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New England Journal of Medicine. 2005 Feb 17; 352(7):647-649.At the first United Nations–sponsored international conference on population — held in Bucharest, Romania, in 1974 — the United States and other Western nations advocated the implementation of programs aimed at controlling the high rates of population growth then prevalent in resource- poor countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Most leaders from these countries, however, saw this as an inappropriate, imperialist goal to be imposed on their countries, when the real problems were related to poverty. Ten years later, at the second international conference in Mexico City, representatives of the Reagan administration argued that population growth was not a key issue and that, instead, the expansion of free-market systems was the key to development in poor countries. But by that time, many leaders of developing countries had reached the opposite conclusion — namely, that high rates of population growth were indeed hindering both economic and social development. At the meeting, there was also much debate about abortion-related issues, with the U.S. government and the Vatican highlighting an antichoice agenda. (excerpt)
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.
[Unpublished] 1989. 7 p.The World Bank President at a meeting of the World Resources Institute in 1989 addressed the issues of World Bank accomplishments, public awareness, industrial nations' responsibilities, and the link of poverty to population and the environment. Collective responsibility is urged. The cumulative effect of human activity will determine the fate of the planet. The World Bank has created a central Environment Department. Staff assigned full time to environmental issues has increased to 65 over 3 years. Environmental Issues Papers have been prepared for the most active borrowers, which in August 1989 included 70 countries. The Environmental Technical Assistance Program has US$5 million to distribute for environmental projects. Regional studies in an Asian urban environmental clean up and a Mediterranean environmental project were initiated and jointly funded with the European Investment Bank. By June 30, 1989, more than 100 projects with environmental components will be approved for funding, which is 35% of total yearly projects. 60% of all agricultural projects funded have environmental components. Funding for forestry projects is expected to double to US$950 million in the next 3 years, and US$1.3 million will be lent for environmental projects. Bringing environmental awareness to developing countries has been made difficult be fears that advanced countries are trying to impede economic development and to interfere with foreign sovereignty. Collective responsibility has not been agreed upon. Industrialized countries must be prepared to accept and remedy their own environmental shortcomings. 71% of industrial emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) comes from North America and Western Europe, which has only 8.2% of the world's population. Meanwhile, 7% of CO2 emissions come from developing countries, which have 70% of the world's population. The US produces 5 tons of CO2/person, while the world average is 1 ton/person. The US exports agricultural chemicals that are hazardous to human health. The US leads all industrial nations, except Canada, in energy use/unit of production of goods and services. 33% of all chlorofluorocarbons are released in the US. The population growth rate has a serious and life-threatening impact on human life. Natural resource constraints will limit growth. The solution is to provide family planning and expand the carrying capacities right now.
Population and development in perspective, with particular reference to the second United Nations Development Decade.
In: The population debate: dimensions and perspectives. Papers of the World Population Conference, Bucharest, 1974. Volume I. New York, New York, United Nations, 1975. 457-62. (Population Studies, No. 57; ST/ESA/SER.A/57)Earth's limited size, its finite supply of natural resources, and man's tendency to improve material standards of living dictate that an unlimited population is unsustainable. While population growth is not the main source of world problems, a world population policy is nonetheless called for. Such a policy should be flexible and established in the context of other interconnected world development problems and policies. It should be assumed that people throughout the world are very similar and that regularities between population tendencies and the progress of civilization appear universally. A rational approach should therefore be taken to all problems of mankind with proper emphasis upon each issue. Principles for analysis and recommendations are outlined with consideration of the complex and sensitive nature of population issues including the political, economic, social, and ethical implications. Objectively must be maintained in world population policy so that one group of countries or region is not thought to be against another. The General Assembly of the United Nations on the international development strategy for the 1970s was very cautious in recommending any kind of world population policy. Evidence indicates that most developing countries now acknowledge the need to limit population growth and that socioeconomic progress and national population policy are positive forces in that direction. Population should be less problematic in the 1970s. If world economic and social discrepancies and inequalities which cause mass poverty could be reduced, the rate of population growth may also be reduced. Instead of expressing concern over exhausting the Earth's limited resources, man should work to change human priorities and behavior patterns to foster sustainable development.
PEOPLE AND THE PLANET. 1992; 1(1-2):8-10.UNCED is about human beings managing their affairs so that all can achieve a reasonably good life without destroying the life-supporting environment. Currently human activities are approaching an upset of environmental balance through production of greenhouse gases, depletion of the ozone layer, and reduction of natural resources. Equity is the right to a decent life for the current human population of 5.5 billion and the future 10 billion expected within the next 50 years. A minimum use of environmental space/person is required. The Earth Summit will be a broad statement of environmental policy. Agenda 21 includes 115 action programs within 40 chapters. Separate conventions will be held on climate and biodiversity. The secretariat of UNCED has been working primarily with Agenda 21. Population issues are emphasized in Chapter 5 ("Demographic Dynamics and Sustainability") of the first section in Agenda 21 on Social and Economic Dimensions. The program areas include 1) research on the links between population, the environment, and development; 2) formulation by governments of integrated national policies on environment and development, which account for demographic trends, and promotion of population literacy; and 3) implementation of local level programs to ensure access to education and information and services in order to plan families freely and responsibly. Increases in funding for the population program are anticipated to be US $9 billion by the year 2000 and about US $7 billion/year until then. The year 2000 will bring with it a doubling of urban population in developing countries. There are challenges and opportunities to expand private sector job creation, education, clean water, and family health services. In addition to managing human settlements, there is also management of fragile ecosystems, which means relieving the pressure on these lands through urban migration or relocation to richer agricultural areas. The goal for agriculture is to triple food outputs over the next 50 years without increasing land use; improved soil and management systems are needed. Ocean/seas protection from pollution and provision of an adequate, clean water supply are other challenges. Demographic transition must be completed in order to improve global development success.
In: Public policies and the misuse of forest resources, edited by Robert Repetto, Malcolm Gillis. Cambridge, England, Cambridge University Press, 1988. 385-410. (World Resources Institute Book)The World Resources Institute has compiled 12 case studies on public policies from developed and developing countries and the misuse of forest resources into 1 book. All of the studies confirm that 3 key products of population growth and rural poverty in developing countries are responsible for deforestation. These products include shifting cultivation, agricultural conversion, and fuelwood gathering. Large development projects also foster forest destruction. Government policies contribute to and exacerbate these pressures which result in inefficient use of natural forest resources. Such policies directly and indirectly undermine conservation, regional development schemes, and other socioeconomic goals. Forestry policies include timber harvest concessions, levels and structures of royalties and fees, utilization of nonwood forests products, and reforestation. Tax incentives, credit subsidies, and resettlement programs comprise examples of nonforestry policies. Trade barriers established by industrialized countries have somewhat encouraged unsuitable investments and patterns of exploitation in forest industries in developing countries. Negotiations between exporting and importing countries within the confines of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA) should strive to reduce tariff escalation and nontariff barriers to processed wood imports from tropical countries and to justify incentives to forest industries in developing countries. These 12 case studies have come to the same conclusion as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization did in 1987: action to conserve forests is needed without delay.
PEOPLE. 1992; 19(1):32-4.The IPPF President asks his fellow Africans to look inward to find sources and solutions to the continent's problems. They can no longer blame colonialism and the international community for its problems, but should realize the governments of African countries which had little regard for their own people have misused government resources and not invested in people. Further the 1 party state is no longer effective at solving Africa's problems and people in many countries are beginning to prefer a multiparty democracy. In addition, 11% of the world's population inhabit Africa but Africa takes part in only 2% of the international trade. Africa's population growth rate is >3%/year and in 1992 it had almost 500 million people, yet the gross national product of the continent equals that of Belgium, a country of 10 million people. Development will need to come from Africans so governments must 1st develop its human resources base such as implementing policies that releases the entrepreneurial spirit, providing universal education, and training high levels professionals including planners, engineers, and entrepreneurs. In fact, military expenditures should be curtailed to make room for the much need development efforts. Further African governments must give priority to developing effective population and family planning programs. African population and family planning experts should convince government officials of the need to appropriate funds to these programs. Governments must also confront the problem of AIDS, but not at the expense of investment and general health programs. The 1990s are the last opportunity for Africa to mobilize its people, especially women and children, to pull itself out of poverty and despair.
[Unpublished] 1989. Presented at the Conference on Global Environment and Human Response toward Sustainable Development, Tokyo, Japan, September 11, 1989. 11 p.With the installation of Barner B. Conable as President of the World Bank, the Bank began to incorporate the environmental effects of development projects into its loan decisions. It has also augmented loans for environmental, population, and forestry projects. In 1988, >100 projects with important environmental elements (35% of all Bank and IDA projects) were approved, the majority of which were in agriculture. The Bank has expected the percentage of such projects to increase annually. Further, to assist the countries and the Bank in considering environmental concerns in the beginning stage of designing development projects, the Bank has developed Environmental Assessment Guidelines. The Bank has taken on a formidable task, however, since its primary purpose is to reduce poverty which often conflicts with protecting the environment. Its leadership believes that the 2 goals are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and, if they are to be achieved, the problems must be clearly defined and all the countries of the world must work towards solutions to benefit the global community. Additionally, the Bank has begun to encourage developing countries to switch to cleaner fuels, processes, and systems to curtail global warming. It also monitors research on carbon dioxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbon emissions, all of which contribute to the greenhouse effect, and on climatic change. The Bank has recognized, however, that improvement in the environment cannot occur fast enough, at the rate the earth's population is increasing. Therefore it continues to fund family planning and health projects.
Chichester, England, John Wiley, 1982. 317 p.This textbook provides basic information on social policies aimes at improving the welfare of the populations in developing countried and assessing the effectiveness of the major social policies which have been applied to the problems of poverty in these countried. The book is an outgrowth of experience gained in teaching a course in social policy and planning at London School of Economics. The focus is on social policied rather than on social planning techniques, and the central theme is that state intervention and the implementation of social policies are a necessary prerequisite for improving the welfare of the inhabitants of 3rd World countried. The chapter defines underdevelopment. It stresses the need for governments to develop social policies in accordance with their needs and resources and to develop policies which will redistribute resources to the most seriously disadvantaged segments of their population. The 2nd chapter defines poverty, describes the basic inequalities in living standards and income which exist in 3rd World countries, and discuss the major theories which have been put forward to explain poverty. The next 5 chapters discuss the problems of population growth, rural and urban development, health, and housing. The various policied which have been formulated to deal with each of these problems are described and compared in regard to their effectiveness. The next chapter discusses social work and the problems associated with the development of social welfare services in developing countries. The final chapter deals with international issues and assesses. The value of bilateral and multilateral aid. Major assumptions underlying the presentation of the material are 1)poverty impedes development, 2)poverty will not disappear without government intervention, 3)economic development by itself cannot reduce poverty, 4)poverty is the result of social factors rather than the result of inadequacies on the part of poor indiciduals, 5)socialpolicies and programs formulated to deal with problems in the developed countries are inappropriate for application in developing countries; 6)social policies must reflect the needs of each country; and 7)social planning should be an interdisciplinary endeavor and should utilize knowledge derived from all the social sciences.