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  1. 1

    The state of the environment 1985. Environmental aspects of emerging agricultural technologies. Population and the environment.

    United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP]

    Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP, 1984. [3], vi, 43 p.

    World production of food crops has basically increased from 1945-1985 due to the emergence of agricultural technologies such as petroleum- based chemical fertilizers and pesticides, efficient and sophisticated farm equipment, hybridization, and, recently, genetic engineering. However, only developed countries and a few developing countries, for example India, have experienced this growth. Social, economic, environmental, and political factors such as inequitable access to resources have prevented this phenomenon from occurring in developing countries where the people often experience famine and malnutrition. Nevertheless the technical path which lead to high food crop yields cannot always be adapted by many poor farmers and landless laborers in developing countries. Further, this path is energy intensive and destroys the environment. To increase production in developing countries, the governments must encourage environmentally sound agricultural development, such as integrated pest management and minimum tillage. Despite any attempts at increasing food production in these countries, however, rapid population growth hampers any increases. As population grows, the availability of fertile, tillable land for food crops decreases. In addition, soil degradation and deforestation occur because more trees and plants are cleared to grow crops and, immediately following harvest, a new set of crops are grown quickly thereby depleting the topsoil and its nutrients. Further, people gather more wood for cooking. These governments, with cooperation and aid from developed countries and international agencies, need to address a multitude of problems such as poverty, population growth, environmental degradation, and women's status, in order to bring food production, the status of the environment, and population growth into balance.
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  2. 2

    Women taking hold of technology.

    International Women's Tribune Centre [IWTC]

    New York, New York, International Women's Tribune Center, 1984 Sep. iv, 116 p.

    The 1st 2 issues of newsletters in this volume, Women and Appropriate Technology, Parts I and II, emphasize resource materials and appropriate technology groups and projects from around the world that might be found useful. The 3rd issue, Women and Food Production, focuses specifically on the need for women to have greater access to land, technology, and capital in the production of food crops, whether for their own use or as crops for marketing. The last issues, Women MOving Appropriate Technology Ahead, concentrates on strategies for introducing appropriate technology ideas and approaches into one's own community. Together, these 4 issues combine several issues related to women's access to and uses of appropriate technologies, with practical information for concrete action and sample projects involving women from countries around the world. Originally published between 1978 and 1973, all 4 newsletters in this volume have been updated and edited in some parts to assure their continued relevance. Resource groups, UN news and conferences, available periodicals, training, credit and loan information, cash crops, international nongovernmental organizations, and government agencies are all discussed.
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  3. 3

    [Rural-rural migration: the case of the colonies] Migracion rural-rural el caso de las colonias.

    Blanes J; Calderon F; Dandler J; Prudencio J; Lanza L

    In: Tras nuevas raices: migraciones internas y colonizacion en Bolivia [by] Carlos Garcia-Tornell, Maria Elena Querejazu, Jose Blanes, Fernando Calderon, Jorge Dandler, Julio Prudencio, Luis Lanza, Giovanni Carnibella, Gloria Ardaya, Gonzalo Flores [and] Alberto Rivera. La Paz, Bolivia, Ministerio de Planeamiento y Coordinacion, Direccion de Planeamiento Social, Proyecto de Politicas de Poblacion, 1984 Apr. 51-251.

    A study of colonization programs in Bolivia was conducted as part of a larger evaluation of population policy. The 1st of 8 chapters examines the history of colonization programs in Bolivia and the role of state and international development agencies. It sketches the disintegration of the peasant economy, and presents 5 variables that appear to be central to colonization processes: the directedness or spontaneity of the colonization, the distance to urban centers and markets, the diversification of production, the length of time settled, and the origin of the migrants. The 2nd chapter describes the study methodology. The major objective was to evaluate government policies and plans in terms of the realistic possibilities of settlement in colonies for peasants expelled from areas of traditional agriculture. Interviews and the existing literature were the major sources used to identify the basic features and problems of colonization programs. 140 structured interviews were held with colonists in the Chapare zone, 43 in Yapacari, and 51 in San Julian. The 3 zones were selected because of their diversity, but the sample was not statistically representative and the findings were essentially qualitative. The 3rd chapter examines the relationships between the place of origin and the stages of settlement. The chapter emphasizes the influence of place of origin and other factors on the processes of differentiation, proletarianization, and pauperization. The 4th chapter examines the productive process, profitability of farming, the market, and reproductive diversification. The next chapter analyzes the technology and the market system of the colonists, the dynamics of the unequal exchange system in which they operate, and aspects related to ecological equilibrium and environmental conservation. The 6th chapter concentrates on family relationships and the role played by the family in colonization. Some features of the population structure of the colonies are described. The 7th chapter assesses forms of organization, mechanisms of social legitimation, and the important role of peasant syndicates. The final chapter summarizes the principal trends encountered in each of the themes analyzed and makes some recommendations concerning the colonization program, especially in reference to the family economy and labor organizations.
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  4. 4

    Working paper/Strategies for meeting basic socio-economic needs in the context of achieving the goals of population policies and programmes.

    Gunatilleke G

    In: Third Asian and Pacific Population Conference (Colombo, September 1982). Selected papers. Bangkok, Thailand, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, 1984. 253-66. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 58.)

    The developing countries in the Economic ans Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) region present widely different development levels. 13 countries have low incomes with per capita incomes from US $80--US $370. 8 are middle income countries with incomes from US $590--US $3830. Most of the population lives in the low income countries. These populations 1) are rural, 2) have low life expectancy, 3) have high fertility, 4) have low nutrition, and 5) are illiterate. Most people do not have their basic needs met, and they live in countries with very unequal structures of income distribution. The lower 40% of the population in these countries will not be able to reach minimum levels of satisfaction for their basic needs without a development effort that is both qualitatively and quantitatively different. The middle income countries generally have declining population growth rates, higher literacy, adequate nutrition, and a life expectancy above 60. Many of the poorest countries had increasing birth rates during the 1970s. Most of the poorest countries will have a labor force that continues to be largely agricultural and rural. Countries in Southeast and East Asia, including China, have a high economic growth potential. South Asia's per capita incomes will still remain below US $200 in the year 2000. The satisfaction of basic needs remains one of the main criteria of development; this includes health, education, food, clothing, housing, and drinking water. The key elements in countries who have improved their satisfaction of basic needs are literacy rates, women's status, equal improvement for men and women, free health care, free education, and income redistribution. A basic strategy would 1) concentrate health care on maternal and child health, sanitation, and public health; 2) give educational priority to universal primary education; and 3) improve the productivity of small holdings and concentrate on staple foods.
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  5. 5

    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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  6. 6

    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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  7. 7

    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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  8. 8

    General overview. A. Population, resources, environment and development: highlights of the issues in the context of the World Population Plan of Action.

    United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division

    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. 63-95. (Population Studies No. 90; ST/ESA/SER.A/90; International Conference on Population, 1984)

    The acceptance by the international community of the importance of the interrelations between population, resources, environment, and development has been in large measure an outgrowth of the search for development alternatives that would reduce the disparities between developed and developing countries and ameliorate poverty within countries. Possibly the most important task of the Expert Group on Population, Resources, Environment, and Development is to identify more clearly the role of population within these interrelationships, i.e., to identify through which mechanisms population characteristics condition and are conditioned by resource use, environmental effects, and the developmental structure. To a considerable extent the incidence of poverty forms the root cause of many of the problems derived from the interrelationships between population, resources, environment, and development in developing countries. Affluence appears to be the major cause of many of the environmental and resource problems in the developed countries. The first 2 sections are devoted to issues considered crucial in the alleviation of poverty. Lack of food, adequate nutrition, health care, education, gainful employment, old age security, and adequate per capita incomes perpetuate poverty of large numbers of people in developing countries and therefore also their production and consumption patterns, which undermine, through environmental and resource degradation, the very resources on which they depend for their livelihood. The discussion of environment as a provider of resources first considers supplies of minerals, energy, and water. Attention is then directed to the stock of agricultural land that can be expanded through fertilization and irrigation and which may be reduced as a result of desertification, deforestation, urbanization, salinization, and waterlogging. Another section focuses on the need for integrating population variables into development planning. In the formulation of longterm development objectives, population can no longer be regarded as an exogenous force, but rather becomes an endogenous variable which affects and is affected by development policies, programs, and plans.
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  9. 9

    Perspectives on the international relations of food.

    Hopkins RF; Puchala DJ

    In: Ghosh PK, ed. Health, food and nutrition in Third World development. Westport, Connecticut, Greenwood Press, 1984. 87-124. (International Development Resource Books No. 6)

    The global food problem is delineated, and a set of concepts for analyzing the world food system is provided and used to critically examine the food system. The global food problem consists of an interrelated set of elements which affect countries differently. These elements are 1) the food shortage threat; 2) instability in the food supply stemming from price fluctuations, unpredictable markets, and an undependable trade flow; 3) an unpredictable supply of food for importation; 4) low agricultural production in developing countries; and 5) malnutrition. The global food system consists of production centers, consumption centers, and distribution channels. Conditions that characterize the system are the result of regimes, i.e., the rules and norms which control the system at any particular point in time. A regime can be identified by 1) observing transaction flows, the allocation of resources, and food diplomacy patterns; 2) by examining the agendas of food issue forums; and 3) by listening to the arguments used to bolster or criticize specific food policies. The global food system created by the current regime, which has been in existence since the 1940s, is a system which divides the countries of the world into surplus and deficit countries and has 2 distributional channels. These channels are 1) commercial sellers and buyers and 2) concessionally linked donors and recipients. The regime which created this system was imposed primarily by the US government. The regime is characterized by 1) a belief in the free market system, 2) a willing to provide famine relief but a refusal to address the chronic malnutrition problem, 3) the conditional acceptance of the distribution of food, in the form of food aid, outside the market system; 4) the promotion of the flow of technological information; 5) respect for national sovereignty, which has the effect of preventing aid from reaching the poorest segments of the population of developing countries; 6) assignment of a low priority to the development of self-reliance in developing countries; and 7) a willingness to accumulate a grain surplus for distribution to countries with shortfalls. The activities of multinational agribusiness tend to reinforce and support this regime. The international food network, consisting largely of UN agencies, can modify the food regime by 1) encouraging governments to confront critical food issues, 2) collecting and disseminating information about the food problem, 3) providing services which governments are unable to perform because of political considerations; and 4) legitimize policies via multilateral sanction. The system supported by the present regime promotes the exploitation of the poor by the wealthy and ignores the need for distributive justice. There are some indications that a new regime is in the process of being developed as evidenced by the new international economic order.
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