- Monday | 19 Apr, 1993
- Ed. Krishna Ghimire
This report represents an attempt to understand the linkage between population dynamics, environmental changes, and development processes with references to concrete case studies carried out in the rural areas in three developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It emphasizes the need for a cautious look at the complexities of the nexus between demographic, ecological, and livelihood issues. There are multifaceted dimensions of population dynamics which interact with the environment and productive natural resources in different ways and in different contexts. Population changes have not been the determinant factor behind environmental deterioration in most cases. There have been also many efforts by local people to adjust to the evolving demographic and environmental situation. External forces namely the market and state institutions have played a significant role. They have intervened forcefully in resource use and management practices. They have also led to a concentration or movement of people in certain areas. Moreover, there has been a limited impact of attempts to change these processes through policy parameters because of the narrow focus mainly on fertility control or nature conservation. Most crucially, policy measures in general have failed to strengthen local livelihood prospects, as well as to create enough room for rural people to actively participate and mobilize around population, environment, or development issues. The report is organized in five chapters. The first chapter discusses different concepts and debates surrounding the population, environment and development issues. This chapter also outlines the approach and scope of the study. The second chapter is concerned with an assessment of the interaction between environmental and demographic changes in the case study areas. The third chapter looks at the various "accommodation" practices that are developed at local levels, given environmental and demographic changes. The fourth chapter investigates the impact of external forces on demographic policies, resource management patterns, and livelihood provisioning. The last chapter summarizes the principal research findings.