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Report of the ESCAP/UNDP Expert Group Meeting on Population, Environment and Sustainable Development: 13-18 May 1991, Jomtien, Thailand.
Bangkok, Thailand, United Nations, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP], 1991. iv, 41 p. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 106)The 1991 meeting of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific considered the following topics: the interrelationships between population and natural resources, between population and the environment and poverty, and between population growth and consumption patterns, technological changes and sustainable development; the social aspects of the population-environment nexus (the effect of social norms and cultural practices); public awareness and community participation in population and environmental issues; and integration of population, environment, and development policies. The organization of the meeting is indicated. Recommendations were made. The papers on land, water, and air were devoted to a potential analytical model and the nature of the interlocking relationship between population, environment, and development. Dynamic balance was critical. 1 paper was presented on population growth and distribution, agricultural production and rural poverty; the practice of a simpler life style was the future challenge of the world. Several papers focused on urbanization trends and distribution and urban management policies. Only 1 paper discussed rural-urban income and consumption inequality and the consequences; some evidence suggests that increased income and equity is associated with improved resource management. Carrying capacity was an issue. The technological change paper reported that current technology contributed to overproduction and overconsumption and was environmentally unfriendly. The social norms paper referred to economic conditions that turned people away from sound environmental, cultural norms and practices. A concept paper emphasized women's contribution to humanism which goes beyond feminism; another presented an analytical summary of problems. 2 papers on public awareness pointed out the failures and the Indonesian experience with media. 1 paper provided a perspective on policy and 2 on the methodology of integration. The recommendations provided broad goals and specific objectives, a holistic and conceptual framework for research, information support, policies, resources for integration, and implementation arrangements. All activities must be guided by 1) unity of mankind, 2) harmony between population and natural resources, and 3) improvement in the human condition.
[Unpublished] 1991. Presented at the Demographic and Health Surveys World Conference, Washington, D.C., August 5-7, 1991. 32 p.Brazil's National Survey of Maternal-Child Health and Family Planning, conducted in 1986 as part of the international program of Demographic and Health Surveys, consolidated and extended the findings of 9 previous state-level surveys. This work outlines the impact of survey data on Brazil's private sector family planning organizations, donor agencies, the press and opinion leaders, and the federal government and legislators. The finding of the survey that the rate of contraceptive usage among women aged 15-44 married or in union was much higher than expected at 65.4%, initially suggested that the family planning organizations and donors had completed their tasks, but more careful scrutiny pointed up serious problems. Family planning problems identified in the survey included low levels of knowledge and use of contraception in the impoverished northeast and among groups with low levels of income and education; a very high proportion of users (80%) of just 2 methods, oral contraceptives (OCs) and female sterilization; low rates of use of other effective and reversible methods; a large number of unnecessary caesareans performed only to give the woman access to sterilization services, with fully 72% of sterilized women undergoing the procedure during a cesarean delivery; low average age (31.4 years) of sterilization acceptors and low parity of a substantial proportion; use of pharmacies to obtain supplies by over 93% of OC users and OC use at inappropriate ages; low male participation in family planning; and lack of family planning services for adolescents. The survey demonstrated the reality of family planning in Brazil and prompted a rethinking of the aims and goals of family planning programs. Many aspects of maternal-child health and sexual and reproductive health in addition to provision of contraceptives should be included in a high quality family planning program. The survey findings did not completely resolve all the polemics and controversies that have beset the family planning program in Brazil, but they helped dispel some charges against the program. For the most part, only the most strongly ideological opponents have remained unmoved.
HEALTH FOR THE MILLIONS. 1991 Aug; 17(4):20-3.Until recently, the only sustained AIDS activity in India has been alarmist media attention complemented by occasional messages calling for comfort and dignity. Public perception of the AIDS epidemic in India has been effectively shaped by mass media. Press reports have, however, bolstered awareness of the problem among literate elements of urban populations. In the absence of sustained guidance in the campaign against AIDS, responsibility has fallen to voluntary health activists who have become catalysts for community awareness and participation. This voluntary initiative, in effect, seems to be the only immediate avenue for constructive public action, and signals the gradual development of an AIDS network in India. Proceedings from a seminar in Ahmedabad are discussed, and include plans for an information and education program targeting sex workers, health and communication programs for 150 commercial blood donors and their agents, surveillance and awareness programs for safer blood and blood products, and dialogue with the business community and trade unions. Despite the lack of coordination among volunteers and activists, every major city in India now has an AIDS group. A controversial bill on AIDS has ben circulating through government ministries and committees since mid-1989, a national AIDS committee exists with the Secretary of Health as its director, and a 3-year medium-term national plan exists for the reduction of AIDS and HIV infection and morbidity. UNICEF programs target mothers and children for AIDS awareness, and blood testing facilities are expected to be expanded. The article considers the present chaos effectively productive in forcing the Indian population to face up to previously taboo issued of sexuality, sex education, and sexually transmitted disease.
PEOPLE. 1991; 18(1):7-8.This article attributes Sub-Saharan national population policy change to the attendance at the 2nd African Population Conference (APC) in Arusha in 1984, preliminary to attendance at the World Population Conference (WPC) in Mexico City in 1984, and the socioeconomic crises which precipitated the disparity between population growth and resources. Demographics are better understood. Family planning is now seen as reflecting traditional African values of birth spacing. Consequently countries have developed specific national policy statements. Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal in 1988, Zambia in 1989, and the Sudan in 1990, have developed comprehensive population policies in addition to those already established in Kenya and Ghana. Zaire and Zambia policies are in the process of endorsement; others formulating policy are Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger, Tanzania, Togo, and Zimbabwe. Policies are based on APC and WPC documents as well as the N'Djamena Plan of Action (1989). These guidelines tend to include detailed action and implementation plans, including targets for fertility reduction. Approaches to fertility reduction among specialists are still being debated. The significance of national population policy is as a public endorsement in addition to providing an analytical framework.
PEOPLE. 1991; 18(1):16-7.This report on the turnaround in Madagascar population policy notes the importance of the educational experience provided at the 1984 Mexican World Population Conference. The author describes his experiences in developing and implementing a population policy. When people were informed that past food was exported and now imported (265,000 tons in 1985), increasing land usage was not seen as a solution to population growth. The National Environmental Action Plan now in effect helps to underscore the importance of population distribution so that land is not needlessly cultivated. The public response was disinterest initially, but education has been successful in convincing people. The dominant Catholic religion has recognized the population problem and there is only disagreement on the means ( Catholics prefer natural means). Cultural attitudes are changing at all levels due to the economic crises and greater number of people being unable to feed their children. In 1989, the Population Unit of the Ministry of Economy and Planning provided detailed studies of the consequences of population growth, thus forming the basis of the present policy. The plan targets a reduction of population growth from 3.1% to 2% for the year 2000, increasing life expectancy from 55 to 60, and reducing infant mortality from 120 per 1000 live births to 70 and the number of children per family from 6 to 4. Although the policy has been accepted and people ready to use family planning, services to urban centers as well as rural areas is yet unavailable.