Thin on the Ground

Land Resources: Now and for the Future






363 000 people were born

154 000 died

World population increased by 209 000

Annual world population increase:
2008 77 M, 2009 80 M, 2010 78 M, 2011 76 M



Climatic change: are you being brainwashed? There has been no global warming since 1998. Even so, the period of warming brought benefits, especially increased plant growth worldwide. Yet the one-sided attitude propagated by politicans and media continues, and those who oppose it are condemned. The situation is uncomfortably like communist-style brainwashing.
Land degradation: startling new results Widely-held assumptions about land degradation are challenged by results fromGLADA, a new global monitoring study based on satellite imagery.
Give women what they want To advocate checking population increase politically unpopular. But provide women with status, education, and access to family planning services, and the population problem will solve itself.
Thin on the Ground: Land Resource Survey in British Overseas Territories This history of the golden era of land resource survey carries lessons for present-day development policy.
Land degradation in Africa: a 30-year view of change A new UNEP atlas based on satellite imagery revealthe extent of degradation of Africa's land resources.
Living with climatic change Nothing that politicians can do will prevent climatic change. Money is better spent on adapting to it. But by all means adopt efficiency measures to reduce consumption of increasingly scarce fossil fuels.
Poverty, hunger and population: linking Cairo with Johannesburg Governments and international institutions will fail in their efforts to reduce hunger and poverty unless they treat population policy as an integral part of development.
Is there really spare land? A challenge to official estimates The amount of cultivable but uncultivated land in developing countries may be 50% less than official estimates
SCUAF5: Soil Changes Under Agriculture, Agroforestry and Forestry A new and improved Version 5 of the SCUAF computer program has been released
World agriculture: FAO reviews the next 30 years FAO has issued its definitive review of probable future trends, World Agriculture: towards 2015/2030.
Cultivated and harvested areas static since 1995 FAO predicts a 120Mha increase in arable land over the next 30 years; yet its own data show that since about 1995, both arable and harvested areas have shown no increase at all.
Agroforestry research: then and now The World Agroforestry Centre (formerly ICRAF) has learnt from past mistakes, to achieve a broad, soundly-based research programme
Johannesburg 2002: the World Summit on Sustainable Development The Plan of Implementation recognizes the integral nature of agricultural development, poverty and hunger
GEO-3: UNEP reports on the world's environment The third UNEP report, prepared for the 2002 Earth Summit, reviews changes over the 30 years since the 1972 Stockholm Conference
World Food Summit 5 years on The past 5 years have witnessed a massive shortfall in efforts to meet the target for hunger reduction set for 2015
Famine in Africa - again In early 2002 famine has again struck Africa, with Malawi the worst affected.The fundamental causes remain. Recurrent famine is now endemic.
Measuring land degradation: will the LADA Project succeed? There is a danger that, in widening the aims to include socioeconomic aspects, the essential first step of quantitative measurement, including soil monitoring, may not be achieved.

GM crops for developing countries: the first advances There is progress in GM biotechnology for rice and other crops.Ecological and economic concerns are being addressed.

Forest Resources Assessment 2000 The end-of-century assessment shows the rate of loss of tropical forests 1990-2000 is not significantly slower than for the previous 10 years.

Cereal production in LDCs 1995-2001 Since 1995, cereal area, yield, and hence production have stagnated, hence area and production per capita are progressively declining.