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  1. 1

    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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  2. 2

    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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  3. 3

    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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  4. 4

    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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  5. 5

    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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  6. 6

    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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  7. 7

    [Hunger and disease in less developed countries and en route to development (the Third World). Proposal for solutions] Hambre y enfermedades en los paises menos adelantados y en vias de desarrollo (Tercer Mundo). Propuesta de soluciones.

    Piedrola Gil G

    Anales de la Real Academia Nacional de Medicina. 1984; 101(1):39-96.

    The extent, causes, and possible solutions to problems of hunger, inequality, and disease in developing countries are discussed in this essay. Various frameworks and indicators have been proposed for identifying the poorest of nations; currently, 21 African, 9 Asian, and 1 American nation are regarded as the poorest of the poor. The 31 least developed countries, the 89 developing countries, and the 37 developed countries respectively have populations of 283 million, 3 billion; infant mortality rates of 160, 94, and 19/1000 live births; life expectancies of 45, 60, and 72 years; literacy rates of 28, 55, and 98%; per capita gross national products of $170, and $520, and $6230; and per capita public health expenditures of $1.70, $6.50, and $244. Developing countries in the year 2000 are expected to have 4.87 billion of the world's 6.2 billion inhabitants. The 3rd world contains 70% of the world's population but receives only 17% of world income. 40 million persons die of hunger or its consequences each year. Economic and social development is the only solution to problems of poverty and underdevelopment, and will require mobilization of all present and future human and material resources to achieve maximum possible wellbeing for each human being. Among principal causes of underdevelopment in the 3rd World are drought, illness, exile, socioeconomic disorder, war, and arms expenditures. Current food production and a long list of possible new technologies would be adequate to feed the world's population, but poor distribution condemns the world's people to hunger. Numerous UN agencies, organizations, and programs are dedicated to solving the problems of hunger, underdevelopment, and disease. In 1982, 600 billion dollars were spent in armanents, of $112 for each of the world's inhabitants; diversion of these resources to development goals would go a long way toward solving the problem of underdevelopment. The main problem is not lack of resources, but the need to establish a new and more just economic and distributive order along with genuine solidarity in the struggle against underdevelopment. Several steps should be taken: agricultural production should be increased with the full participation of the developng nations; the industrialized or petroleum-producing nations should aid the poor states with at least .7% and up to 5% of their gross national products for the struggle against drought, disease, illiteracy, and for the green revolution and new agropastoral technologies; prices paid to poor countries for raw materials should be fair; responsible parenthood, education, women's rights, clean drinking water, environmental sanitation and primary health care should be promoted; the arms race should be halted, and the North-South dialogue should be pursued in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation.
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  8. 8

    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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