The original version of this article appeared in The Nature Conservancy’s October issue of their Science Chronicles newsletter.
It seems like everywhere you turn recently, you hear how the planet’s population is headed to 10 billion. And obvious questions follow: How can we balance far more people with the natural resources needed for their survival? How will we get more food? How will we get more energy?
Access to safe water is often taken for granted in developed countries. But last week at the 22nd annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists, panelists argued that the impact of dirty water on women’s health is an important but neglected story, not only in developing countries like Nigeria, but also in the United States.
›October 26, 2012 // By Payal Chandiramani
While Pakistan’s demographic challenges are perhaps well known – two-thirds of the population of 180 million is under 30 years old – increasing security concerns have prompted discussions about exactly how much the country’s youthfulness is affecting its prospects for peace. On October 10, the U.S. Institute of Peace and George Mason University’s School of Public Policy hosted a day-long conference on “Youth Bulge, Public Policy, and Peace in Pakistan” to tackle this question.
The original version of this article, by Keith Schneider, appeared on Circle of Blue. Choke Point: China is a research and reporting initiative produced in partnership between Circle of Blue and the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum.
Where the wide, muddy waters of the Songhua River flow north from Jiamusu to the Russian border, just 150 kilometers (90 miles) distant, the whole of China’s largest treeless prairie sweeps to the horizon. This expanse of fertile grasslands endures the dark fright of cold Siberian winters and the raging winds of Mongolian summers. At night, in the scattered villages, the sky fills with stars so thick and bright that walking along unlit streets is easy.
Kathleen Mogelgaard on How Malawi Shows the Importance of Considering Population, Food, and Climate Together›October 24, 2012 // By Carolyn Lamere
Quantifying the role population plays in food security is “an incredibly powerful piece of information,” said Kathleen Mogelgaard in an interview with ECSP. Malawi is a case in point.
Mogelgaard saw the connections between food, population, and climate change firsthand on a recent trip to the southeast African country, whose population of 15 million is largely dependent on subsistence, rain-fed agriculture. “One in five children in Malawi is currently undernourished,” Mogelgaard said, and climate change paints a bleak picture for the future.
Population and Environment in Saadani National Park, and Repositioning Family Planning in Sub-Saharan Africa›
Tanzania’s Saadani National Park is a hotbed of biodiversity and, like other national parks in the region, it’s surrounded by human activity. A report by the BALANCED Project, “Population, Health, Environment Situational Analysis for the Saadani National Park Area, Tanzania,” provides a snapshot of the population, health, and environment situation inside the park to serve as a baseline for future activities of the Tanzania Coastal Management Partnership (TCMP) – a joint initiative of the government of Tanzania, USAID, and the University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Center. A behavioral monitoring system implemented in June 2009 used surveys that reached a total of 437 respondents (54 percent women) from eight villages to analyze the “behaviors that positively and negatively influence the utilization and condition of natural resources.” The surveys found that arable land is scarce, fisheries are being depleted, and people have inadequate access to healthcare, water, sanitation, fuel, and family planning resources. The results suggest a strong case for expanding TCMP’s existing integrated approach – combining HIV/AIDS, conservation, and livelihoods goals – to include promotion of positive behavior changes, particularly as they relate to family planning and the effects of population growth on biodiversity loss and resource depletion.
In recent weeks, militants in Pakistan have escalated their hostile rhetoric toward India. The subject of their ire is water. Hafiz Saeed, the head of militant Islamist group Jamaat-ud-Dawa, has warned that India plans “to make Pakistan barren” by preventing the waters of the Indus Basin from flowing downstream to Pakistan.
When French peasants stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789, they weren’t just revolting against the monarchy’s policies. They were also hungry.
From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring, high food prices have been cited as a factor behind mass protest movements. But can food prices actually help predict when social unrest is likely to break out?
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