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Ann Arbor, Michigan, University of Michigan, Dept. of Population Planning and International Health, . xxxiii, 134 p.In August 1989, scientists and leaders of international and national groups met at the international symposium for the Survival of Mankind in Tokyo, Japan, to discuss ideas about the interrelationship between population, environment, and development and obstacles to attaining sustainable development. The President of the Worldwatch Institute opened the symposium with a talk about energy, food, and population. Of fossil fuels, nuclear power, and solar energy, only the clean and efficient solar energy can provide sustainable development. Humanity has extended arable lands and irrigation causing soil erosion, reduced water tables, produced water shortages, and increased salivation. Thus agricultural advances since the 1950s cannot continue to raise crop yields. He also emphasized the need to halt population growth. He suggested Japan provide more international assistance for sustainable development. This talk stimulated a lively debate. The 2nd session addressed the question whether the planet can support 5. 2 billion people (1989 population). The Executive Director of UNFPA informed the audience that research shows that various factors are needed for a successful population program: political will, a national plan, a prudent assessment of the sociocultural context, support from government agencies, community participation, and improvement of women's status. Other topics discussed during this session were urbanization, deforestation, and international environmental regulation. The 3rd session covered various ways leading to North-South cooperation. A Chinese participant suggested the establishment of an international environmental protection fund which would assist developing countries with their transition to sustainable development and to develop clean energy technologies and environmental restoration. Another participant proposed formation of a North-South Center in Japan. The 4th session centered around means to balance population needs, environmental protection, and socioeconomic development.
New York, New York, Oxford University Press, 1992. xiv, 385 p.The World Resources Institute, the UN Environment Programme, and the UN Development Programme collaborate to produce the World Resources series to provide organizations and individuals with accessible and accurate information on the trends and conditions of natural resources and protection of the environment. This information is needed to reach sustainable development, eliminate poverty, improve the standard of living, and preserve biological life-sustaining systems. This 5th volume stresses sustainable development as does the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development. Part I, entitled Sustainable Development, includes an overview chapter and 3 case studies of possible means to achieve sustainable development in industrialized countries, low income countries, and rapidly industrializing countries. Part II focuses on one region of the world, Central Europe, to discuss how it was able to degrade the environment, the magnitude of the damage, and what possible steps to take to ameliorate the situation. Part III addresses basic conditions and trends, key issues, major problems and efforts to resolve them, and recent developments in population and human development, food and agriculture, forests and rangelands, wildlife and habitat, energy, freshwater, oceans and coasts, atmosphere and climate, and policies and institutions (governmental and nongovernmental organizations). Part IV lists core and supporting data from the World Resources Data Base. This volume contains an index and a World Resources Data Base index.
In: State of the world 1988. A Worldwatch Institute report on progress toward a sustainable society. New York, New York, W.W. Norton, 1988. 3-21.Most of the recognized threats to the world environment, such as the destruction of forests by acid rain, the ozone hole, population growth, energy use, and the greenhouse effect, have moved from hypothetical projections to present-day realities which can be solved only by international efforts. The Montreal accords of 1987 to limit the production of chlorofluorocarbons and the UN call for a cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq war were steps in this direction. But a look at the "vital signs" of the earth as expressed by environmental crises will show how much more is needed. Deforestation for agriculture and logging causes as estimated loss of 11 million hectares of forest each year. Deforestation means erosion. The topsoil layer, once 6-10 inches deep over the globe is being blown or washed away at the rate of 26 billion tons a year. The soil is not only being depleted, it is being contaminated by agricultural pesticides and toxic wastes. In Poland, for example, 1/4 of the soil is unfit for food production, and only 1% of the water is safe for drinking due to chemical contamination. The depletion of the ozone layer is no longer observed only in Antarctica; it has dropped up to 9% in North Dakota, Maine, and Switzerland. The loss of forests and the acidification of lakes and soil are causing whole species to become extinct. World population continues to grow, as each year 80 million more people are born than die. But the real problem is not population growth per se; it is the relationship between population size and the sustainable yield of local forests, grasslands, and croplands. In 1982 India's forests could sustain an annual harvest of 30 million tons of wood; the estimated demand was 133 million tons. In 9 Southern African countries the number of cattle exceed the carrying capacity of the grasslands by 50% to 100%. In India enough fodder is raised to supply only 50% to 80% of the needs of cattle. The results of deforestation, overgrazing and overplowing is desertification, which compounded by drought, brings famine. The relationship between population growth and land degradation is reflected in per capita food production. In China it has risen by 1/3 since 1970, but in Africa it has fallen by 1/5; and India, despite the Green Revolution, will have to import grain if there is another failure of the monsoons. Another indicator of environmental ill-health is energy consumption, which is again on the rise. Industrial use of oil and coal, especially in the US, the USSR, and China, has resulted in air pollution and acid rain, which by September 1987 had damaged 30.7 million hectares of forests in Europe. But by far the most serious result of the burning of fossil fuels and wood is the 7 billion tons of carbon discharged annually into the atmosphere, causing the greenhouse effect, which will raise the global temperature between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius by year 2050. Patterns of World settlement and agriculture will change drastically; irrigation and drainage systems will have to be adjusted; and a rise in sea levels between 1.4 and 2.2 meters by year 2100 could inundate coastal cities. In view of these deteriorating "vital signs" of the planet, nations must work together to turn one earth into one world. The Montreal accord on ozone protection and the 1987 US-Soviet arms limitation were a good beginning. The greenhouse effect and the changing climate are logical candidates for the next round of world environmental deliberations.