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Peter H. Raven


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About the Atlas

" essential reference for anyone who is seriously thinking about the future."
Future Survey

"If a picture is worth a thousand words this presentation of the environmental impact of human activity is worth at least a million."
The Ecologist

The AAAS Atlas of Population and Environment is an important analysis of the relationships between human population and the environment. Illustrating through text, maps, and diagrams how population affect the world's ecosystems and natural resources both in the short and long term, the Atlas brings together a wealth of information from the most up-to-date sources.

In view of the profound significance of these issues as we enter the new century, this accessible resource will be an invaluable tool for individuals, academics, governments, and corporations. Divided into topical chapters and fully referenced, these materials are offered as web pages and Adobe Acrobat documents. All the information of the Atlas is currently accessible and will be expanded and improved regularly.

The AAAS Atlas now also features fact-filled reports from around the world on topics that impact the population and environment dynamic. Issues are short and easy-to-read articles providing often encouraging insights into how people are tackling population and environment related issues today.

This element of the site will highlight what can or may be achieved through positive development, or raise specific issues of concern. It will be regularly augmented with further descriptions of the developments wherever and whenever they occur, adding a human face to the data-rich reporting of the AAAS Atlas of Population and Environment.

The Atlas draws on research and data from a number of academic institutions and international organizations, including the United Nations, its specialist organizations and agencies; the World Resources Institute; the Center for International Earth Sciences Information Network; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; U.S. Geological Survey; and the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Using sophisticated mapping and graphic techniques, the Atlas provides quantitative analyses of the important links between such factors as human population density, rates of growth, migration, resource consumption, and technologies, and the state of the global environment.

The Atlas tackles the difficult job of connecting the social and natural sciences to provide a thorough analysis of the interplay between population and the environment. Its interdisciplinary approach brings a unique comparative perspective to the discussion and makes it pertinent to a broad range of disciplines.

The Atlas was produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Founded in 1848, the AAAS is the world's largest general science organization. It is perhaps best known as publisher of the journal Science. With more than 138,000 members and 275 affiliated societies, AAAS serves as an authoritative source for information on the latest developments in science and bridges gaps among scientists, policymakers, and the public to advance science, science education, and the effectiveness of science in the promotion of human welfare. AAAS produced the Atlas to provide a concise, science-based compendium of information on the population and environment topics so important to the realization of a sustainable future.


Paul Harrison's publications include The Greening of Africa (1987) and The Third Revolution (1992). He has also written extensively for various United Nations agencies. In 1998 he was awarded the United Nations Environment Programme's Global 500 Award for outstanding contributions to the environment.

Fred Pearce's work appears regularly in New Scientist, The Independent, and The Times Higher Education Supplement. His publications include Turning Up the Heat (1989) and The Dammed (1994). He has also written frequently for international agencies including UNEP and UNESCO.

Peter Raven is Director of the Missouri Botanical Gardens and President of the AAAS.

Printed copies of the AAAS Atlas of Population and Environment are available from University of California Press at:
Clothbound 0-520-23081-7: $65.00 £45.00
Paperback 0-520-23084-1: $29.95 £19.95

For further information on this site, please email

Harrison, Paul and Pearce, Fred. 2000. 'AAAS Atlas of Population and Environment' Victoria Dompka Markham, editor. 215 pages. American Association for the Advancement of Science and the University of California Press.

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