Population Pressures : Glossary

There are 74 documents in this section.

  • Globalisation

    23 May 2002

    The complex network of links between countries and societies in the modern world. The processes (for example in trade, travel, media, and communication and information systems) through which decisions and events in one part of the world can come to have significant consequences for people and communities in other parts of the world.

  • GNP and GDP

    23 May 2002

    GNP is the total value of all goods and services produced by a country in a specified period (usually annually).

    Gross domestic product (GDP) GDP is calculated as GNP less income from foreign investments.

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)

    23 May 2002

    The IMF was founded in 1944 at an inter-governmental conference held in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA, in order to promote economic stability after the Second World War. It has 183 members (as at April 2002), and is managed by a Board of Governors which meets once each year at the Annual Meeting.

    It has three main functions: 'surveillance', or monitoring of its members' economic policies; financial assistance, through which credits and loans are extended to member countries; and technical assistance, in areas such as monetary policy, data collection, or training.

  • Millennium Development Goals

    23 May 2002

    At the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, 191 countries committed themselves to halving poverty by the year 2015 and meeting a range of other targets in areas such as health, education, and gender equity.

  • Sustainable development

    23 May 2002

    Sustainable development has as many definitions as subscribers. In essence, it refers to economic development that meets the needs of all without leaving future generations with fewer natural resources than those we enjoy today. It is widely accepted that achieving sustainable development requires balance between three dimensions of complementary change:

    • Economic (towards sustainable patterns of production and consumption)

    • Ecological (towards maintenance and restoration of healthy ecosystems)

    • Social (towards poverty eradication and sustainable livelihoods)

  • World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)

    23 May 2002

    The World Summit on Sustainable Development takes place from 26 August - 4 September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Governments, UN agencies, and civil society organisations will come together to assess progress since the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio in 1992 (hence the title 'Rio + 10' for the Johannesburg meeting).

    Sustainable development is defined in the report from the Rio meeting as being 'economic progress which meets all of our needs without leaving future generations with fewer resources than those we enjoy'.

  • Industrial revolution

    26 September 2001

    A historical transition that began in England in the eighteenth century, when the use of coal both in steam engines and for iron smelting enormously increased industrial output. Industrial technologies and the use of fossil fuels quickly spread to other nations, generated unprecedented industrial growth, and changed fundamentally the human use of resources and impact on the local and global environment.

  • Industrialization

    26 September 2001

    A development path based on expanding a country's capacity to process raw materials and manufacture products for consumers, businesses, and export. This approach to development, first seen in northern Europe in the Industrial Revolution typically entails heavy financial investment in factories and power plants and a rapidly growing demand for energy, particularly fossil fuels.

  • Mitigation

    26 September 2001

    Techniques or requirements (e.g., conditions of development approval) aimed at reducing or neutralising identified negative environmental, economic, or social effects of a proposed activity, policy, or development.

  • National conservation strategies

    26 September 2001

    Plans that highlight country-level environmental priorities and opportunities for sustainable management of natural resources, following the example of the World Conservation Strategy published by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) in 1980. Though governments may support preparation for the strategies, they are not bound to follow IUCN's recommendations.