its huge population and rapidly developing economic base. Approximately 300 major cities across northern and central China, including Beijing, already have critical water shortages. Wars may develop over access to freshwater sources. Water concerns in Egypt and the Jordan River Basin are noted.
GEOJOURNAL. 1997 Jan; 41(1):43-53.This study examined water use patterns in Botswana, and socioeconomic and political factors that influence sustainable water supply, and discusses water conservation and high sustainable levels of supply and demand; the market structure and its prices, costs, and subsidies; and sustainable water supplies. Data were obtained from unpublished workshop papers on integrated water resource management from seminars conducted in 1994, at the University of Botswana's Department of Environmental Science. Rainfall varied by location. Evaporation is about 4 times the average annual precipitation, which leads to continual water deficiency. Water supplies are based on ground and surface water in the ratio of 2:1. Groundwater is only partly renewable. Surface water is renewable only under the circumstance of sufficient rain and maintained storage capacity. Conservation of water is affected by the high rates of evaporation, few suitable dam sites, high temporal variability of runoff and large surface water storage capacity, the constraints of semi-arid environments, the normally critical water balance, rapid population growth and concentrations in urban areas, economic conditions, and the general increase in living conditions. The governments need to strengthen control over non-market water use and to provide sufficient incentives for efficient water use. Water prices should increase in order to reflect the total economic value, regardless of the political consequences. There are needs to protect water catchment areas and to clarify ownership of water resources. Control of demand should include prioritizing water consumption.
FOOD POLICY. 1986 Nov; 11(4):278-84.This review of the state of food and agriculture in Islamic countries underlines the need for much greater public commitment to agricultural development. Within the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), 44 member nations, exibiting immense geographic and economic diversity, have come together recently to begin to cooperate on increasing food production. It is difficult to generalize about food production conditions in Islamic nations, but basically, within the OIC, total arable land increased from 159 to 167 ha in the 1970s, a small amount unevenly distributed over the group. Dry-land farming has not received enough public attention, and the dependence on cereals grown under rainfed conditions leaves the population vulnerable to fluctuation. Many of the poorer nations have not given the priority to land improvement that has been successful in Egypt, Pakistan, and some other countries. The economic burden of food imports has become lighter in some countries, although in all it continues to be serious. Net cereal imports to Islamic countries rose from 21 to 39 million tons from 1975-83. An overall increase in the per capita dietary energy supplies masks broad differences between the wealthier and poorer nations of the OIC, and between more and less priviledged populations within the societies. A small proportion of financial commitments to agriculture (15%) come from Islamic community donors; this is not a leading program priority. Often spending has been for large capital-intensive projects depending on imported skills and inputs. As a group, the OIC must plan to take advantage of their technical and environmental diversity, and work together to avoid inefficient dispersal of personnel and other resources. Tabular data show selected indicators of agricultural development (e.g. % of food imported, food production growth), average annual rate of food production change related to population growth, per capita dietary energy supplies, and external assistance commitments.