This chapter analyzes the relationship between natural population growth, migration and desertification. Starting from results of the standard neoclassical economic theory which concentrates on forces and conditions that lead to an equilibrium after some exogenous disturbance has taken place, it challenges the hypothesis that demographic changes taking place in reaction to increasing discrepancies between carrying capacity and population density in arid regions tend to support the way to an equilibrium between both. The empirical analysis first considers comprehensive and general investigations about people’s reactions to a deteriorating relationship between economic carrying capacity and population density. Based on this, it tests if the rules deduced from theories and general empirics are valid in rural regions affected by desertification. By doing this it will draw on experiences made in different low-income countries, relying largely on case studies from Asia, Africa and Latin America carried out by the author as well as by other researchers. The results demonstrate that predicting adjustment processes by applying conventional theoretical models may be insufficient or even misleading. For economically rational reasons the population may prefer to choose demographic strategies which lead to further deteriorating conditions and to cumulating downward processes characterized by a discrepancy between the short-term interest of the decision unit and the longer-term ecological interest. There is a high probability that they might contribute to a permanently unstable situation, implying a threat to the natural environment and to the people living in it.“In a complementary way, ecologists and other natural scientists, are increasingly recognising that economic activity is “here to stay”; human activities are coming to dominate the global ecosystem and ecosystem analysis which does not explicitly include economic activities makes less and less sense. The stage seems to be set for a coming together of these two disciplines so that problems of resource use… in the global ecosystem can be discussed and assessed in a conceptual framework worthy of these problems.” (Faber, Manstetten and Probst 1996, 24).
Weitere Kapitel dieses Buchs durch Wischen aufrufen
- Economic-Demographic Strategies and Desertification: Interactions in Low-Income Countries
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Fallstudie Überschwemmungskarten/© Thaut Images | Fotolia