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In: The global possible: resources, development, and the new century, edited by Robert Repetto. New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 1985. 491-519. (World Resources Institute Book)Participants at the Global Possible Conference in 1984 concluded that, despite the dismal predictions about the earth, we can still fashion a more secure, prosperous, and sustainable world environmentally and economically. The tools to bring about such a world already exist. The international community and nations must implement new policies, however. Government, science, business, and concerned groups must reach new levels of cooperation. Developed and developing countries must form new partnerships to implement sustained improvements in living standards of the world's poor. Peaceful cooperation is needed to eliminate the threat of nuclear war--the greatest threat to life and the environment. Conference working groups prepared an agenda for action which, even though it is organized along sectoral disciplines, illustrates the complex linkages that unite issues in 1 area with those in several others. For example, problems existing in forests tie in with biological diversity, energy and fuelwood, and management of agricultural lands and watersheds. The agenda emphasizes policies and initiatives that synergistically influence serious problems in several sectors. It also tries to not present solutions that generate as many problems as it tries to solve. The 1st section of the agenda covers population, poverty, and development issues. it provides recommendations for developing and developed countries. It discusses urbanization and issues facing cities. The 3rd section embodies freshwater issues and has 1 list of recommendations for all sectors. The agenda addresses biological diversity, tropical forests, agricultural land, living marine resources, energy, and nonfuel minerals in their own separate sections. It discusses international assistance and the environment in 1 section. Another section highlights the need to assess conditions, trends, and capabilities. The last section comprises business, science, an citizens.
In: Population, resources, environment and development. Proceedings of the Expert Group on Population, Resources, Environment and Development, Geneva, 25-29 April 1983, [compiled by] United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. New York, New York, United Nations, 1984. 267-92. (Population Studies No. 90; ST/ESA/SER.A/90; International Conference on Population, 1984)The 1st section of this paper devoted to population, resources, and development broadly delineates for countries the physiological limits of land to support human populations according to pressure on resources. Subsequent sections examine the impact which an abatement of population growth could have by the year 2000 on resources in general and on the performance of the agricultural sector of developing countries in particular, link poverty to malnutrition, and deal with 1 specific aspect of the relation between distribution and undernutrition. The purpose of the final section is to highlight certain issues of the "food-feed competition" which requires more attention in the future. The frailty of the balance between population and resources is a basic concern of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN. FAO's purpose is to promote agricultural and rural development and to contribute to the improvement of people's nutritional level. The significant characteristics of the FAO work on "potential population supporting capacity of lands" are the improved soil and climatic data from which it starts and the explicit specification of the assumptions made about technology, inputs, and nutritional intake requirements. Both the carrying capacity project and the results of "Agriculture: Toward 2000" have emphasized the importance of the role that technology will play in world agriculture in the future. Yet, technology is not free and its cost should be compared to alternative solutions. Moving people -- migration -- is an option that suggests itself in relation to the carrying capacity project. Changes in certain institutions, including land reform, size of the farm, market systems, pricing regimes are more suggestions that may arise with respect "Agriculture: Toward 2000" and to the food-feed competition. The ultimate question continues to be whether high agricultural technology is feasible on a world agricultural scale without dire environmental and other effects.