POPULATION & ENVIRONMENT LINKAGES SERVICE
Land Use -
General Information

Last updated: 04/13/00
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National Library for the Environment
Type of Resource Report
Title Population and Land Degradation
Author Food and Agriculture Organization
Affiliation United Nations
Url http://www.undp.org/popin/fao/land/land.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Internal 1995 report includes sections of Issues (erosion, chemical and physical deterioration, "desertification"), Extent and Impact, Causes: The role of population factors (causative factors, population and land degradation processes, deforestation and overexploitation of vegetation, overgrazing, improper agricultural management, population and technological factors, social and institutional factors, agrarian structures and poverty, land tenure, markets and public policies), Concluding Remarks (population in the chains of explanation of land degradation, relevance for population programmes). Also 5 Annexes.

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 Unknown 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 Journal Article
Title Past and Present Land Use and Land Cover in the U.S.A.
Author William B. Meyer
Affiliation Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Url http://www.gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/spring95/Land.html
Peer Review Independent Review Process
Abstract "In 1850, old growth trees still grew on nearly half of America; forest  cover of all kinds reached a low point in about 1920, rising to 31% today. Cropland now covers some 22% of the U.S., and urban development about 4%. Roughly half of our original wetlands have disappeared. Changes in how the land is used are closely coupled with other aspects of the environment." 1995 article in the journal Consequences

Type of Resource Report
Title World Resources 1996-97
Author World Resources Institute
Affiliation World Resources Institute for the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme, and the World
Url http://www.wri.org/wr-96-97/96tocful.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract A primary reference volume on global environmental and natural resource conditions and trends for the United Nations, World Bank, and related international organizations. Includes:

Type of Resource Report
Title World Population Prospects: Analyzing the 1996 UN Population Projections
Author Gerhard K. Heilig
Affiliation International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria
Url http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/Papers/gkh1/
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract "Analyzes the most recent UN population assessments and projections (the 1996 edition), conducted by the United Nations Population Division, New York. Its main objective is to cut through the maze of available data and identify ten demographic trends which are most relevant for studying global (land-use) change. Includes [1] Introduction, [2] Major Trends (world pop. growth, annual increase, developing countries, Asia's pop. growth, increase by country, growth rate by country, India outgrows China, Nigeria / Pakistan, global pop. balance, worldwide aging), [3] Methodology (population momentum, accuracy of projections, method improvements), [4] Related Problems (fertility decline, food limits population size, population density, AIDS)

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]