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POPULI. 1988; 15(4):50-2.Participants in the 1988 Oslo Conference on Sustainable Development explored ways the United Nations system can promote sustainable development by enhancing global economic growth and social development. The deterioration of the environment, and the attendant problems of poverty and resource depletion, demand international cooperation and a new ethic based on equity, human solidarity, and accountability. Priority issues identified by conference participants included the following: developing human resources and fully integrated population policies; protecting the atmosphere and the global climate, ocean, and water resources; halting desertification and countering deforestation; controlling dissemination of dangerous wastes and aiming at the elimination of such toxins; increasing technology cooperation; controlling soil erosion and the loss of species; and securing economic growth, social justice, and a more equitable distribution of income and resources within and among countries as means for alleviating poverty. It was emphasized that poverty alleviation and environmental preservation can be made cost-effective components of development plans and programs and should not be considered as barriers to economic growth.
Health and the family life cycle: selected studies on the interaction between mortality, the family and its life cycle.
Wiesbaden, Federal Republic of Germany, Federal Institute for Population Research, 1982. 503 p.The family is the basic unit of society within which reproductive behavior, socialization patterns, and relations with the community are determined. The concept of the family life cycle provides an important frame of reference for the study of the history of a family traced through its various stages of development. The World Health Organization has developed a comprehensive program relating to the statistical aspects of the interrelationships between health and the family. The main objectives are: 1) to clarify the basic conceptual issues involved and to develop a family life cycle model; 2) to explore the statistical aspects of family-oriented health demography research; 3) to test and apply the methodology to the study of populations at different socioeconomic levels; and 4) to set forth some implications of the findings for social policy, health demography research, and the generation of a database for such studies. Demography research on the family consequences of mortality changes should not be limited to the study of their effect on the size and structure of the family, but should also deal with the impact on the timing of events and the life cycle as a dynamic phenomenon that is subject to change. This publication is from the 1981 Final Meeting on Family Life Cycle Methodology. The background documents fall into 3 main topics: 1) conceptual and methodological issues, 2) review of available evidence on the interaction between mortality and the family life cycle; and 3) case studies.
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.
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. 351-8. (Population Studies No. 90; ST/ESA/SER.A/90; International Conference on Population, 1984)The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program within the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) offers an ideal framework for pilot projects to study, at a microscale, the complicated interrelationships that exist between an area's population problems and its developmental and environmental problems. An underlying reason for initiating the MAB was the evidence that the pressures of population growth and movement and the demands of development had placed stress on human/environment relationships. A 1st pilot project was carried out in Fiji on population-resources-environment interrelations during 1974-77. The main objectives were to reduce gaps in existing knowledge, to elaborate a set of reference information and guidelines for planners, decision makers and research workers, and to develop further the methodological tools needed for tackling problems in this area. In light of the Fiji experience, the collaboration of the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and UNESCO has continued with the implementation of a 2nd-stage project on population, development, and environment interactions in the eastern Caribbean (1979-81). The 2 MAB pilot projects can be regarded as 2 successful efforts which advanced knowledge and methodology in general, but the task of building up a vast program of similar studies covering an array representative of the major environmental and development conditions in the 3rd world still needs to be tackled. Planning for a longer range future provides for action which may not be justifiable in the context of short-term planning. Such action includes the allocation of heavy initial investments to build up the infrastructure necessary for ensuring a sustainable energy system or to provide for ecological stability and the husbanding of natural resources to ensure the sustainable productive capacity of renewable resources. It is necessary to develop integrative approaches and to consider sociocultural factors in development planning. Considerations of a conceptual and methodological nature are identified.
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.