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  1. 1

    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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  2. 2

    Population, resources, environment and development.

    United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs

    New York, New York, United Nations, 1984. ix, 534 p. (International Conference on Population, 1984; Statements ST/ESA/SER.A/90)

    Contained in this volume are the report (Part I) and the selected papers (Part II) of the Expert Group on Population, Resources, Environment and Development which review past trends and their likely future course in each of the 4 areas, taking into account not only evolving concepts but also the need to consider population, resources, environment and development as a unified structure. Trends noted in the population factor include world population growth and the differences between rates in the developed and developing countries; the decline in the proportion of the population who are very young and the concomitant increase in the average age of the population. Discussed within the resource factor are the labor force, the problem of increasing capital shortage, expenditures on armaments, trends in the supply and productivity of arable land, erosion and degradation of topsoil and energy sources. Many of the problems identified overlap with the environment factor, which centers on the problem of pollution. The group on the development factor was influenced by a pervasiv sense of "crisis" in current economic trends. Concern was also expressed regarding the qualitative aspects of current development trends, defined as the perverse effects of having adopted inappropriate styles of development. Part II begins with a general overview of recent levels and trends in the 4 areas along with the concepts of carrying capacity and optimum population. Other papers discuss the impact of trends in resources, environment and development on demographic prospects; long-term effects of global population growth on the international system; economic considerations in the choice of alternative paths to a stationary population and the need for integration of demographic factors in development planning. The various papers on the resources and environment factor focus on resources as a barrier to population growth; the effects of population growth on renewable resources; food production and population growth in Africa; the frailty of the balance between the 4 areas and the need for a holistic approach on a scale useful for regional planning. Also addressed are: social development; population and international economic relations; development, lifestyles, population and environment in Latin America; issues of population growth, inequality and poverty; health, population and development trends; education requirements and trends in female literacy; the challenge posed by the aging of populations; and population and development in the ECE region.
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