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    Development, life-styles, population and environment in Latin America.

    United Nations. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

    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. 403-32. (Population Studies No. 90; ST/ESA/SER.A/90; International Conference on Population, 1984)

    Relying on empirical work done by the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA), this paper illustrates how the demographic dynamics of Latin America in the last 2 decades and the environmental problems being faced by the people of the region are related to the specific productive structures and consumption patterns which, to different degrees depending on the country, prevailed during that time and are now even more widespread in Latin America. Analysis of the population/styles of development/life styles/environment relationships in Latin America provides some useful guidelines for future action in the field. The dominance of a development style in which transnational corporations play a key role demonstrates that many apparently local manifestations of the problems of population, resources, environment, and development have their cause elsewhere, in distant centers or decision making, or in a process triggered by someone else. A critical part of the interplay of these relationships in future years is likely to occur in the industrialized countries. This is so because of the global reach of many of their domestic and international policies and also because they act as centers which diffuse worldwide patterns and systems of production and consumption, transnational life styles, technologies, and so forth. What occurs in the developing countries is not likely to have such great influence worldwide, though in many instances it will be of critical importance for their domestic development. Everywhere, integrated/systems thinking, planning, policy, and decision making are a prerequisite for dealing with these interrelationships. In this context, different specific population policies will have a critical role to play. The remaining problem is that decision makers still need to learn how to think and act in an integrated and systematic manner. The gap between the desired schemes, models, and plans and the real world tends to be considerable. There are a number of things that could be undertaken internationally and by the UN system to fill the gap, and these are identified.
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