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In: All of us. Births and a better life: population, development and environment in a globalized world. Selections from the pages of the Earth Times, edited by Jack Freeman and Pranay Gupte. New York, New York, Earth Times Books, 1999. 430-3.It is estimated that as the year 2000 approaches, the world population will surpass 6 billion. This projection is because either economic stagnation or social disintegration affects rapid demographic growth. Curtailing population growth alone can not solve the world's social and environmental ills; however, it requires a substantial reduction of human fertility in order to have a meaningful improvement of the human condition. To achieve this, organizations have implemented population and family planning programs in less developed countries. Although most of these efforts were not initiated until the 1960s and 1970s, there have been a number of notable successes. Contraceptive prevalence among married women of reproductive age has increased over the past 30 years from 25% to 56%. The annual rate of world population growth has declined from 2.06% to 1.4%. Within the past decade, the annual increase in human numbers has slowed from almost 90 million to less than 80 million. While these demographic trends are both important and encouraging, they do not signal victory in the world's continuing struggle to contain its human growth. This paper traces the changes in international public opinion concerning the importance of population stabilization, as long as it is based on human rights and voluntary acceptance of family planning.
[From the end of World War II to the Cairo conference: the international community facing the problem of world population growth] De la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale a la conference du Caire: la communaute internationale face au probleme de la croissance de la population mondiale.
In: La population du monde: enjeux et problemes, edited by Jean-Claude Chasteland and Jean-Claude Chesnais. Paris, France, Presses Universitaires de France, 1997. 585-617.The global shift from the view that governments should not try to influence demographic trends to a general belief that they can and should intervene in such matters is examined. The author describes how a group of population activists worked toward creating an international conference that would legitimize government intervention in population matters, and how this goal was gradually achieved over the course of the conferences held in Belgrade, Bucharest, Mexico City, and Cairo. The role of these activists in getting the United Nations involved in population activities is also described.
BALTIMORE SUN. 1994 Aug 24; 13A.A fellow at the American Enterprise Institute remarked that population growth slowed from 1.73% to 1.57% during 1990 to 1994. In Eastern Europe alone population declined by 1 million in the past 4 years. Fertility decline is evident even in Africa and a rapid fertility transition has appeared in Iran. The data are based on figures recently generated by the UN and published in "World Population Prospects: 1994 revision." The projected medium fertility variant was 9.8 billion by 2050 and 10 billion in 2054. UN statisticians have reported that the real numbers are likely to be even higher despite their own reports of fertility decline. The UN believes that sustaining 2.1 children per woman at replacement level will not be allowed by countries. The more developed countries are now at or below replacement: Japan at 1.5, Korea at 1.7, Germany at 1.3, and Italians at 1.3. Large population numbers threaten stability and are related to famine, pollution, war, and animal and plant species decimation. The evidence from Rwanda and Bosnia is clear. A more desirable and realistic estimate should be 7-8 billion by 2050. World population in preparation for the International Conference on Population and Development is being publicized as a problem so that the UN and environmentalists can increase their funding and attain a high spot on the global agenda. The author's experience as part of the US delegation to the International Population Conference in Mexico City in 1984 led to the conclusion that these international policy conferences are really public relations events. Gloom and doom predictions are constantly being modified; for instance, what was the "coming ice age" is now "global warming." The world has survived thus far, while the numbers have been increasing. If the world does not prosper in the years ahead, it is unlikely to be due to too many people.
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.