Working Groups
> Civil Society and International Organizations Cooperation
> Indigenous Peoples, Gender and Development
> Information Society
> Environment, Trade and Sustainable Development
> Peace and Disarmament
> Health Promotion
> Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
> Private Sector
> Right of Peoples to Self-Determination
  Summaries & Documents
Summaries and Documents are available for almost all sessions. Click the schedule to acess.

 Tuesday, 16 July 2002
Time Title
09:00-09:30 Plenaries: Guest Speakers Session
09:30-11:00 Plenaries: State of the environment and development...
11:30-13:00 Enviro, Trade & Sustainable Dev: Financing for development
11:30-13:00 CS & International Orgs: Main Consultative Statuses
11:30-13:00 Enviro, Trade & Sustainable Dev: WIPO and the patenting of traditional kn...
11:30-13:00 Enviro, Trade & Sustainable Dev: Water management
11:30-13:00 Enviro, Trade & Sustainable Dev: Organic and sustainable agriculture
14:00-15:30 CS & International Orgs: Evolution of civil society - internation...
14:00-15:30 Indigenous, Women & Dev: Indigenous women and leadership
14:00-15:30 Info Society: Access to the information society in dev...
14:00-15:30 Enviro, Trade & Sustainable Dev: Population and sustainable development
14:00-15:30 Health: Health and Development
14:00-15:30 Peace & Disarmament: How to engage with disarmament issues
14:00-15:30 Human Rights & Law: Protection against torture
14:00-15:30 CS-Private Sector: Private sector and the environment
14:00-15:30 Self-determination & Conflicts: Self-determination as a means of conflic...
16:00-17:30 CS & International Orgs: Strengthening cooperation with civil soc...
16:00-17:30 Indigenous, Women & Dev: Indigenous children and the role of trad...
16:00-17:30 Info Society: Information society and governance
16:00-17:30 Enviro, Trade & Sustainable Dev: Energy and waste management
16:00-17:30 Health: Private sector and access to health
16:00-17:30 Health: Private sector and access to health
16:00-17:30 Human Development: Globalisation and economic, social and c...
16:00-17:30 Peace & Disarmament: The right to self-determination as a mea...
16:00-17:30 Peace & Disarmament: The right to self-determination as a mea...
17:15-18:15 Internet requiredPeace & Disarmament: Tour d'horizon with the Department of Di...
18:00-19:30 Info Society: Health and the Internet
18:00-19:30 CS & International Orgs: The role of Foundations in international...
18:00-19:30 Indigenous, Women & Dev: The impact of indigenous peoples on inte...
18:00-19:30 CS & International Orgs: Civil society organizations - government...
18:00-19:30 Info Society: Internet and the Environment
19:30-21:00 Regional Meetings: The role of civil society organizations ...
19:30-20:30 Cultural: RALCO, Chili
18:00-20:00 Other sessions: Clair de Lune

Online News Front Page

Summary: Working Group on Environment, Trade and Sustainable Development

Population and Sustainable Development: Impact of Demographic Changes on the Environment, including Food Security

Time: 16 July 2002, 14:00-15:30 Updated: VK 12:37 PM 2002-11-27
Location: ICCG 2
Moderator(s): • Mr. Urs Thomas, University of Geneva (UNIGE)
Presenters/ Participants: • Mr. Alphonse Macdonald, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
• Mr. Rolf Steppacher, Graduate Institute for Development Studies (IUED)
Reporter: Luis Alberto Portugal Perez, Anna-Maria Lancianese (ICVolunteers)
Language: English
Key words: Demographic transition, population growth, food security

As a way to continue with the discussion on issues of sustainable development, Mr. Urs Thomas, Professor at the University of Geneva, summarized the impact of population and demographic changes on the environment, including food security.

Mr. Rolf Steppacher, of the Graduate Institute for Development Studies, summarized the multi-dimensional link between population (growth rate), state (cultural values, institutions, citizens), technique (knowledge, technology and resources) and development, through the schema: 

Population * State * Technique >> Development.

He described the difference between mineral and biotic resources and their importance to sustainable development. In describing the differences between property and possessions, Mr. Steppacher emphasized that the dialectical relationship between property and natural resources is the factor that exerts a negative pressure on ecology. He concluded that no clear solution for the future is available.

Mr. Alphonse MacDonald, of the United Nations Population Fund, focused on the three-dimensional relationship between population, environment and sustainable development. He stressed the role of demographic transition, focusing on the temporary gap between the reduction in death rates as a consequence of a temporary increase in population growth rates —demographic transition— and stressed its role in the acceleration of population growth in developing countries.

Expanding population leading to increase of consumption of resources
After the presentation, participants from Switzerland, Argentina and the United States pointed out that an expanding population could represent an increase in demand for and therefore in consumption of resources, and could become a threat to inter-generational equity. Mr. MacDonald stressed the importance of government intervention to control population booms through birth control (as in China) or subsidizing family planning and information-sharing campaigns.

Interesting questions
A participant from the United States asked the panelists if industrialized countries should open their frontiers to migrants in order to solve the problem of the pension system, where young workers contribute directly to retired pensioners. In the course of the discussion, it became clear that the pension systems needed to be reformed to avoid that direct inter-generational payment transfer.

The importance of governmental policy to control population growth was stressed, especially family planning campaigns in order to ensure future food security and protect the environment. Also important is the need for industrialized countries to help in the financing of family planning as the developing countries currently bear most of the burden for this themselves.

Presenters' Documents Available

PowerPoint16.11_hauselmann_pierre.ppt (57 K)

>Click here for all available presenters' documents
>Click here for all available summaries

>Please read about the summaries