Any realistic attempt to achieve sustainable development must focus primarily on the human wellbeing and be founded on an understanding of the inherent differences in people in terms of their differential impact on the environment and their vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are often closely associated with age, gender, lack of education, and poverty.
These are some of the messages formulated by twenty of the world's leading experts in population, development and environment who met at IIASA in Austria in September 2011, with the objective of defining the critical elements of the interactions between the human population and sustainable development. The Laxenburg Declaration on Population and Development, as prepared by the Expert Panel, describes the following five actions as necessary to address sustainable development, achieve a 'green economy' and adapt to environmental change:Recognize that the numbers, characteristics, and behaviors of people are at the heart of sustainable development challenges and of their solutions.
Devise sustainable development policies to treat these subpopulations differently and appropriately, according to their demographic and behavioral characteristics.Facilitate the inevitable trend of increasing urbanization in ways that ensure that environmental hazards and vulnerabilities are under control.
Invest in human capital -- people's education and health, including reproductive health -- to slow population growth, accelerate the transition to green technologies, and improve people's adaptive capacity to environmental change.
According to the Panel, "Education increases people's life opportunities in general, greatly contributes to technological and social innovation, and creates the mental flexibility required for a rapid transition to a green economy. This applies to both low- and high-income countries. Hence, the enhancement of human capital from early childhood to old age through formal and informal education and life-long learning is now known to be a decisive policy priority."
Joint convener of the Expert Panel, Professor Wolfgang Lutz from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, IIASA, and the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, states that the Panel's findings reaffirm research from several key demographic research teams around the world. "Female education and reproductive health services are the two factors that will bring down unsustainable population growth. There is also increasing evidence that 'human capital', the education and health of people, is one of the most important factors in the capacity of people to contribute to sustainable development and economic growth, and adapt to environmental change. These issues are becoming ever more profound, as the population grows and we start to see the consequences of climate change."
Rather than seeing the increase in the number of people sharing the planet merely as a 'problem' Lutz and the other members of the global panel believe that with the right policies and targeted investments in people, particularly the most vulnerable sectors or subpopulations, people will be seen as a resource and not simply a 'problem'.
As stated in the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, "Human beings are at the centre of concern for sustainable development." Therefore, consideration of the changing numbers, characteristics, and distributions of human beings on the planet must be at the core of any serious analysis of the challenges and opportunities for sustainable development.
About the Statement:
Convinced by the need to address sustainable development in a multi-dimensional manner, IIASA (with funding from the United Nations Population Fund) invited more than twenty leading international experts to discuss how population factors promote or impede sustainable development. The experts come from many relevant disciplines and from all parts of the world. They prepared a statement referred to as The Laxenburg Declaration on Population and Development with specific action points as input to Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in June 2012.
Read the full Statement on the IIASA website at:
For more information or interviews contact:
Wolfgang Lutz IIASA: Phone 43-2236-807-294 email@example.com
William Butz IIASA: Phone: 43-6604-934-829 firstname.lastname@example.org
Leane Regan IIASA: Phone 43-664-443-0368 email@example.com
IIASA is an international scientific institute that conducts research into the critical issues of global environmental, economic, technological, and social change that we face in the twenty-first century. Our findings provide valuable options to policy makers to shape the future of our changing world.
IIASA is independent and funded by scientific institutions in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. http://www.iiasa.ac.at
About the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital: By pooling the scientific strengths of IIASA, the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the WU-Vienna the Wittgenstein Centre is a leading global research centre dealing with the interdependencies of demography and education and their consequences for society, economy and environment – a central challenge for the future of humankind.
Leane Regan | EurekAlert!
Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften
Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
19.10.2017 | Life Sciences