Environment Science and Policy for Sustainable Development

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Online ISSN: 1939-9154
Publications
Article
PIP There has been considerable national and international debate over the past two years on population-related issues. Women have sought to affirm their right to control fertility and to have access to health services while criticizing current population policies and programs. A new paradigm for population policy has emerged from the debate, one which focuses upon providing broadly defined reproductive health services and acknowledges women's reproductive rights and their need for empowerment. This new population policy is embodied in the World Program of Action (WPOA) adopted September 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Egypt. WPOA is the main document emerging from the ICPD. It was developed and negotiated by participating governments during three preparatory committee meetings leading up to the conference and at ICPD itself, where it was adopted. The WPOA is slated for approval by the UN General Assembly during its current session. The WPOA is evidence of how effective women were in making women's rights and health the focus of an international document. The author discusses politics at the ICPD, the WPOA, funding the WPOA's implementation, the road ahead, and the power of women's strategies.
 
Article
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa are doing some rethinking after decades of development that have resulted in continued poverty international indebtedness environmental degradation and inappropriate Western models. Technological innovations institutional developments and family planning are key inputs. Development should shift to a focus on elimination of widespread poverty. Past development strategies in an African context of ample resources have harmed the environment without improving the average persons standard of living. Knowledge about Africas environment and environmental degradation is inadequate. Recent studies have found contrary to popular belief that small shareholders made considerable investments in resource-based capital which protected their farms from major environmental deterioration and negative impacts of intensification. In Nigeria field studies found that rising demand for fuelwood did not lead to greater deforestation or desertification. Severe degradation has occurred in places where density of population is greater than 500 persons per sq. km where the land is physically or biologically vulnerable and where socioeconomic conditions interfere with application of conservation measures. Reduced well-being and reduced food capacity is attributed to land tenure arrangements misguided macroeconomic policies and inadequate infrastructure. The issues of development environment and population are complex. Sustainable development is possible with appropriate investment priorities that will provide needed infrastructure services and education. Urban areas need safe water solid waste disposal and spatial planning to relieve congested spaces. Rural areas should focus on health education and basic sanitation. Regulatory measures and conservation measures are also important. Institutional development that promotes democracy expands individual property rights and increases the knowledge base offers the most hope for alleviating poverty and protecting the environment.
 
Article
PIP This article describes the poor environmental and living conditions in Mexico City due to its huge size. Mexico City's size is a challenge to sustainability, and the outcome is unknown. Mexico City and the geographic basin surrounding it included about 18.5 million population in 1995. The basin and surrounding volcanic ranges include nine major environmental zones. Urban growth followed four stages. Different cultures applied different solutions to water supply problems. The basin shifted from self-sufficiency to reliance on 31% of supplies from external watersheds. The water table is declining and canals are polluted. Irrigated agriculture is disappearing. There is an average water deficit of over 800 million cubic meters per year. Mexico City is actually sinking due to groundwater exploitation. There is bacterial contamination of wells due to improper seals. About 75% of the population has access to wastewater treatment and sanitation, but sewage treatment plants operate at under 50% efficiency and treat only about 7% of the total wastewater. Atmospheric pollution from suspended particles has been a problem for decades. Ozone was the most significant air contaminant in 1994. Lead was the most harmful pollutant in 1986. Air pollutants may be the source of submucosal inflammations. Industrial areas are contaminated with suspended particles and sulfur dioxide. High traffic areas have high carbon monoxide levels. Atmospheric pollution has affected the quality of the rainwater. The city survives by importing food, energy, wood, water, building materials, and other products. The development model aims to improve quality of life. The city has been the center of political power since Aztec times, and its preeminent position forces government action. The author concludes that there are limits to urbanization, which the city is approaching rapidly.
 
Article
Much of the world's growth will take place in India and China, which are already large, poor, and populous. How well they manage growth, poverty, and population will influence not only the condition of their local environments but regional and global environments as well. In any discussion of population's environmental and resource impacts, China and India logically are paramount. In both China and India, economic growth is both a legitimate aspiration and an overwhelming reality. Given this context, the logical first step is to look for "win-win' opportunities: programs and policies that contribute both to growth and environmental protection. The outlook for India seems substantially more difficult than for China. Population is growing faster and could double before stabilizing; poverty is widespread and persistent; neither rural nor urban economic growth has been sufficient to accommodate the mushrooming labor force; the status of women remains low, especially in the northern states; and common property resources, linchpins in the rural economy, will be increasingly threatened by development and population pressures. Pressures on the agricultural resource base will continue. In both countries, however, the margin for error over the next few decades is slim, especially in terms of economic growth and job creation. -from Author
 
Article
PIP Norway's Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland holds a medical degree from the University of Oslo and a Master's degree in Public Health from Harvard University. She served as Norway's Minister of the Environment during 1974-79, and was elected to the Norwegian parliament in 1977. Brundtland is currently chairperson of the World Commission on Environment and Development with ten years of experience as a physician and twenty years as a politician. An edited version of her keynote address to the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development is presented. The Minister's experience has taught her that improved life conditions, a greater range of choices, access to unbiased information, and true international solidarity are the signs of human progress. She stresses the need to empower people, educate them, care for their health, and provide them with equal opportunity to achieve economically. Available combined resources need to be used more efficiently through a reformed and better coordinated UN system, policies must be changed, the role and status of women strengthened, safe, comprehensive reproductive health services provided, and measures taken to achieve a balance between population size and sustainable development in keeping with available global resources.
 
Article
The tiny global minority residing in rural frontier areas--how long they remain there; the timing, magnitude, and characteristics of their consumption; and their demographic transitions--promises a vast impact on future tropical deforestation. It is here, not in cities and not in long settled rural areas, where fertility and native population growth is extremely high, rural migration is dynamic, and where land cover change remains extraordinarily expansive per capita. According to recent UN projections (United Nations 2011), the vast majority, indeed very likely all, the world’s net population growth over the next several decades will occur in the world’s poorest cities. Yet the direct imprint of this urbanization remains minute. Although urban food demand has a large and increasing impact on rural land change, less than 1% of the terrestrial surface is covered by urban settlements (Schneider et al. 2009). The highest population growth rates and old growth forest conversion will continue to occur in remote rural environments, with notable implications for land cover change research and policy (Turner et al 2007) specifically, and coupled human-environmental systems more broadly (An and Lopez-Carr 2012).
 
Article
In developing countries, poverty and environmental degradation are caught up in a 'Catch 22' cycle of cause and effect. The article discusses how extreme poverty determines societal objectives within which environmental concerns must fit, why certain problems receive unequal consideration in rich and poor countries, and why rich nations must share the burden of environmental research and protection. Breaking the poverty and environmental degradation cycle will require improved infrastructure, health care and education; fair and stabilized commodity prices; and, above all, large scientific and financial investments by developed countries. -after Author
 
Article
The United Nations (UN) sponsored three decennial world population conferences over the period 1974-94. The first such conference was held in 1974 in Bucharest, Romania, at which the North and the South became polarized over the importance of demographics relative to other development concerns. Northern countries proposed vigorous family planning programs to control rapid population growth, while many Southern governments, led by China and India, argued instead that higher priority should be given to socioeconomic development and the more equitable distribution of resources between the North and South. After a decade of extremely rapid population growth, however, most Southern countries had adopted antinatalist policies by the second world population conference held in 1984 in Mexico City. While Southern countries had adopted the 1974 Northern view of world population growth, widespread political and religious conservatism in the US at the time of the second conference had the US delegation opposing abortion and being neutral on demographic factors. The US argued that private markets would solve many population problems and the US government even withdrew financial support to several international organizations, such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the UN Population Fund. The third decennial UN-sponsored world population conference, the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, Egypt, however, succeeded in shifting concern about world demographics into a gender-sensitive, people-centered approach of sustainable human development and bringing sensitive and ideologically charged population issues into the public domain. It was also a landmark in the management of complex global problems such as population. The international consensus achieved in Cairo and summarized in a World Program of Action was truly a monumental achievement. The authors note the shift in rhetoric to concerns about women's status and reproductive health, the involvement of nongovernmental organizations, and the unfinished agenda of the World Program of Action.
 
Article
The view is taken that population density in the Machakos District (boundaries prior to 1992) of Kenya influenced both environmental conservation and productivity through adaptation of new technologies. Changes in resource management in Machakos District are identified as a shift to cash crop production experimentation with staple food options faster tillage use of fertilizers for enhancing soil fertility and livestock and tree cultivation. These agricultural changes occurred due to subdivision of landholdings among sons private appropriation of scarce grazing land and land scarcity. Intensive practices such as intensive livestock feeding systems and the permanent manuring of fields increased the efficiency of nutrient cycling through plants animals and soils. The Akamba custom gave land rights to those who tilled the soil first. Formal land registration occurred after 1968 and favored owners and investors. Small farm investment was made possible through work off-farm and remittances. The value of output per square kilometer at constant prices increased during 1930-87. Cultivated land area also increased during this period but mostly on poorer quality land. Agricultural changes were enhanced by social and institutional factors such as small family units and greater partnerships between husband and wife. Families pooled resources through collectives. Women played leadership roles. Competing interest groups and organizations have evolved and enabled people to articulate their needs and obtain access to resources at all levels. These institutions increased in strength over time and with increased density. The cost of service provision decreased with greater population numbers. Development of roads and schools facilitated formal education. Population density market growth and a generally supportive economic environment are viewed as the factors responsible for changes in Machakos District. Technological change is viewed as an endogenous process of adaptation to new technologies. Changes in Machakos District are viewed as driven by a combination of exogenous and endogenous practices and local initiative.
 
Article
This paper presents quantitative analysis of environmental emissions in different life cycle stages such as raw material preparation (RMP) and production processing (PP) of printed circuit board. A general emission model for printed circuit board (PCB) has been developed to analyze the emissions to air, fresh water, sea water and industrial soil. This work also demonstrates the quantities of renewable and non-renewable resources that are required to manufacture PCBs. Based on these generic models, the environmental assessment has been carried out in a production of one million PCBs. We also make an attempt to give an analytic description for evaluating the amount of emissions in each life cycle stages of the printed circuit board.
 
Article
In a world in which the supply of oil is limited both by geology and politics, China’s determination to fuel its rapidly growing economy is seen by many as a looming source of conflict. It is not simply the geographic breadth of China’s initiatives that cause anxiety in western capitals, but also its willingness to enter into economic arrangements with “rogue” states. Unfettered by concerns about human rights and willing to link oil investments with foreign policy goals, critics believe that China has been able to gain an unfair advantage in the competition for both oil and regional influence. They point to China’s budding relationship with nations such as Angola, Sudan, and Venezuela. Is this concern warranted? Do China’s recent initiatives augur a future replete with tensions over access to oil? What motivates Chinese oil policy and are its policies inevitably in conflict with long term western interests? Unfortunately the answers are complicated and are clouded by incomplete data and conflicting signals. One can find evidence to support almost any particular argument. A number of factors influence Chinese policy, and these are often uncoordinated and sometimes in conflict. This paper attempts to identify and unravel several of these and to explore how they have manifested themselves in China’s relationship with one region: the Middle East. Definitive conclusions and simple paradigms may be beyond our reach given the evidence, information and data that we have at our disposal, but we have attempted to provide a more nuanced assessment of China’s past oil investments in the hope that a better understanding of these initiatives will broaden and enhance the debate.
 
Estimated Hurricane Return Periods, 2000-2030
Returns to an Adaptation Investment with Increasing Risk
Article
The risks of extreme weather events are typically being estimated, by federal agencies and others, with historical frequency data assumed to reflect future probabilities. These estimates may not yet have adequately factored in the effects of past and future climate change, despite strong evidence of a changing climate. They have relied on historical data stretching back as far as fifty or a hundred years that may be increasingly unrepresentative of future conditions. Government and private organizations that use these risk assessments in designing programs and projects with long expected lifetimes may therefore be investing too little to make existing and newly constructed infrastructure resistant to the effects of changing climate. New investments designed to these historical risk standards may suffer excess damages and poor returns. This paper illustrates the issue with an economic analysis of the risks of relatively intense hurricanes striking the New York City region.
 
Article
Evaluates 2 schools of thought about energy conservation—the behavioral school, which calls for incentives to individuals, and the attitude change approach, which relies on information and propaganda. Neither approach alone is seen as adequate, and a focus on groups, rather than individuals, is suggested. According to available research and theory, such an approach has the potential to change behavior and attitudes while avoiding problems of adaptation, reactance, and extrinsic motivation. Specific suggestions for energy policy are offered, including reliance on renewable energy sources managed by local groups; the psychological rationale for these policies is discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
By this time, most readers may have noticed the expanded focus and new design of Environment as we become a magazine of science and policy for sustainable development. What may be less clear is how the world is coping with its attainment. Two sets of widely recognized sustainable development goals in the short term (2015), those of the United Nations Millennium Declaration, and in the long term (2050), those of the sustainability transition of the world's Academies of Science appear to be doable in theory but under current practice are well out of reach.
 
Article
Review of US and international data suggests that comprehensive protection is required in view of children's special susceptibility to air pollution. This susceptibility is due to children's size, higher breathing rate, greater activity, play activity, mouth breathing, more frequent respiratory tract infections, and pediatric development factors. Maternal-transmitted risks are also present (many chemicals pass the placental barrier). As few as 2 million or as many as 60 million children under 14 yrs of age in the US may be exposed to troublesome levels of pollution, according to American Public Health Association and Environmental Protection Agency data. It is suggested that children are not adequately shielded from air pollution by public health standards that are designed for healthy adults. Especially vulnerable groups are (a) poor under age 14 yrs, (b) Blacks under age 14 yrs, and (c) all urban children under age 5 yrs. Pollution exposure is raised by contaminated indoor air, containing tobacco smoke; aerosal sprays; heating, ventilation, and cooking contaminants; household dust; lead; and asbestos. Developmental effects include retarded bone structure, abnormalities in blood biochemistry, larger than normal tonsils and lymph nodes, depressing effects on athletic activity, and higher incidences of retarded physical development, childhood cancer, and mental illness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
this paper, we assume all actions take one unit of discrete time at some (unspecied) time scale. If we allow actions to take variable lengths of time, we end up with a semi-Markov model; see e.g., [SPS99].
 
Article
Records from the past show that abrupt global change is the norm, not the exception, in the Earth System. Many recent changes-such as the globalization of the world's economy and the formation of the ozone hole over Antarctica-appear rapid even from the perspective of a single lifetime. What do we now know about the nature of abrupt changes in the Earth System and the probability that human actions could trigger them?
 
Article
These perceptive analyses offer a picture of spiraling degradation, growing poverty, and the displacement of people to accommodate economic growth and population increase. This article, by contrast, examines cases that lead to a different conclusion. While aggregate or regional statistics present a depressing picture, it is quite evident that at the local level many land users and communities have been able to reduce their environmental impacts, sustain their livelihoods, and fight back against institutionalized poverty through a process of innovation, technological choice, and social organization.(2) Their experiences may offer important lessons for environmental management in general.
 
Article
Additionality is the concept that developed countries should finance the costs of developing countries to address global environmental problems and make the transition to sustainable development on top of all other financial aid. Discusses the controversy regarding this concept as discussed at the June 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. (MDH)
 
Article
Population density, poverty, and lack of agricultural modernixation are generally considered causes of severe soil degradation in Africa. However, a recent study of Burkina Fasco contradicts claims of extreme, widespread degradation and indicates that other factors - including natural conditions and farmers' management practices - contribulte significantly to soil productivity and fertility.
 
Article
Reports findings of the Global Environment Monitoring System study concerning air pollution in the world's megacities. Discusses sources of air pollution, air pollution impacts, air quality monitoring, air quality trends, and control strategies. Provides profiles of the problem in Beijing, Los Angeles, Mexico City, India, Cairo, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo. (MDH)
 
Article
Reports on a visit to the New Alchemy Institute, a cluster of windmills and fish and vegetable production systems on a 12-acre site on Cape Cod. They are active in the appropriate technology movement. (BB)
 
Article
By 2010, southern California may have enough water to fulfill only 70 percent of its needs. Instead of seeking new water supplies, planners are hoping to make demand equal supply by conserving water through new demand- management practices. Because these practices depend on the cooperation of water users, some planners distrust estimates of how much demand can be cut. Nevertheless, demand-management practices are increasingly popular among resource managers, and the uncertainties inherent in water conservation are no larger than those in water supply.
 
Article
Engineering, in spite of all the activity in the fields of energy extraction and space exploration, remains a profession in crisis. What is at stake is not simply the identity of engineering as a profession, but the means by which engineers are educated. (Author)
 
Article
An overview of accomplishments from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED); the "Earth Summit," held June 3-14, 1992 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. Examines outcomes of the UNCED process in four central areas: new institutions, national reporting measures, financial mechanisms, and heightened public and nongovernmental organizations participation. (34 references) (MCO)
 
Article
Presents a profile of Dr. Victor Sidel, one of an increasing number of physicians who are finding that the environmental factors which cause disease often lie outside the range of their professional training. To prevent, rather than treat disease, the physician finds himself grappling with issues which range from pollution to poverty. (BL)
 
Article
The disinformation campaign about global climate change, pursued by a few, has influenced many. One of the basic problems is the relatively poor job we in the scientific community have done in educating the public, starting with students, on basic scientific principles. This allows the climate change deniers to persuade many people that climate change is not real, when the science, in fact, is incontrovertible.
 
Article
It is calculated that, if the government stimulates interest by purchasing $98 million of photovoltaic cells (all figures are 1975 dollars), an investment between 1983 and 1987 of $1 billion for photovoltaic cells and another $1 billion for batteries and installation would result in the production in 1987 of electricity that costs $0.051 to 0.188/kwh delivered, assuming that the cells are located at the place of energy use. On the basis of certain assumptions, it is estimated that the investment of $1 billion in cogenerating engines (modified automobile engines) would result in 1987 in electricity that costs $0.029/kwh. The cost of electricity generated by nuclear power plants in 1987 is estimated to be $0.091; a substantial part of this cost is due to amortization and electricity distribution.
 
Article
To cultivate a scientifically well-informed public, scientists, decision makers, journalists, and educators, among others, must speak to and break through people’s preexisting ideas and attitudes.
 
Article
Discusses increasing emphasis on connectivity in the field of environmental problem solving. Touches on several major environmental problems as it discusses multidisciplinarity, marketization, and democratization as aspects of a new paradigm for environmental problem solving. (LZ)
 
Article
Presents five principles of environmental justice to promote procedural, geographic, and social equity: (1) guaranteeing the right to environmental protection; (2) preventing harm before it occurs; (3) shifting the burden of proof to the polluters; (4) obviating proof of intent to discriminate; and (5) redressing existing inequities. Includes Executive Order No. 12898 involving federal actions to address environmental justice. (MDH)
 
Article
Despite scientific progress in everything from nanotechnology to the exploration of Mars, vexing questions remain about our own planet: For example, is humankind about to disrupt the natural dynamics of the Earth System? What will we need to do to avoid this and steer ourselves toward a sustainable future?
 
Article
Whole issue. Incl. bibl., abstracts
 
Article
Environment (USA), nr. 10, 13 - 15 The water in the Baltic Sea near Pyarnu is polluted 5 thousand times more than the acceptable norms. One must leave it to Estonia the possibility to decide the ecological problems independently, and then one could make a start to carry out the international agreements, in which the USSR takes part in ecological sphere. At first, it is necessary to save the Gulf of Finland and the atmosphere in this region. One bring up a thesis about the necessity of the Republican operation on a self-supporting basis, which makes possible to decide independently whether to build new steam electric stations (SES) and enterprises in the Republic. Otherwise, the co-operation with the Scandinavian countries will be non-effective. One considers the sources of ecological difficulties in the USSR, which are rooted in an idea of infinite of our resources. The situation in many regions of the USSR in respect to ecological sphere is critical. The solution of ecological problems in Estonia is associated with the process of democratisation of our society. For the present the green movement in Estonia mostly applies the means of propagation and agitation for the solution of ecological problems. For this aim they use the mass media.
 
Article
Discusses different types of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the extent of their operations in the Third World. Reviews NGO involvement in family planning and the potential for NGOs to influence and strengthen governmental population policies. (LZ)
 
Article
People, when confronted with the reality of unemployment or the inability to pay rent, are unlikely to devote mental energy to the climate change debate and the fundamental changes that may lie ahead. We have to frame these issues in ways that make sense to a beleaguered public; in other words, we need to project the kind of society we want, in which life would be better for everyone.
 
Article
Environment, vol. 12, nr. 6, 2-11
 
Top-cited authors
Michael Baram
  • Boston University
Peter H. Gleick
  • Pacific Institute, Oakland
Edith Brown Weiss
  • Georgetown University
Peter Haas
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
Marc A. Levy
  • Columbia University