Your search found 32 Results

  1. 1

    21 issues for the 21st century: Result of the UNEP Foresight Process on Emerging Environmental Issues.

    United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP]

    Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP, 2012. [60] p.

    The purpose of the UNEP Foresight Process is to produce, every two years, a careful and authoritative ranking of the most important emerging issues related to the global environment. UNEP aims to inform the UN and wider international community about these issues on a timely basis, as well as provide input to its own work programme and that of other UN agencies, thereby fulfilling the stipulation of its mandate: “keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action”. This report is the outcome of that process and presents the identified issues titled: 21 Issues for the 21st Century. These issues cut across all major global environmental themes including food production and food security; cities and land use; biodiversity, fresh water and marine; climate change and energy, technology and waste issues. (Excerpt)
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    Empowerment and disempowerment of forest women in Uttarakhand, India.

    Sarin M

    Gender, Technology and Development. 2001 Sep-Dec; 5(3):341-364.

    Empowering women of forest based societies to participate in local forest management has become an essential rhetorical commitment of donor funded 'participatory' forestry projects and state policies for devolution of forest management. Instead of increasing women's empowerment, the top-down interventions of a World Bank funded forestry project in Uttarakhand are doing the opposite by disrupting and marginalizing their own struggles and achievements, transferring power and authority to the forest department and local elite men. A number of case studies illustrate the project's insensitivity to the dynamic functioning of existing self-governing institutions and the women's ongoing struggles within them to gain greater voice and control over forest resources for improving their quality of life and livelihood security. The article argues for active engagement of forest women and their communities in the policy and project formulation process itself, which permits building upon women's and men's own initiatives and struggles while strengthening gender-equal democratization of self-governing community forestry institutions. (author's)
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  3. 3

    The global possible: resources, development, and the new century.

    Global Possible Conference (1984: Wye Plantation)

    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.
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  4. 4

    Population and sustainable development.

    International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources [IUCN]. Task Force on Population and Conservation for Sustainable Development

    Gland, Switzerland, IUCN, 1987. 63 p.

    A special Task Force Report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources focusing on population contains chapters on demographic trends, structural changes and future growth, population policies, family planning programs, relations between population, conservation and development, and recommendations. Unprecedented population growth in this century is such that most countries have people living who have seen their population triple, and Zimbabwe as an example of an African country has grown 8-fold in this period. Population growth is only 1 among many factors that aggravate conservation and development; others include decreasing food supply, inappropriate development patterns fostered by debt, trade imbalances, misguided aid, and even the food surpluses of the North. Current environmental crises will contribute to a predicted 33% loss in arable land by 2000. The report ends with 12 recommendations, e.g., corroboration by country-level population, conservation and development agencies by identifying relevant institutions and introducing coordinating mechanisms. Every couple should be provided with means to plan their family, an effort estimated to cost $6 billion more than the current $2 billion being spent. Women should be given the right of choice about pregnancy, education, and integration into socio-economic development.
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  5. 5

    Social studies and population education. Book Two: man in his environment.

    University of Sierra Leone. Institute of Education

    Freetown, Sierra Leone, Ministry of Education, 1984. 80 p. (UNFPA/UNESCO Project SIL/76/POI)

    The National Programme in Social Studies in Sierra Leone has created this textbook in the social sciences for secondary school students. Unit 1, "Man's Origins, Development and Characteristics," presents the findings of archaeologists and anthropologists about the different periods of man's development. Man's mental development and population growth are also considered. Unit 2, "Man's Environment," discusses the physical and social environments of Sierra Leone, putting emphasis on the history of migrations into Sierra Leone and the effects of migration on population growth. Unit 3, "Man's Culture," deals with cultural traits related to marriage and family structure, different religions of the world, and traditional beliefs and population issues. Unit 4, "Population and Resources," covers population distribution and density and the effects of migration on resources. The unit also discusses land as a resource and the effects of the land tenure system, as well as farming systems, family size and the role of women in farming communities. Unit 5, "Communication in the Service of Man", focuses on modern means of communication, especially mass media. Unit 6, "Global Issues: Achievements and Problems," discusses the identification of global issues, such as colonialism, the refugee problem, urbanization, and the population problems of towns and cities. The unit describes 4 organizations that have been formed in response to problems such as these: the UN, the Red Cross, the International Labor Organization, and the Co-operative for American Relief.
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  6. 6

    1993 African socio-economic indicators. 1993 indicateurs socio-economiques africains.

    United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa

    [Addis Ababa, Ethiopia], United Nations, Economic Commission for Africa, 1994 Dec. xvii, 77 p.

    This report provides socioeconomic statistical data for 53 African countries including totals by region, on vital statistics, demographic and socioeconomic indicators, and land use and food production. The data pertain to 1990 and 1993 on a regular basis and occasionally other decennial or quinquennial periods back to 1970. Demographic and social indicators include mid year population, female population, age and sex ratio, annual growth rates of total and urban population, age dependency ratio, total fertility and reproduction rates, crude birth and death rates, economic dependency ratio, economic activity by sex and sector, activity rates, survival indicators, infant mortality rate, health care indicators, access to social and health facilities, illiteracy, and school enrollment by level. Economic indicators include gross domestic product (GDP) by activity and expenditure; annual growth rates of GDP; land use and per capita land use; production of agriculture and forestry; agricultural products by broad groups; index number of food production; production and consumption of fertilizers; mineral sector production; value added in manufacturing; consumption of electricity; crude petroleum production; trade of solid fuels; imports and exports by structure, commodity group, and annual growth rates; balance of trade; share of value of world exports and imports; balance of payments; external debt; central government tax revenue; consumer price index; length of asphalt roads; motor vehicles; and shipping and air traffic.
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  7. 7

    Landscape as life support provider. Water-related limitations.

    Falkenmark M

    In: Population -- the complex reality. A report of the Population Summit of the world's scientific academies, edited by Francis Graham-Smith. London, England, Royal Society, 1994. 103-16.

    Life is based on the continuous circulation of water. This essential idea has been ignored in major UN conferences at Rio and in the Brundtland report. Development occurs within several constructs: 1) the landscape reality controlled by natural laws and human management and 2) human mental attitudes and mechanics of economy and administration. A Northern "temperate zone imperialism" has occurred in discussing developing country problems. Absent from discussions has been the water scarcity issue and the general dimensions of balancing increasing human needs and limited resource capacity. Demographers must begin analysis of the impact of scarce water resources on population dynamics. Three outcomes are possible: water quality deterioration, food scarcity in general, and crop failure from drought and the consequent famines. In dry climates water is consumed at the rate of 1000 cubic meters of water per ton of biomass produced. Water is continually recycled between land mass and the atmosphere. Water scarcity is expected to increase by 10 times over the next 20 years. The landscape is vulnerable under water scarcity conditions. Water contamination poses disease hazards, and droughts create famine situations. The impact of water supply (environmental vulnerability) is the greatest in developing countries compared to temperate climate countries, because agriculture is the main income producing commodity, evaporative demand is high, and the climate includes frequent droughts or lack of water for part of the year. The dilemma is that the greatest population numbers are in regions with the most environmental vulnerability. Subsistence level requirements have been estimated at 500-2500 cubic meters per capita annually for water and for food security with irrigation at 750 cubic meters per capita annually. Water storage in reservoirs from flood flow would sustain a population density of 600 persons/flow unit of water. Constraints to water supplies are land related, water quality related, and globally related. The water scarcity situation will appear far before the greenhouse gas-driven changes affect the environment.
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  8. 8

    Towards an effective and operational international convention on desertification.

    Speth JG

    [Unpublished] 1994. Presented at the Third INC-D Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on the International Convention on Desertification, United Nations, New York, 17 January 1994. 4 p.

    In his speech before the intergovernmental negotiating desertification committee of the UN on January 17, 1994, Gus Speth addressed the issues of sustainable food security, the importance of the deterioration of land resources, the global mechanisms for environmental change, and country targets and negotiations. He recognized the role of desertification as a barrier to sustainable food security and sustainable livelihoods. 13-18 million people die each year from hunger, malnutrition, and poverty-related causes. One billion are too poor to obtain the food necessary to sustain a normal work load. Half a million people are too poor to obtain food for minimal activity. Every third child is underweight by the age of five years. Approximately 2500 calories of food per day are consumed by the four billion world population. World food output must triple in order to meet demand. The desertification committee has the capacity to meet these challenges by focusing on agreements and actions with results for real people. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is working on desertification in Africa and has five goals for helping countries deal with the problems. Severe land degradation can be stopped by the formation of action plans by involved countries and with support from new donors. Success will depend upon the extensive involvement of nongovernmental organizations, affected communities, women's groups, and grassroots organizations which should focus on underlying causes. Targets should be set for slowing or reversing the process over a 10-year period or longer. UNDP aims to support each country's development plans and policies for combating desertification, to strengthen local community institutions, to build capacity for disaster mitigation and preparedness, and to improve the information base on environment and natural resources. UNDP wants to bring together all relevant UNDP initiatives (UNSO, Capacity 21, GEF, the SDN, the CDF, UNIFEM, and the core program) and make a concerted effort to attack severe desertification areas. A global partnership is needed. UNDP is working to enhance the participation of some of the most affected countries and to provide technical and financial assistance.
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  9. 9

    Nepal: "a problem of governance".

    Bhattarai B

    PEOPLE AND THE PLANET. 1993; 2(4):10-3.

    Nepal faces the choice between sustainable development in a fragile mountain environment in balance with a growing population or the continuation of stagnation and inertia. The political change of April 1990 created new optimism for the country's 18.5 million people, 70% of who live in abject poverty despite international aid making up 60% of the development budget. The maternal mortality rate stands at an exorbitant 850 deaths/100,000. The life expectancy of women is lower than that of men, and there is only 1 doctor for every 30,000 people, while 90% of births are not attended by a trained practitioner. The annual population growth rate amounts to 2.1%, which could double population in 30 years. This rate had outstripped crop production on a limited supply of land, resulting in the addition of another 250,000 poor people every year to the total. Government policies are skewed; a major hydroelectric project is planned to be constructed in 1994 despite talk about poverty alleviation. The National Conservation Plan of 1988 is in its 3rd phase of implementation, with plans in forestry, irrigation, livestock, and horticulture also being implemented at the request of the World Bank. Family planning lapsed as the vertical delivery system was replaced by a horizontal one encouraging villages to build sub-health posts providing family planning and primary health care. 700 such village health posts exist among 4000 villages, and another 600 are scheduled to open in 1994. Positive signs of meaningful development efforts include the budgetary shift to education, health care, and clean drinking water provision. Decentralization laws passed in 1992 and subsequent local elections aimed at handing over to local people the responsibility for their development assisted by government funds and technical support. The poor and often illiterate people have the manpower to dig irrigation canals and stabilize hillside terraces; therefore, the ruling party's central policy is to mobilize there human resources for development
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  10. 10

    Urban management intervention in land markets.

    Mattingly M

    In: Managing fast growing cities. New approaches to urban planning and management in the developing world, edited by Nick Devas and Carole Rakodi. Harlow, England, Longman Scientific and Technical, 1993. 102-31.

    Government management of urban land is intertwined with the operations of urban land markets, whose better understanding is necessary if government actions are to be more successful. Effective urban management is critical to achieving the proper functioning of urban areas in the developing world so that these areas can play their roles in the social and economic development of their people. Understanding the urban land market means understanding matters from both these approaches: the interplay of supply and demand and the economic cost and benefits, as well as the roles of the social agents in the production of land prices and the social costs and benefits involved. Planned land-use patterns, density regulations, the timing and location of new roads and water pipes, and taxes based on land values comprise the substance of a long tradition of urban growth management. Rapid urbanization steadily increases the numbers needing space and, therefore, engaged in the competition for land. Policies to determine ownership are usually directed at the needs of governments and the poor for land. Efforts to improve the housing conditions of low-income families through land policies have encountered some unexpected market effects. Corruption and favoritism were blamed, then the political necessity of satisfying the middle income groups, which are a pivotal support of governments in power. Urban managers attempt to determine the uses of land in order to improve the health and safety of the general public or to achieve policies of urban planning. The factors of the motives of policy interventions include: macro-level influences on land markets; past patterns of spatial development, which set the physical location and nature of new conversions from raw land to urban and from one urban use to another; the legal and social traditions of property relations; and, finally, the economic and social sectors involved in land transactions.
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  11. 11

    Managing hazard-prone lands in cities of the developing world.

    Bernstein JD

    In: Environmental management and urban vulnerability, edited by Alcira Kreimer, Mohan Munasinghe. Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1992. 153-74. (World Bank Discussion Papers 168)

    Hazard-prone urban areas may be the only land available for squatter or other low-income settlements in developing countries because of lack of money. In many cities the scarcity of land is artificially induced by ineffective land management and inappropriate land regulation, lack of secure tenure, inadequate information, and inappropriate taxation. Excessive zoning regulation in Serpong, southwest of Jakarta, restricts residential use to only 34% of the total land area. More information is needed on land ownership, land values, land use; ambient environmental quality, waste management practices; health conditions; housing conditions; and natural hazards and associated risks. To accommodate the needs of low-income populations, one approach restricts development in designated hazard-prone areas but provides alternative safe sites for development while considering availability, location of existing roads and water/wastewater disposal systems, land values, and development pressures. Regulatory approaches including land use controls can be effective, but local officials in developing countries rarely use zoning effectively. Building regulations are important in controlling losses from floods and tropical cyclones. In 1982 the Caribbean Community Secretariat developed a Caribbean Uniform Building Code to reduce damages from tropical cyclones. Shoreline exclusion strategies can also limit residential and tourist development in areas at high risk of deaths and property losses from hurricanes, cyclones, tsunamis, soil liquefaction, land sinkage, and landslides. In the United States, the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 provides federally subsidized flood insurance for property in mapped flood-prone areas. Environmental impact assessments address whether a proposed project will be affected by natural hazards. Vulnerability assessments estimate the degree of damage from a natural phenomenon by analyzing human populations; capital resources such as settlements, lifelines, production facilities, public assembly facilities, and cultural patrimony; and economic activities and the normal functioning of settlements.
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  12. 12

    World resources 1992-93.

    World Resources Institute; United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP]; United Nations Development Programme [UNDP]

    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.
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  13. 13

    The global partnership for environment and development. A guide to Agenda 21.

    United Nations Conference on Environment and Development [UNCED] (1992: Rio de Janeiro)

    Geneva, Switzerland, UNCED, Secretariat, 1992 Apr. [4], 116 p. (E.92.I.15)

    The UN Conference on Environmental and Development Preparatory Committee (UNCED) agreed on an action plan of global partnership for sustainable development and environmental protection entitled Agenda 21 to be adopted at the June 1992 UNCED in Rio de Janeiro. The priority actions are a call for action to achieve a prospering, just, and habitable world. These actions also promote a fertile, shared, and clean planet via extensive and responsible public participation at local, national, and global levels. Since most environmental problems originate with the failures and inadequacies of the current development process, the 1st action centers around revitalizing growth with sustainability including international policies to accelerate sustainable development in developing countries and integration of environment and development in decision making. The 2nd action is achieving sustainable living by attacking poverty, changing consumption patterns, and recognizing and acting on the links between population dynamics and sustainability, and providing basic health needs to preserve human health. The 3rd action addresses human settlements including urban water supplies, solid wastes management, and urban pollution and health. The 4th and 7th action plans incorporate the most subtopics. The 4th action plan calls for efficient resource use ranging from land resource planning and management to sustainable agriculture and rural development. The 7th plan is a call for individuals and groups to participate and be responsible for sustainable development. The major identified groups are women, children and youth, indigenous people, nongovernmental organizations, farmers, local authorities, trade unions, business and industry, and the scientific and technological community. The 5th plan addresses global and regional resources including protection of the atmosphere, the oceans and seas, and sustainable use of living marine resources. The 6th plan deals with management of toxic and hazardous chemicals and radioactive wastes.
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  14. 14

    Population, resources and the environment. Report of the Secretary-General.

    United Nations. Secretary-General

    In: The population debate: dimensions and perspectives. Papers of the World Population Conference, Bucharest, 1974. Volume I. New York, New York, United Nations, 1975. 77-123. (Population Studies, No. 57; ST/ESA/SER.A/57)

    The Secretary-General's commentary on the state of population growth, resources, and the environment examines the most important relationship. Conflicts in resource use and distribution and essential resources are identified: potential water and land resources for agriculture, availability of potential arable land, new technology, carrying capacity, capital needs, the imbalance between population and arable land, energy needs, agricultural modernization, nonfuel mineral resources, and energy resources. The relationship between rapid population growth and the environment may be one where man is indeed capable of reducing the environmental consequences to tolerable level through reallocation of resources. There a 3 sets of environmental problems: 1) those related to poverty and inadequate social and economic development; 2) those arising from the development process itself; and 3) those which could have a major impact on climate or environmental conditions and are not well understood. The environmental problems of developed countries pertain to high levels of energy use and the problems of affluence. In poor countries, environmental problems are caused by rapid population growth and urbanization, and poverty. Environmental destruction from mining and transportation are discussed along with the need for conversion to alternative forms of energy and reduction of polluting energy use. Developing countries' problems focus on water supply and waste disposal, the benefits of environmental improvement, and the global changes possible in climate, carbon dioxide emissions, and particulate matter in the atmosphere. "Hot spots" from fossil fuel combustion and nuclear fission are occurring; accurate data, improved analytical models, and international cooperation in monitoring and analysis is essential. Settlement patterns and the costs plus the internal organization of large urban areas are some of the problems examined. Rural development, rural-urban migration, and population redistribution are other issues of concern. Urban development and urban growth strategies reflect the potential need to curb urban migration and a new settlement system. Technology's impact on population, research gaps, and policy implications are revealed. Definitions of societal objectives are necessary before deciding what technology is needed.
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  15. 15

    Major impact: a global population policy can advance human development in the 21st century.

    McNamara RS

    INTEGRATION. 1992 Dec; (34):8-17.

    In Tokyo, Japan, former president of the World Bank, Robert McNamara, addressed the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute Symposium in April 1992. He reiterated a statement he made during his first presentation as president of the World Bank in September 1968--rapid population growth is the leading obstacle to economic growth and social well-being for people living in developing countries. He called for both developed and developing countries to individually and collectively take immediate action to reduce population growth rates, otherwise coercive action will be needed. Rapid population growth prevents countries from achieving sustainable development and jeopardizes our physical environment. It also exacerbates poverty, does not improve the role and status of women, adversely affects the health of children, and does not allow children a chance at a quality life. Even if developing countries were to quickly adopt replacement level fertility rates, high birth rates in the recent past prevent them from reducing fast population growth for decades. For example, with more than 60% of females in Kenya being at least 19 years old (in Sweden they represent just 23%), the population would continue to grow rapidly for 70 years if immediate reduction to replacement level fertility occurred. Mr. McNamara emphasized than any population program must center on initiating or strengthening extensive family planning programs and increasing the rate of economic and social progress. Successful family planning programs require diverse enough family planning services and methods to meet the needs of various unique populations, stressing of family planning derived health benefits to women and children, participation of both the public and private sectors, and political commitment. McNamara calculated that a global family planning program for the year 2000 would cost about US$8 billion. He added that Japan should increase its share of funds to population growth reduction efforts.
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  16. 16

    Population crisis and desertification in the Sudano-Sahelian region.

    Milas S

    ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION. 1984 Summer; 11(2):167-9.

    People living in the area just south of the Sahara Desert in Africa face their 3rd major drought since 1900. This drought brings about famine. Drought and famine are only manifestations of more profound problems: soil erosion and degradation. They diminish land productivity which aggravates the population's poverty. Yet soil erosion and degradation occur due to an expanding population. Continued pressures on the land and soil degradation results in desertification. The UN Environment Programme's Assessment of the Status and Trend of Desertification shows that between 1978-84 desertification spread. Expanding deserts now endanger 35% of the world's land and 20% of the population. In the thorn bush savanna zone, most people are subsistence farmers or herdsmen and rely on the soils, forests, and rangelands. Even though the mean population density in the Sahel is low, it is overpopulated since people concentrate in areas where water is available. These areas tend to be cities where near or total deforestation has already occurred. Between 1959-84, the population in the Sahel doubled so farmers have extended cultivation into marginal areas which are vulnerable to desertification. The livestock populations have also grown tremendously resulting in overgrazing and deforestation. People must cook their food which involves cutting down trees for fuelwood. Mismanagement of the land is the key cause for desertification, but the growing poor populations have no choice but to eke out an existence on increasingly marginal lands. Long fallow periods would allow the land to regain its fertility, but with the ever-increasing population this is almost impossible. Humans caused desertification. We can improve land use and farming methods to stop it.
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  17. 17

    Sands of change: why land becomes desert and what can be done about it.

    Clarke R

    Nairobi, Kenya, United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP], [1988]. [8] p. (UNEP Environment Brief No. 2)

    35% of the world's land consists of dry lands supporting 850 million people who face desertification risks. They tend to be already disadvantaged. These lands exist on every continent. 75% of Australia, 34% of Africa, 31% of Asia, 19% of Americas, and 2% of Europe face the risk of desertification. About 75% of dry lands are already desertified. Between 1985-75, the Sahara migrated southward about 100 km. Drought does not cause desertification but manmade forces do. These forces include poverty, inequitable distribution of resources, unsuitable land use and farming methods, overgrazing, intensive cash cropping onto marginal land best used for pastoralism, settling of previously nomadic peoples, and deforestation which tends to precede desertification. Desertified land can heal itself slowly once the forces that caused the desertification no longer exist. Encroaching dunes and sand sheets, deteriorating croplands and rangelands, water-logging and salinization of irrigated land, destruction of trees and shrubs, and deterioration in either the quantity or the quality of ground and surface water constitute desertification. Desertification contributed to the ruin of the Sumerian, Babylonian, Harappan, and Roman civilizations. Irrigation sparked 3 periods of rapid population growth in Iraq, 2 of which crashed due to water-logging and salinization (1800 B.C. and 900 A.D.). Desertification worsens the already existing poverty of the affected population thus forcing them to migrate to cities or other countries. Solutions lie in improved farming systems, sand dune fixation, and end to overgrazing and overcropping, erection of windbreaks and shelter belts, reforestation, and improved soil and water conservation. Each affected country must develop a national plan to fight desertification such as Tunisia did. The UN Environment Programme serves as a catalyst for doing so.
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  18. 18

    For the environmentalists, hurdles on the road to Rio.

    Brooke J

    NEW YORK TIMES. 1992 Mar 27; A6.

    The 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development is the subject of some controversy 10 weeks before it is to begin. There is a corruption scandal involving the resignation of Luiz Octavio Themudo who has been accused of violating bidding rules when he awarded the contract to renovate the meeting hall for the conference. Themudo denies any wrongdoing, and explains that he resigned in order to avoid damaging the conference. Brazil's President Collor replaced the 2 top environmental officials, the Secretary for the Environment and the head of the environmental protection agency. Collor explained his action because Secretary Lutzenberger displayed managerial inexperience and had a radicalized vision of the world. The cholera epidemic is spreading down the Atlantic Coast and is expected to be in Rio in full force by May. There have been 2751 cases reported with a death rate of only 2%. President Bush has not yet committed to going to the conference. Collor considers his presence decisive because the US is the leading country of the developed world. 60 heads of state have already committed to going, almost every leader from the developed world is currently planning on attending. The new president of the environmental protection agency, Maria Teresa Jorge Padua, former head of the parks department, has announced a new Amazon protection plan that would expand Brazil's national park system to include 30% of the Amazon. As an experienced fund raiser, she has identified US$500 million in foreign financing available for environmental protection in Brazil. US$120 million coming from the World Bank, and US$30 million from the Inter-American Development Bank.
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  19. 19

    Population growth can prevent the development that would slow population growth.

    Keyfitz N

    In: Preserving the global environment: the challenge of shared leadership, edited by Jessica T. Mathews. New York, New York/London, England, W. W. Norton, 1991. 39-77.

    The thesis that human population growth will eventually destroy the equilibrium of the world ecosystem, because environmental strain is a nonlinear effect of the linear growth, is embellished with discussions of technology and resulting pollution, population dynamics, birth and death rates, effects of expanded education, causes of urbanization, time constraints and destabilizing effects of partial development and the debt crisis. It is suggested that the terms renewable and nonrenewable resources are paradoxical, since the nonrenewable resoureces such as minerals will always exist, while renewable ecosystems and species are limited. The competitive economy actually accelerates destruction of biological resoureces because it overvalues rare species when they have crossed the equilibrium threshold and are in decline. Technological outputs are proportional to population numbers: therefore adverse effects of population should be considered in billions, not percent increase even though it is declining. Even the United Nations does not have predictions of the effects of added billions, taking into account improved survival and decreased infant mortality. Rapid urbanization of developing countries and their debt crisis have resulted from political necessity from the point of view of governments in power, rather than mere demographics. Recommendations are suggested for U.S. policy based on these points such as enlightened political leadership, foreign aid, and scientific investment with the health of the world ecosystem in mind rather than spectacle and local political ideology.
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  20. 20


    Tu'ipelehake F

    In: Population perspectives. Statements by world leaders. Second edition, [compiled by] United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA]. New York, New York, UNFPA, 1985. 191-2.

    The government of Tonga wishes to extend its appreciation to the organizers of the Mexico Conference. The population of Tonga is 103,000 people spread over a distance of 747 square miles. The King of Tonga, realizing the seriousness of population dilemmas, implemented programmes as early as the 1960's. The result can be seen in decreases in the population, the annual growth rate and fertility rate. The government of Tonga is constrained by its Constitution, which allows a land allotment to males who have reached the age of majority. However, the population of Tonga is growing and the Government is fast running out of land. The country is also suffering from internal and external migration, producing a "brain drain" in Tonga's most needed areas. However, the government has been able to deal with its population problems, in part due to its own NGOs and international organizations such as the UN.
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  21. 21

    Kitale maize: the limits of success.

    Johnson CW; Byergo KM; Fleuret P; Simmons E; Wasserman G

    [Washington, D.C.], U.S. Agency for International Development, 1979 Dec. 13 p. (A.I.D. Project Impact Evaluation Report No. 2)

    In 1964, hybrid maize was released for commercial production in Kenya. An aggressive private firm, the Kenya Seed Company, reproduced the seed, distributed it, and promoted it throughout the country via a network of private storekeepers. Hybrid maize allowed Kenya to feed itself and to industrialize rapidly at the same time in the face of a very rapid increase in population. Hybrid maize made it possible for Kenya to earn foreign exchange from the export of cash crops by reducing the demand for land for food crops. There were, however, limits to this success: 1) an indigenous maize research capacity has not been created in Kenya; 2) a substantial number of the country's poor have not been able to participate directly in achieving the increased yields; and 3) the policies of the government have not changed sufficiently to allow the full economic benefits of the technology to filter through the existing marketing systems to smallholders. The Agency for International Development (AID) played a role in the success of the hybrid maize. AID shares responsibility for the successful diffusion of the seed to neighboring countries in Eastern Africa. Several lessons were learned from the observations of Kenyan maize growers: 1) simplicity and viability were the decisive technical factors in the success of hybrid maize; 2) the private sector was crucial in its diffusion; 3) equity cannot be expected; 4) long term continuity of foreign experts was basic to the success of the breeding program; 5) foreign advisors do not automatically create an institutional capacity to perform agricultural research; 6) pragmatism should surround AID support for regionalism; and 7) too many lessons should not be drawn from the Kenyan experience.
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  22. 22

    Population and environment.

    Agarwal A

    Economic and Political Weekly. 1985 Jun 15; 20(24):1,035-7.

    A critical question for expert and laypersons is whether India's lands can support its large and growing population. This is where the "carrying capacity" comes in, for it is the number of people or animals that an area of land can support on a sustainable basis. Not 1 expert in India has attempted to quantify the carrying capacity of the area under a single development block, let alone the entire country. In late 1983, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released an extensive study on the question of what India's land is physically capable of producing on a sustainable basis, without entering the realm of social organization and land reform. The picture of India that emerges from "Potential Population Supporting Capacities of Lands in the Developing World" is both exhilirating and sobering. India has enormous problems yet also has an equally enormous natural resource base for solving its problems. Assuming high and intermediate levels of inputs, the potential population supporting capacity of India's lands increased to 6.84 and 3.53 persons per hectare. India's lands could have fed as much as 3 1/2 times the existing population in 1975. By the year 2000 the picture changes for the better because of India's massive irrigation development plans. To obtain an estimate of the land that would be under rainfed production, FAO experts substracted the land under irrigation and land under nonagricultural uses. To get an estimate of the land under nonagricultural use, the study takes an average figure of 0.05 hectare per person of nonagricultural land. This means that in 1975 India needed 31 million hectares on nonagricultural land (10% of the total land area) and by 2000 it will need 52 million hectares (16% of the total land area). In this way, the study obtains a number of agro-ecological cells available for rainfed cultivation. After selecting the input level (low, intermediate, or high), each agroecological unit is then analyzed separately for 18 different crops, including grasslands, to get an estimate of the livestock potential. Thus, the study obtains the crop which is most productive under the unique circumstances of each agroecological unit. This gives the total productivity of each agroecological unit. What the FAO study shows clearly is that the key factors that will determine future success are good soil and water management measures. Both elements are totally lacking in India's agricultural management system. Probably more than family planning programs, India needs national "ecodevelopment" programs.
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  23. 23

    Population and natural resources.

    International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources [IUCN]. Commission on Ecology

    In: Population and natural resources and other reports. Gland, Switzerland, IUCN Commission on Ecology, 1984. 1-4. (Commission on Ecology Occasional Paper, No. 3.)

    The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and the Members' assembly of the International Planned Parenthood Federation's (IPPF) statement on the world's conservation strategy is a guide to sustain development through the careful use of natural resources. Continuing rapid population growth may force societies to take measures that limit social and environmental options, thus reducing the quality of human existence. UN projections show the world population surpassing 10 billion before stabilizing in about 2100. The links between human numbers and natural resources have great regional differences. Some communities have adopted ways of life that involve high levels of resource comsumption. Almost entirely through loss of habitat, caused by the upsurge in human numbers and consumption, species are becoming extinct at a rate of hundreds and perhaps thousands each year. Such extinction means a loss of crucial ecological services such as the control of pests. Another effect of our growing population is the quality of arable land that is being impaired by a combination of urbanization, desertification, erosion, and salinization. In most countries the rate of soil loss from croplands far exceeds the rate of soil formation. Other resources affected by the growing population are: 1) lack of food resources--65 countries will not be able to feed their projected population from their own lands by 2000 if farming methods remain at their present low levels; 2) the demand for water is growing several times faster than the population, as agricultural, industrial and domestic uses increase; and 3) global output of the most convenient fossil fuel, petroleum, has peaked, and the per capita supply will continue to fall as the global population rises. Population and conservation policies must be part of broader efforts to evolve ecologically sustainable patterns of development in countries at all economic levels. It is the view of IUCN that all nations should take steps to stabilize populations at levels which will permit improvements in the quality of life, in ways which do not damage biological and physical support systems.
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  24. 24

    Population, resources and development.

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO]

    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.
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  25. 25

    The effects of population growth on renewable resources.

    Revelle R

    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. 223-40. (Population Studies No. 90; ST/ESA/SER.A/90; International Conference on Population, 1984)

    Human beings have increased in numbers and in technological capability and consequently their impacts on their own evironment have become more pronounced. A clearcut example of the enviornmental effect of population growth is the increase of the area of agricultural lands during the last 120 years when the world's human population increased by more than 3-fold. Throughout most of this period, food yields per unit area of cultivated land changed very slowly, and growing populations could be fed only by plowing more land. Between 1860-1920 more than half of the increase in farmland occurred in the developed areas, and these regions also produced more than half of the worldwide growth in population. Population growth increased markedly between 1920-78, being between 4-5 times that in the previous 60 years. On a worldwide basis, and to a large extent within regions, the decrease in farm area per person as time passed reflected in part increases in crop yields per hectare resulting from advances in agricultural science and technology, and in part increases in irrigated areas which allowed the intensity of cultivation to increase as well as allowing growth in crop yeilds. During the last 10 years, the rate of increase of arable land for each additional person has markedly diminished, being only 0.06 hectares per person on a worldwide basis. From the data given by Richards, Olson, and Rotty, it is possible to compute the areas of different natural ecosystems cleared for agriculture between 1860 and 1978. On a worldwide basis, 7.6% of the total forest lands existing in 1860 had been converted to agriculture by 1978. Woodland, savanna, and grassland conversion amounted, respectively, to 7.9%, 6.1%, and 10% of the areas in these categories in 1860. About the same percentages of the areas of swamps and marshes in 1860 were drained for agriculture during the subsequent 118 years, but less than 1% of desert lands were brought under cultiviation. Considerations of the carrying capacity of the world's actual and potential agricultural lands are far less important than the social, economic, and political conditions which now keep so many of the world's population in poverty and malnutrition.
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