POPULATION & ENVIRONMENT LINKAGES SERVICE
Food & Agriculture/Land Use -
Arable Land, Soil and Depletionty
Last updated: 04/13/00
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National Library for the Environment
Type of Resource Report
Title Conserving Land: Population and Sustainable Food Production
Author Robert Engelman and Pamela LeRoy
Affiliation Population Action International
Url http://www.cnie.org/pop/conserving/landuse.htm
Peer Review Independent Review Process
Abstract This document explores the effects of population upon agricultural capacity in the present context of pest evolution, greater dependence on fossil fuel based technologies, the depletion of water aquifers, resource scarcity, and the possible degradation of soil quality. Supposing a leveling off of available agricultural land, the paper looks at the impact of growing human numbers upon a finite or degrading resource, and its effect upon food security. While acknowledging a less tenable connection between human population and land degradation the document explores the possibilities that human ingenuity, coupled with a restriction in the rate of human increase, can lead to a sustainable increase in human population. The document is replete with illustrative figures, charts and maps, surveying population and agricultural use of the land from the eighteenth century to the present.

Type of Resource Newstory
Title Report Finds Population Growth Far Exceeding Arable Land in Year 2025
Author 2020 Vision News & Views, April 1995
Affiliation International Food Policy Research Institute
Url http://www.cgiar.org/ifpri/2020/newslet/nv_0495/2nv0495c.htm
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract "According to a recent report by the Washington, D.C. based nongovernmental organization Population Action International, world population is growing eight times as fast as cultivated land area, and the food security of hundreds of millions of people may be at risk early in the next century."

Type of Resource Article
Title Policy Changes Needed to Meet Threats to Land and Water
Author 2020 VISION News & Views, July 1995
Affiliation International Food Policy Research Institute
Url http://www.cgiar.org/ifpri/2020/newslet/nv_0795/nv_0795e.htm
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract "Soil and water are the basic natural resources on which agriculture depends, and both are expected to come under serious pressure as the world population rises toward a projected total of 8 billion over the next 25 years. As the demand for water mounts, competition for water among agricultural, industrial, and residential purposes will increase within countries, and tensions between countries that share water basins could escalate into open conflict."

Type of Resource Article
Title Study Finds Worldwide Soil Erosion Costly
Author 2020 VISION News & Views, February 1995
Affiliation International Food Policy Research Institute
Url http://www.cgiar.org/ifpri/2020/newslet/nv_0295/nv_0295d.htm
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract "The most comprehensive study to date on the costs of soil erosion, David Pimentel and his colleagues at Cornell University report in a recent issue of Science magazine that soil erosion causes up to US$400 billion in damage worldwide. According to the study, "In many parts of the world, where irrigation is not possible or fertilizers are too costly, the price of erosion is paid in reduced food production."

Type of Resource Report
Title World Without End: Economics, Environment, and Sustainable Development: A Summary
Author David W. Pearce and Jeremy J. Warford
Affiliation World Bank
Url http://www.worldbank.org/html/extpb/reports/worldEnd.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract A lengthy summary of a World Bank report. Addresses the economics of issues such as [1] Sustainable Development, [2] Resource Degradation: Causes and Policy Response, and [3]International Environmental Issues.

Type of Resource Data Sets
Title Summary of global soil texture data set (GLOBTEX)
Author Norman B. Bliss
Affiliation EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, U.S.A.
Url http://grid2.cr.usgs.gov/data/fts.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract "The digital data base for the Soil Map of the World represents the best available soil data on a global basis. The source maps were compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and published by UNESCO in 10 volumes between 1970 and 1978. The map references 106 FAO soil types, and the map symbol includes the texture and slope of the dominant soil in each area. Texture is defined in three classes (coarse, medium, and fine) and slope is defined in three classes (0-8%, 8-30%, and >30% slopes). " Data downloadable.

Type of Resource Database
Title Global Assessment of Human Induced Soil Degradation Digital Database
Author International Soil Reference and Information Centre, the Netherlands
Affiliation International Soil Reference and Information Centre, the Netherlands
Url http://grid2.cr.usgs.gov/data/glasod.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract "In essence, the GLASOD data base contains information on soil degradation within map units as reported by numerous soil experts araund the world through a questionnaire. It includes the type, degree, extent, cause and rate of soil degradation. From these data, GRID produced digital and hardcopy maps and made area calculations."

Type of Resource Database
Title Soil Map of Brazil
Author Norman B. Bliss
Affiliation EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, U.S.A.
Url http://grid2.cr.usgs.gov/data/brsoil11d.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Explanation of how to download data and utilize it.

Type of Resource Databases
Title FAOSTAT Databases
Author Food and Agriculture Organization
Affiliation United Nations
Url http://apps.fao.org/cgi-bin/nph-db.pl?subset=agriculture      (Temporarily Unavailable)
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Set of 17 agricultural databases and one population database. Includes Land Use and Irrigation databases with individual country and regional data for 1961-1996

Type of Resource Map
Title Areas of Concern for Soil Degradation
Author World Resources Institute
Affiliation World Resources Institute
Url http://www.wri.org/wri/enved/trends/soi-5a.html          (Temporarily Unavailable)
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Part of the World Resources Institute's Environmental Education Project section on important global environment and development trends.

Type of Resource Graph
Title Causes of Soil Degradation
Author World Resources Institute
Affiliation World Resources Institute
Url http://www.wri.org/wri/enved/trends/soi-5b.html           (Temporarily Unavailable)
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Figure and statement about the causes of soil degradation. Part of the World Resources Institute's Environmental Education Project section on important global environment and development trends.

Type of Resource Article
Title State of the World: Food and Land
Author Millenium Institute
Affiliation Millenium Institute
Url http://www.igc.apc.org/millennium/inds/land.html         (Temporarily Unavailable)
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Statement on site of U.S. based advocacy group: "How long arable land will last at certain diets."

National Council for Science and the Environment
"Improving the scientific basis for making decisions on environmental issues"
1725 K Street, NW, Suite 212, Washington, DC 20006-1401
Phone: (202) 530-5810 Fax: (202) 628-4311 [email protected]