This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Land Degradation Threatens More Than 3 Billion Humans

A new report was published this week detailing the worsening worldwide land degradation. The research was produced by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) with support by the United Nations.
Rapid expansion and unsustainable management of croplands and grazing lands is the most extensive global direct driver of land degradation, causing significant loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services – food security, water purification, the provision of energy and other contributions of nature essential to people. This has reached ‘critical’ levels in many parts of the world, the report says.
“With negative impacts on the well-being of at least 3.2 billion people, the degradation of the Earth’s land surface through human activities is pushing the planet towards a sixth mass species extinction,” said Prof. Robert Scholes (South Africa), co-chair of the assessment with Dr. Luca Montanarella (Italy). “Avoiding, reducing and reversing this problem, and restoring degraded land, is an urgent priority to protect the biodiversity and ecosystem services vital to all life on Earth and to ensure human well-being.”
“Land degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change are three different faces of the same central challenge: the increasingly dangerous impact of our choices on the health of our natural environment. We cannot afford to tackle any one of these three threats in isolation – they each deserve the highest policy priority and must be addressed together.”
As I discuss in Chapter 11 of my text, this is the bottom-line for humans--can we continue to feed ourselves, especially in the face of a still growing population? The answer from this report seems to be 'no', unless we can reverse the degradation generated by the population pressure over the past 200 years, but especially over the past 74 years since the end of WWII. 

1 comment:

  1. Thought you might enjoy this:

    https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2017/06/8-rules-political-demography-forecast-tomorrows-world/

    ReplyDelete