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Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Topic 1: Energy Insecurity

What do I need to know?
How energy sources can be classified and the advantages and disadvantages of these
Reasons for global variations in energy access and consumption
Factors effecting energy security California Case Study
Impact of growing global energy demand e.g. China case Study
Impact of geopolitics on energy security
Energy pathways problems with these Trans-Siberian Pipeline
How energy supplies can be disrupted e.g. Russia
Environment impacts of looking for more energy e.g. Tar Sands in Canada, Arctic Oil
Who they key players are in supplying future oil OPEC, TNCs - Gazprom
Why we are uncertain about the future of energy
The advantages and disadvantages of the possible futures
How energy insecurity will lead to geopolitical tensions e.g. USA involvement in Middle
East, China and India
How can meet our future energy needs?

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Key Terms
Energy Pathways
Energy Poverty
Energy Security
Energy surplus
Low-carbon standard
Peak Oil
Security Premium
Supply shock
Tar Sands
Energy crisis
Environmental impact
Fossil fuels
Renewable resources
Strategic Petroleum
Energy TNCs
Carbon credit
Carbon Trading
Coal gasification
Green taxation

Supply routes between energy producers and consumers e.g. pipelines or

shipping routes
When a country or region has insufficient access to reliable sources of power
This is vital to the functioning of any economy any country that is selfsufficient in energy resources will be secure
When a country or region has more than enough sources of power for its needs
and is able to export its surplus power to other countries
Political relations among nations, particularly relating to claims and disputes
regarding boarders and resources
Initiative introduced in California in 2007 aimed to reducing the carbon
intensity of transportation fuel by 10% by 2020
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries e.g. Iran, Iraq, Kuwait
The year in which the world or an individual oil-producing country reaches its
highest level of production, production declines after
The extra cost built into the price of oil to allow for any disruption in supply
Something that is done as part of a plan that is meant to achieve a particular
purpose or to gain an advantage
A significant interruption to supply due to an environmental, economic or
political event
Naturally occurring mixtures of sand or clay, water and dense form of
petroleum called bitumen
A serious shortage of energy which interrupts domestic supplies and impacts
on all sectors of the economy
Details all of the impacts on the environment of an energy type or another
project above a certain size
Fuels consisting of hydrocarbons (coal, oil and natural gas) formed by the
decomposition of prehistoric organisms
Sources of energy such as solar and wind power that are not depleted as they
are used
The USAs reserve supply of oil which should last for about 3 months in the
event of severe interruptions to imported oil
The built environment constructed for the exploration, development and
production of energy, and all the networks
Transnational corporations that specialise in the exploration, development,
production and sale of energy products
When a country decides to place part or all of one or a number of natural
resources e.g. oil under state ownership
A permit that allows an organisation to emit a specified amount of greenhouse
A company that does not use up the level of emissions it is entitled to can sell
the remainder to another company
A process which converts solid coal into a gas that can be used for power
Taxes levied to discourage behaviour that will be harmful to the environment
Generators producing electricity with an output of less than 50KW

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How energy sources can be classified and the advantages and

disadvantages of these
The main way to classify energy is between renewable, non-renewable and recyclable sources
Renewable = can be used over and over again e.g. wind and solar power (also known as FLOW
Non-renewable = these are finite resources so as they are used up the stock that remains behind is
reduced (also known as STOCK RESOURCES)
Recyclable resources = fuel that has been used once can be used again to generate power e.g. nuclear
reprocessing can make uranium waste reusable
Energy source


Natural Gas



Non-renewable (may be












Renewable and recyclable

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Releases large amounts of Co2 contributing to
climate change e.g. 2 billion tonnes from USA
plants per year
Carbon capture technology to remove Co2 is
Releases Co2 on use
Issues of security of supply
Health risks and accidents e.g. Chernobyl
Disposal of radioactive material an issue
Global supplies may have reached their peak
Release Co2 when burnt
Availability varies across the globe
Expensive compared with fossil fuels
Only certain locations suitable
Technology for large-scale generation unproven
Only certain locations suitable
Wind energy is variable so hard to manage power
Acts as a carbon sink so combustion releases
carbon dioxide
Limited potential for large sale generation
Availability limited to a few locations e.g.
Large scale schemes are expensive
Dam building creates wide scale flooding

Reasons for global variations in energy access and consumption

Distribution of energy reserves:


China produced 41.1% of global

coal in 2007
USA produces 18.7%

Germany world
leader at
Germany, USA
and Spain
account for
58% globally

China, Canada,
Brazil and
USA account
for 46% of
global total


Russia and USA produce 40% of

worlds total


Why energy supply varies:

In 2007 the Middle East = 30.8%

of oil production
N. America = 16.5%
Saudi Arabia dominates
production 12.6% of worlds
Russia accounts for over of
production for Europe and

1) Physical:
Deposits of fossil fuels are only found in a limited number of places
Solar power needs a large number of days a year with strong sunlight
Large power stations require flat land and stable foundations
2) Economic
Onshore deposits of oil and gas are cheaper to develop then offshore deposits
In poor countries foreign direct investment is essential to develop energy resources
Most accessible and low cost deposits of fossil fuels are developed first
3) Political
Countries wanting to develop nuclear power need to gain permission from the
International Atomic Energy Agency
International agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol can influence energy decisions

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HEP schemes on international rivers require the agreement of all countries that share
the river


Energy consumption

China accounts for

1/3rd of the growth in
global oil demand
since 2000
Demand for oil in
China is expected to
rise by 5-7% year

Developing Countries:
The USA shows huge demands
for energy resources
Germany and UK have improved
their energy efficiency resulting
in a modest increase in demand
compared with NICs

Most are struggling to pay for their energy

Energy demand is influenced by rate of
economic development and rate of population
In the world 2 billion people lack access to
household electricity
Traditional biomass in these countries accounts
for 90% of total energy consumption

It is important to note that the use of energy in all countries has changed over time due to:

Technological developments nuclear power only been available since 1954

Increasing national wealth incomes increase resulting in increasing use of energy

Changes in demand Britains trains were powered by coal

Changes in price Electricity production in UK switched from coal to gas power stations are
they are cheaper to run

Environmental factors/public opinion can influence decisions made by governments

Factors effecting energy security

Energy security has a number of risks:
1) Physical exhaustion of reserves or disruption of supply lines

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2) Environmental Protests about environmental change caused by exploitation of energy

3) Economic sudden rises in costs of energy forcing increased imports of higher-priced energy
4) Geopolitical political instability in energy-producing regions
The energy security of a country can be measured using the Energy Security Index (ESI).
This is based upon:
- Availability the amount of a countrys domestic oil and gas supplies and its level of reliance
on imported resources
- Diversity the range of energy resources used
- Intensity the degree to which the economy of a country is dependent on oil and gas
The higher the index, the lower the risk and therefore the greater the energy security

Case Study: Energy Security Issues: California Case Study

Largest state in the USA
Lowest per capita energy consumption rate in the USA due to mild weather
16% of USA oil reserves, but only 3% of gas reserves
Produces 5% of USA total electricity
More motor vehicles that any other state
Why is the USA in energy crisis?
1) Consumption In 2007 USA consumed 23.8% of the worlds oil
2) Reliance on imports Between 1960 and 2003 USAs reliance on imported gas and oil
increased by 18% to 58%
9/11 terrorist attack highlight concerns on dependence on imports from the Middle
3) Price In 2006 the price of oil had risen from $20 to $60 per barrel
. In 2008 the oil
was $140
4) Reserves of fossil fuels are being to run out reserves should last for between 40-65 years
5) Global sources of energy are unevenly distributed most are concentrated in politically
unstable parts of the world
6) Demand for energy is increasing the growth of economies in China and India has meant more
competition for resources
So why is California suffering an energy crisis?
Due to the fact that the US energy market is privatised the market is driven by the desire to make
most profit. Between June 2000 and May 2001 California experienced a series of blackouts due to
various factors:
a. The weather:
2000 was the 3rd years of drought so less surplus energy due to lack of hydroelectricity from surrounding states
Summer was very hot so increased demand for air-conditioning
Winter was unusually cold so increased need for heating
b. Insufficient generating capacity strong anti-pollution laws in the 1970s meant energy
companies were unwilling to build new power stations that were expensive
c. Limited capacity of power lines to important more electricity

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d. Eron used supply and demand to ensure energy prices remained high enough when supply was
Therefore the two major power companies in California were forced to shut off electricity supplies
to conserve limited stocks

Impact of growing global energy demand e.g. China case Study


In 2001, China accounted for 10% of global energy demand, in 2007 it was 15%
Per capita energy demand is still relatively small due to its huge population (e.g. 2006 consumed
less than 7 million barrels/day a 1/3rd of USA)
Controls 3% of world oil reserves (enabled China to be self-sufficient until 1995)

Causes of rising demand:

1. Since 1949 China has been a communist country separate from the rest of the world, however
in 1986 the government developed an Open-Door Policy to overseas investment.
2. 1990s became more of a capitalist economy allowing individuals to accumulate wealth = still not
a free-market economy as most companies are state owned (LINK TO SUPERPOWER UNIT)
3. Rising energy demand is due to both economic growth and the demands of the new industry
but also rapid urbanisation and growing car ownership
Rural-urban migration in China is 8.5 million people per year (45million expected to move
to the cities by 2012)
Car ownership to grow from 16 cars per 1000 people in 2002, to 267 cars per 1000
people in 2030 (by 2020 expected to have 140 million private cars on the road)
Only uses 10% of its energy for transport currently but will need huge amounts in the
Where does the energy come from?
Coal Relies on coal for 70% of its electricity generation and the huge demand means China is
building on average 3 coal-fired power stations a week. Creates environmental problems for them e.g.
Beijing Olympics. Majority of the coal is located in the north and west, whilst industry is located in
the south and east.
HEP Accounts for 16% of chinas energy production e.g. Three Gorges Dam and China aims to build
HEP dams on all of its major rivers
Oil Oil production has now peaked and exploration into offshore fields has begun, however
territorial disagreements in the South China Sea is making this difficult importing more oil
Chinas energy security problems matter to the rest of the world due to its size and the impact that
an increase in demand would have on everyone else. However is energy dependency is only 12%
compared with USA of 40% and Japan of 80%.

Potential Exam Question: Discuss how far economic development can be affected by energy
security (15 marks)

Impact of geopolitics on energy security

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Energy security demands on resource availability, both domestic and foreign, and security of supply.
It can be affected by geopolitics because there is little excess capacity to ease pressure on energy
supplies if supply becomes disrupted. For example, following the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, the Arab
nations reduced the supply of oil to the USA and Western Europe to reduce their support for Israel
this created a serious energy shortage.
Since then in 1977 the USA construction a Strategic Petroleum Reserve with the initial aim to store
1 billion barrels of oil which could be used in the event of supply issues.

Energy pathways problems with these

Energy pathways between producers and consumers highlight the considerable levels of risk
involved in the energy industry.
Oil has a complex global pattern of PATHWAYS and PLAYERS (exporters and importers).
The Middle East exports around 15 000 barrels per day, mainly to Japan, Europe and CHINA.
Substantial amounts flow from Africa, Canada and South and Central America TO the USA.
Russia supplies some oil to CHINA, but the bulk of its exports now head to Europe.
Gas pathways are different in that they tend to be localised and regional rather than global.
Traditionally gas is transported through pipelines, whereas oil has been transported by ship.
A possible future is that as movement through pipeline becomes less dependable (for political
reasons); there will be a switch towards shipping gas in tankers as LNG.
Physical and human causes of disruption:
Long running tensions in the Middle East e.g. destruction of oil wells during Iraq war
consumed 6 million barrels of oil a day for 8 months
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 affecting oil production and refining in the Gulf of Mexico
causing oil and petrol prices to rise
In 2005 explosions and fires at Buncefield Oil Storage Depot destroyed fuel worth 10
million. It supplies Heathrow and as a result had to ration fuel
2006 and 2008 disputes between Russian and Ukraine disrupted gas supplies to Western


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The pipeline project was proposed in 1978 as an export pipeline from Russia to Europe. The pipeline
was constructed in 1982-1984. The pipeline runs from Siberia's gas field to Uzhgorod in Western
Ukraine. From there, the natural gas is transported to Central and Western European countries.
Trans-Alaskan pipeline crosses 3 mountain ranges and several large rivers. In these areas there are
issues of permafrost and to avoid this pipelines are build above ground

How energy supplies can be disrupted e.g. Russia

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been high since 2004,
when pro-Western forces led by President Viktor Yushchenko
won control of the government over Viktor Yanukovych, a
Moscow ally. Russia also opposes Ukraines desire to join the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the EU.
The EU gets a quarter of its gas supplies from Russia - 80% of
which passes through Ukraine

What sparked the crisis?

Ukraine and Russia have faced negotiations over the renewal of gas supply contracts every year,
but by midnight on 31 December 2008 they had failed to agree on the price Kiev should pay in
This has happened 3 times before but this year, gas supplies were completely halted from 7
January, after Russia accused Ukraine of siphoning off gas meant for European customers, leaving
more than a dozen countries without their expected supplies of Russian gas.
The European Union called the supply cut "completely unacceptable", demanded immediate
restoration and entered into shuttle diplomacy between Kiev and Moscow.
A deal reached on 12 January, whereby EU and Russian observers would monitor supplies across
Ukraine collapsed within hours. The EU said both sides had failed to meet its terms.
The two countries also failed to agree on a price Russia would pay Ukraine for gas transit to
Some, like Bulgaria, Serbia and Bosnia, are almost completely dependent on supplies via Ukraine
and so were left with major shortages, during a very cold spell in Europe.

In the meantime European countries had to shut down industrial plants and domestic heating
systems, find alternative sources of gas or switch energy plants to oil. Schools were shut and
people had to revert to using log fires to heat their homes.

Europes energy security should they be worried?

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The amount of gas Russia supplies to Europe means that any disruptions have large-scale impacts
Even during the Cold war the supply of Russian gas was stable and the Europe is now looking to
enhance its energy security through:
Reducing its dependence on Russiabuilding of the South Caucasus pipeline supplying gas from
Azerbaijan via Turkey, bypassing Russian territory altogether
Press Russia and Ukraine to sign long-term contracts, with accepted pricing formulae, similar
to those that Gazprom already has with most EU countries.
Diversify its sources of energy, something that it must do anyway if it is to meet its ambitious
climate-change targets.

Potential Exam Question: Russia uses its oil and gas as a political and economic weapon. Discuss

Environment impacts of looking for more energy

Tar Sands in Canada
This place contains up to 2.5 trillion barrels of oil that is more
than Saudi Arabias reserves
Oil sands are made of sand, water and a hydrocarbon tar called
bitumen. Since the rising oil prices and technological advances they
have now become more feasible to extract.
Albertas tar sands produced a million barrels of oil a day in 2003
and expected to reach 3.5 million a day by 2011. By 2030 they aim to produce at least 5 million a day
and export the surplus.
Oil in the shale is not easily separated out so immense amount of heat is needed usually
through burning natural gas
Process uses huge amounts of water e.g. every barrel of oil produced requires 4 barrels of
water. The water then also becomes polluted where is can damage ecosystems
Issue of disposing of the shale once the oil has been removed
Very expensive and only viable when oil costs over $30 a barrel (costs $15 per barrel
compared with $2 for convectional crude oil)
Processes tar sands are a large source of greenhouse gas emissions
470km2 of forest have been removed and lakes of toxic waste cover 130km2
Alternative source of oil during times of political or access issues
By 2030 the tar sands could meet 16% of North Americas demand for oil ENERGY
Provide additional source of energy until more renewable sources can be found
Mining companies are required to replant land disturbed by mining
Oil is vital to Canadas economy (2007= 20% of exports)

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Players involved:

Canada and Venezuela (countries containing Tar Sands

TNCs e.g. Shell and BP
Alberta Energy Research Institute
Environmental groups e.g. Greenpeace
Local people (those employed by the companies or those affected by pollution)

Arctic Oil
This place is estimated to contain up to 25% of the worlds
undiscovered oil and natural gas. Issue regarding who can lay
claim to which parts of the ocean Russia has claimed nearly
half of the Arctic but other interested parties e.g. USA,
Norway failed to uphold their claim.

Oil companies have already destroyed large parts of
Alaska and Siberia so should be kept out of the Arctic
New oil rush in the Arctic is only possible because of
the increased shrinking of the polar ice cap due to global warming
The Arctic is a pristine environment containing over 45 species of land and marine animals
Issue over who has the right to claim ownership of the natural resources countries who have
been conflicting over this have now agreed to sign the UN Law of the Sea Convection stating
the 8 Arctic states are allowing to exploit offshore resources within 200 nautical miles of
their territory
At around $70 per barrel it makes drilling in the Arctic viable. (2007 prices reached $100).
Contains up to 25% of the worlds undiscovered oil and natural gas
Players involved:
1. Arctic States USA, Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Iceland
2. UN will decide the control of the Arctic by 2020
3. Local people
4. Environmental Pressure groups

Who they key players are in supplying future oil

Energy TNCs e.g. Shell
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Historically the energy industries have been dominated by large TNCs such as Shell but the power of
the TNCs has been challenged by OPEC and recently national energy companies. This is due to the
fact that TNCs have come under attack from environmental groups and companies like BP have
worked hard to establish a positive public image through investments in renewable energies.
Shell consists of a global group of energy and petrochemicals companies with a strategy to reinforce
their position as a leader in the oil and gas industry in order. One of their focuses has been to
explore for new oil and gas reserves.
Key Facts:
Produce 2% amount of worlds oil
Produce 3% amount of worlds gas
3.1 million barrels of gas and oil every day
$2 billion spent on CO2 and renewable energy technologies over the last 5 years.
In 2009 greenhouse gas emissions were approximately 35% below 1990 levels.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a
permanent intergovernmental organization of 12 oil-exporting
developing nations
OPEC was formed in 1960 to protect the interests of oil-producing
companies and have formed what some view as a CARTEL. Its sets
oil production quotas for its members in response to economic
growth rates and demand-and-supply conditions. It therefore aims to ensure fair and stable prices
for its members.
At the end of 2006, the OPEC members had over 78% of the worlds total oil reserves and they
produce around 45% of the worlds crude oil and 18% of its natural gas.
OPEC is criticised that it controls the price of oil as it is worried that increasing the supply of oil
would mean investors would stop investing causing a collapse in the price.

Why we are uncertain about the future of energy

It is hard to predict energy demand as it is strongly affected by economic growth rates,
conservation of resources and the pace at which the world can switch to renewable sources of power.
It is thought that world oil demand will grow by 32% by 2020 and global gas demand by 48%.
The issue of Peak Oil:
The International Energy Agency predicted peak oil production to occur between 2013 and 2037,
whilst USA Geological Survey predicted it is at least 50 years away.

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The advantages and disadvantages of the possible futures

Business as usual
If we do nothing forecasts predict that by 2030:
Global primary energy demand will rise by 53%
Fossil fuels will remain the dominant source of energy worldwide
Emissions from electricity generation will account for 44% of energy-related emissions
Over 70% increase in the energy demand will come from developing countries due to rapid
economic growth and population growth


By 2008, 439 nuclear reactors were supplying 15% of the worlds electricity
Does not produce greenhouse gas emissions
Uranium is relatively cheap to mine and reserves should last around 150 years
Very cost effective to transport as only used in small quantities
Produces 1% of global electricity supply
1986 Chernobyl incident highlights the issues
Very expensive to build several billion pounds
Nuclear waste disposal is an issue as it remains radioactive for 10,000 years

Renewable energy with the emphasis on wind power

Costs of generating wind today are about 10% of what they were 20 years ago
In some areas first generation wind turbines are being replaced with modern turbines which
give better performance
NIMBY people are concerned that the turbines could blight their homes and views
Turbines can kill birds
Suitable areas are often near the coast where land is expensive

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Energy Conservation
a) Combined Heat and Power (CHP) power stations waste 65% of the heat they generate but
CHP plants can be up to 95% efficient as they can use different fuels in the same boiler
including biomass but also cut emissions and reduce fuel dependency
b) Green Taxation aimed at cutting the use of natural resources and encouraging recycling. E.g.
road tax increase in 2010 will see 9.4 million motorists pay more road tax aimed to punishing
heaviest polluting cars. The government will receive more that 1billion in additional revenue.

How energy insecurity will lead to geopolitical tensions

USA Involvement in the Middle East
In March 2003 USA and allied forces invaded Iraq (4th largest oil reserves in the world); the then
leader was considered to pose a threat to the security of Western oil supplies in the Middle East as
he was making deals with Russian and Chinese oil companies. Before the invasion the USA put
pressure on Iraq to admit it had stockpiled weapons of mass destructions or faces military action.
The USA goal in invading Iraq was to reduce its dependence on Saudi Arabia for oil and increase its
energy security by introducing a new supplier, Iraq. The USA hoped that its involvement in Iraq and
Afghanistan would democratise the Middle East. However, America is excluded from deals between
Russia, China and Iran and is fighting hard to secure oil by means of energy pathways running through
friendly countries.

China vs. India

Indias demand for energy has grown due to high economic growth rates, lack of energy-efficient
technologies, reliance on heavy industry and widespread power stealing. In 2005 oil imports
accounted for 2/3rds of Indias oil consumption and China is seen to be much more energy secure
than India. In terms of investment India is also behind with only $3.5nillion in overseas exploration
compared with $40 billion made by China. Various policies have been introduced:
India will have to rely on imported oil and gas in the short term required increased
diplomacy with South Asia etc
Investing in offshore gas fields in Vietnam
However, India has strained relations with energy suppliers and the countries that the supplies have
to pass through.

How can meet our future energy needs?

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Emissions controls Kyoto Protocol adopted in 1997 aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Countries are required to achieve specific reductions in their greenhouse emissions (average of 5%
against 1990 levels by 2012). The USA refused to sign
Emissions trading EU emission Trading Scheme meant that heavy industrial plants have to buy
permits to emit greenhouse gases over the limit they are allowed by government. Under the Kyoto
Protcol carbon emissions are now tracked and traded like a commodity so that any excess reductions
can be sold in the carbon market
Green taxes Taxes on individuals for using air transport and pollution charges on companies. Other
ideas are aimed to reduce energy consumption such as removing stamp duty on carbon neutral homes
Offshore wind turbines Building offshore costs at least 50% more than on land but wind speeds are
generally double those on land so they can generate more electricity.
Carbon storage this involves capturing the carbon dioxide released by burning coal and burying it
deep underground, but it is not proved that the carbon dioxide will actually stay underground and it is
very expensive.
Geothermal In the Philippines 25% of the electricity is generated from underground heat which is
free and available all day. However, the heat is often too deep to be economical.
Bio fuels algae There are 3 main types; crops e.g. grasses, sugar, trees and algae. Algae are hard
to grow but produce oil that requires less refining before it becomes a bio fuel.

What types of questions have been asked?

Study Figure 1.
(Explain why oil exploration in the areas shown could lead to high economic and environmental costs.

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Assess the relative importance of named players in the global supply of energy. (15)
The development of alternative energy sources is a possible response to future energy demands.
Assess the possible costs and benefits of this approach. (15)
Explain how the world price of oil has a major impact on oil exploration by TNCs and governments (10)
Assess the potential environmental, economic and political risks in exploiting new energy resources

Suggest how the contrasting distribution/pattern of major oil exporters and importers shown in
Figure 1 could affect the energy security of some nations. (10)

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Figure 1.
Suggest the possible environmental consequences of the changes in electricity consumption shown.
(10 marks)

Assess the degree of uncertainty over future global sources of energy supply (15 marks)

Topic 2: Water Conflicts

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What do I need to know?

Physical factors affecting water supply Climate, river systems and Geology Example
of California to support
How water stress can occur Agriculture, Industry, Domestic use and supply
Examples of China and India to support 3
How Human activity can make water stress worse pollution, over extraction and salt
water incursion
How water supply is linked to development Water Poverty Index examples of Canada
and Ethiopia
Aral Sea case study role of different key players here and impacts
Conflicts over the same water source examples of Middle East, Ganges and Nile
Geopolitics of water supply within a country example of Colorado River Basin USA and
Helsinki Rules
What water future are going to be
How different key players opinions on future water usage may conflict
Dams as a solution example of 3 Gorges Dam, China. Impacts of these
Water transfer schemes as a solution. Learn the pros and cons of 2 of China transfer,
Ebro River, Snowy Mountain or Turkey to Israel
How Restoration can solve the problems example of River Kissimmee and Aral sea
Role of Water Aid ( NGO) in solving problems
How we can conserve water
Role of technology in solving future problems e.g. desalinisation, drip irrigation, GM crops

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Key Terms
Arid and semi-arid

El Nino
High pressure
La Nina

Rain shadow

Relief Rainfall
Spatial imbalance
Stream flow
Surface runoff
Virtual water
Water rights
Water Scarcity

Water Stress
Water wars
World Water Gap

A rock, such as chalk, which will hold water and let it through
Describe conditions where rainfall is less than 250mm and 500mm of
precipitation per year respectively
The conversion of salt water into fresh water
An extended period of abnormally dry weather that causes water shortages and
crop damage. A drought starts when total rainfall is well below average for
several months.
A southerly warm ocean current, which develops off the coast of Ecuador, it is
associated with major variations in tropical climates
All water found under the surface of the ground which is not chemically
combined with any minerals present, but not including underground streams
A region of high atmospheric pressure, otherwise known as an anticyclone
The process of the water entering rocks or soil
The supply of water to the land by means of channels, streams and sprinklers in
order to permit the growth of crops
An extensive cooling of the central and eastern Pacific. Globally La Nina means
that parts of the world that normally experience dry weather will be drier and
those with wet weather will be wetter.
The filtering of water downwards through soil and through bedding planes,
joints and pores of a permeable rock
The amount of evaporation and transpiration that can occur given a sufficient
supply of water
The deposition of moisture from the atmosphere onto the Earths surface in
form of rain, hail, snow, frost or sleet
Most frequent, most common
The sale of a business/industry so that it is no longer owned by the government
An area of relatively low rainfall to the lee side of uplands (sheltered from
winds). The incoming air has been forced to rise over the highlands causing
precipitation on the windward side
This forms when moisture-laden air masses are forced to rise over ground. The
air is cooled, the water vapour condenses, and precipitation occurs
Relating to a river bank. Owners of land crossed or bounded by a river have
riparian rights to use the river
The uneven distribution/location across a landscape or surface of e.g. population
The flow of water in streams, rivers and other channels.
The movement of over ground of rainwater. It occurs when the rainfall is very
heavy and when the rocks and soil can absorb no more
The migration of rural populations into towns and cities.
The amount of water used in the production of a good or service
The legal right of a user to use water from a water source e.g. a river
Can be divided into apparent scarcity which exists when there is plenty of
water but it is used wastefully, and real scarcity which is caused by
insufficient rainfall or too many people relying on a limited resource
Measured as annual water supplies below 1,700m3 per person
International conflict as a result of pressure on water supplies.
The difference between those people, who live in water poverty and those who

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have ready and reliable access to water for drinking and sanitation

Physical factors affecting water supply Climate, river systems

and Geology

Case Study: Factors affecting Californias water supply

Geographical Controls on water supply:
Mountain chains run parallel to the coast and prevent moist air reaching inland
Most rainfall falls in a coastal zone no more than 250km wide
South and far east of California receive under 100mm of rainfall due to the rain shadow cast by
the Sierra Nevada mountains
High pressure systems over the Pacific ocean block moist air currents reaching southern
Most of the major rivers are fed by snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
In recent years extended droughts have meant groundwater and surface storage levels have
a) Precipitation
Much of California is arid with annual average precipitation of between 200-500mm
65% of precipitation is lost through Evapotranspiration, 13% flows out to sea = only 22%
for human use
50% of the rain falls between November and March = seasonal shortages
b) Population

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Has grown from 2 million people in 1900 to 37.7 million in 2007

Spatial imbalance as three quarters of demand for water comes from areas south of the
Sacramento 75% of the rain falls to the north
Increasing demands for water exceed natural supplies

How water stress can occur Agriculture, Industry, Domestic use

and supply
Water stress occurs when demand for water exceeds the amount available during a certain period,
or when poor quality restricts its use. Therefore when a countrys water consumption is more than
10% of its renewable freshwater rate it is said to be water stressed.
During the 20th Century water consumption has increased by 600% due to population growth and
economic development:

Farming uses 70% of all water and in LEDCs this is up to 90%

Industrial and domestic use has to compete with farming needs as a country develops

Daily domestic water use on average is 47 litres per person in Africa, compared with 578
litres in the USA

This has lead to the development of a world water gap with 1.4 billion lacking clean drinking water and
12% of the worlds population consuming 85% of the worlds water.
Agriculture some forms of farming are less water efficient than others e.g. a kg of beef is 10x
more water costly to produce then a kg of rice. 17% of the global area used for growing crops is
Industry 21% used for industry but rapid growth expected since the development of countries
such as India and China. Industry is generally a more efficient user of water then farming.
Domestic Only 10% of worlds water is used for this purpose but this varies from country to
country. Domestic demand seems to be doubling every 20 years.

Named Examples: India vs. China

4% of the worlds freshwater but 16% of the population
Demand will exceed supply by 2020
Water tables are falling rapidly as 21 million wells are used
8% of the worlds freshwater but 22% of the population
2/3rds of cities do not have enough water all year round
Stress levels expected to occur by 2030

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Annual population growth rate is about 2.5% in Beijing

Water table has been lowered in some areas by 40m

How Human activity can make water stress worse pollution, over
extraction and salt water incursion
Key factors:
a) Sewage disposal in developing countries is expected to cause 135 million deaths by 2020. In the
UK we add 1,400 million litres of sewage to our rivers daily although most of it has been treated
b) Chemical fertilisers contaminate groundwater as well as river and water supplies. These add
nutrients to the water leading to an increase in the growth of algae downstream.
c) Industrial waste every year the world generate 400 billion tonnes of industrial waste which is
pumped untreated into rivers, seas etc.
d) Dams trap sediment in reservoirs which reduces floodplain fertility and the flow of nutrient
from rivers into seas.
e) Abstraction removing water from rivers and groundwater sources can cause issues that in some
arid areas rainfall can never recharge these underground stores and the removal of freshwater
from aquifers in coastal locations can lead to salt water incursion.

How water supply is linked to development Water Poverty Index

Water insecurity means not having access to sufficient, safe water. Around 20 developing countries
are classified as water scarce. Water scarcity occurs for 2 main reasons:
1) Physical scarcity shortages occur because demand exceeds supply
2) Economic scarcity - people cannot afford water, even when it is readily available
The Water Poverty Index was established in 2002 and uses 5 parameters:
Resources the quantity of surface and groundwater per person, and its quality
Access the time and distance involved in obtaining sufficient and safe water
Capacity how well the community manages its water
Use how economically water is used in the home and by agriculture and industry
Environment ecological sustainability (green water freshwater taken from rainwater stores
in the soil as soil moisture)
Each of these is scored out of 20 to give a maximum of 100
How water links to poverty:
Lack of water hampers attempts to reduce
poverty and encourage development. Improved
water supply can increase food production, bring
better health and provide better standards of

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Named Examples: Canada vs. Ethiopia

These 2 countries are at the opposite ends of the spectrum when looking at water and development.


Each household uses 800 litres per person

Each person uses 1 litre per day

per day

Water is fetched daily from a shared

Water used for lawns, parks and swimming



Issues of water shortages, pollution and

Issues of rising water bills and leakages

risk of disease

Water poverty index = 78

Water poverty index = 45

Water use agricultural = 12%

Water use agricultural = 93%

Water use industrial = 69%

Water use industrial = 6%

Water use domestic = 20%

Water use domestic = 1%

GNI ($ per person) = 33,170

GNI ($ per person) = 170

Population in 2000 (millions) = 30

Population in 2000 (millions) = 62.9

What problems can the use of water sources create?

Secure water supplies are needed to support irrigation and food production, manufacturing and
energy generation. However the use of water resources can lead to various problems. E.g. the
depletion of underground aquifers and salinisation of the soil.

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Aral Sea case study role of different key players here and
Location: north-western part of Uzbekistan and southern
Background: Formerly, one of the four largest lakes of the world
with an area of 68,000 square kilometers, the Aral Sea has been
steadily shrinking since the 1960s.
In the early 1960's, the Soviet central government decided to make
the Soviet Union self-sufficient in cotton and increase rice
production. Government officials ordered the additional amount of needed water to be taken from
the two rivers that feed the Aral Sea. Large dams were built across both rivers, and an 850-mile
central canal with a far-reaching system of "feeder" canals was created.
1) Over 30 years, the Aral Sea experienced a severe drop in water level, its shoreline receded,
and its salt content increased. The water level has dropped by 16 metres and the volume has
been reduced by 75%
2) The marine environment became hostile to the sea life in it, killing the plants and animals. As
the marine life died, the fishing industry suffered. All 20 known fish species in the Aral Sea
are now extinct, unable to survive the toxic, salty sludge.
3) The sea has shrunk to two-fifths of its original size and now ranks about 10th in the world.
4) Drinking water supplies have dwindled, and the water is contaminated with pesticides and
other agricultural chemicals as well as bacteria and viruses.
5) Highly toxic pesticides and other harmful chemicals are blown from the dried-up sea
creating dust containing these toxic chemicals.
6) As the Aral Sea has lost water, the climate has become more extreme.
7) Respiratory illnesses including tuberculosis and cancer, digestive disorders and infectious
diseases are common ailments in the region.
8) There is a high child mortality rate of 75 in every 1,000 newborns and maternity death of 12
in every 1,000 women.
9) The Aral Sea fishing industry, which use to employ 40,000 and reportedly produced onesixth of the Soviet Union's entire fish catch, has been ruined
The stakeholders involved:
The former soviet government began the irrigation scheme designed to develop fruit and cotton
Fishing community use to be a prosperous industry but now huge unemployment
Local residents health problems and highest infant mortality rates in the world
Scientists climate has now changed and extinction of species in the area
International economists people can no longer feed themselves as the land is infertile, could
create 10 million environmental refugees

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Conflicts over the same water source

Water conflicts occur when the demand for water overtakes the supply and several stakeholders
wish to use the same resource. Conflict is more likely where developing countries are involved as
water is vital to feed their growing populations and promote industrial development. The UN reports
there are around 300 potential water conflicts in the world. Some examples include:
China vs. India due to the Brahmaputra River
Turkey vs. Syria and Iraq due to the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers
India vs. Pakistan due to the Indus River

Case Study: Middle East Water conflicts

The Middle East is one of the most water-scarce regions in the world.
Due to population growth, increasing affluence (demands for swimming
pools etc) and the development of irrigated farmlands there are
increasing pressures on the water supplies. Further instability is
created due to:
- Overall scarcity of water but also poor access
- Declining oil reserves with future drop in oil revenues
- rising youthful population and increasing demands
At the moment the Middle East uses revenue from their oil exports to pay for expensive
desalinisation plants to provide extra water, but also pay for water and food imports. No single
country in the Middle East can resolve its water problems without impacting on another country.
Potential conflicts:
1) The Euphrates and Tigris rivers originate in Turkey but supply Syria and Iraq with water. Turkey
wants to dam these rivers to improve incomes in Anatolia (south-east turkey)
2) In 1967, Syria and other Arab states objected to Israels National Water Carrier Project and
tried to destroy it. Israel then bombed their attempts to divert the River Jordan from Israel
3) Droughts across the whole region between 1990-2005 increased fears of conflicts
4) Bombing of Lebanese water pipelines by Israel in 2006

Geopolitics of water supply within a country

Often when countries compete for water resources international agreements and treaties have to be
drawn up on how best to manage shared water supplies. Under the Helsinki Rules there is an
agreement that international treaties must include concepts such as equitable use and share.
Therefore the criteria for water sharing should include:
Natural factors rainfall amounts, share of drainage basin
Social and economic needs population size, development
Downstream impacts restricting flow, lowering water tables
Dependency are alternative water sources available?
Prior use existing vs. potential use
Efficiency avoiding waste and mismanagement of water

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Case Study - Geopolitics with the USA: The Colorado River

Background The basin of the Colorado River is the most heavily used source of irrigation water in
the USA. Original water rights were allocated in 1933. Since then a series of treaties between the
7 US states with water rights and between Mexico have been signed. A series of dams has been built
to serve the water needs to 30 million people.
1920s Law of the River = divided the water between upper basin states or Colorado, Wyoming, Utah
and New Mexico and their responsibility to supply the lower basin states. California was given
highest proportion of water due to its large population and political power. (Around this time was a
period of higher rainfall and water surpluses)
Stakeholders and conflicts

Issues of developing water pathways

In some areas with a shortage of water one of the solutions is to divert water from one drainage
basin to another. However these can produce political risks

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Case Study: The Snowy Mountains Scheme

This scheme involves 16 major dams, 7 power stations and a network of pipes and aqueducts.

roblems created:
Creation of storage lakes has destroyed wildlife habitats
Snowy River flow has fallen to 1%
Groundwater salinisation results from low flow
Water scarcity has lead to competition between users
Political fallout meant governments had to restore some of the flow in the Snowy River and invest
in water-saving projects
Record droughts due to El Nino have used up the water allocations

Water future s?
The issues of future projections are that climate change is occurring but its exact impact cannot be
predicted. Also continued economic growth may not be inevitable e.g. credit crunch, finally political
and religious conflicts can create further issues.
Alternative scenarios for water by 2025

Water Crisis

Business as usual


Water Changes by 2025

Wider impacts

Water scarcity will reduce food production

Consumption will rise by +50%

food imports but increased

Household water use rise by +70%


Industrial water demand in developing

countries will increase

Developing countries will rely on

In parts of western USA, China

etc water will be pumped out
faster than can be recharged

Global water consumption will increase

Demand for domestic water will fall

Demand for industrial water will +33%

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Food production will decline and

food prices increase

Conflict over water between

and within countries will

Global & industrial water use will have to fall

Global rain-fed crop yields increase due to

improvements in water harvesting and




sustainable farming

Food production could increase

Investment in crop research
and technology would increase

Agricultural and domestic water prices


Unsustainable pumping of
groundwater would end

How different key players opinions on future water usage may

Different players and decision makers have key roles to play in securing future water supplies but
their aims may conflict.



International organisations e.g. UN, regional and local

councils, pressure groups

Economic (Business)

World Bank, governments, utility companies e.g.

Thames Water, agriculture, industry, TNCs

Social (Human welfare)

Individuals, residents, farmers, consumers, NGOs e.g.

Water Aid

Environmental (sustainable Development)

Conservationists, planners, NGOs e.g. WWF

Alternative Strategies for managing water supplies in the future

Hard engineering projects to increase water shortage and transfer

Case Study: Chinas Three Gorges Dam

Location: Yangtze River and is the worlds largest hydroelectric scheme


18,000MW of electricity generated

Dammed waters will down 100,000 hectares

Will supply water to the region responsible

1.9 million people will be displaced

for 22% of Chinas GDP

Flood protection will save lives and cut
financial losses
Navigational improvements could open up
Chinas interior to development

Pollution increases as abandoned mines and

factories are flooded
Dam failure, earthquakes and heavy rain could
cause serious issues
Ecological impacts on fishing and habitats

Case Study: Chinas South-North Transfer Project

Project began in 2003 and involves building 3 canals to run across the eastern, middle and western
parts of China and link the countrys 4 main rivers.

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010


Transfer 44.8 billion m3 per year

Significant ecological and environmental

Central government to pay 60% of the cost

Water conservation, improved irrigation,
pollution treatment and environmental project
Will supply big cities like Beijing

impacts along the waterways

Resettlement of people will be needed
Declining water quality
Will cost $62 billion
Will take 50 years to complete

At a local scale this can involve restoring meanders, replanting vegetation and using sustainable
methods to manage watercourses for people and the environment.

Case Study: Restoring the Aral Sea

In 2007 the Kazakhstan government secured a $126 million loan from the World Bank to help save
the northern part of the Aral Sea. The government has already built a dam to split the sea into 2
parts and the new loan is to be used to build a dam to bring the water back into the deserted port of
Fisherman have been able to resume fishing
Rain has returned
The southern part of the sea is still shrinking
The waters from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya are controlled by other countries

Water conservation
This involves reducing the amount of water used (demand) rather than trying to increase water
supplies. In the UK around 22% of water does not reach the end user due to leakage. Examples

Reducing domestic consumption

- installing water meters in every home
- reducing the amount of water used in lavatory cisterns
- planting drought resistant species in water-wise gardens
- using grey water to flush the lavatory or water the garden


Reducing industry consumption

- installing more efficient systems to reduce water costs
- Agricultural irrigation = use of micro-irrigation techniques using drip irrigation from tubes
reduces the volume of water used

Role of technology in solving future problems

Technology can help increase both water supply and access. Examples include:
Desalination provides 70% of Saudi Arabias water but it is the most expensive option for
water supply due to its energy use
Towing flexible polypropylene bags will with freshwater has been propose e.g. Kielder to Essex
USA uses reverse osmosis membrane technology to filter salt from brackish water

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

In developing countries ore intermediate technology is more appropriate:

- Water collection e.g. catching rainwater or building small dams
- Wells built by NGOs e.g. Water Aid
- Using plastic or glass bottles filled with contaminated water exposed to the sun for 6 hours
destroys micro-organisms

What questions have been asked?

Using named examples assess the role of different players and decision makers in trying to secure a
sustainable water future (15)

Referring to examples, assess the potential for water conflict in areas where demand exceed supply

Referring to examples, explain why future water supplies for many regions are increasingly insecure

Referring to examples, assess the validity of the statement that water conflicts are as much to do
with water quality as quantity (15)
Suggest how water resources and human wellbeing might be affected by the data in Figure 2 (10)

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Explain how physical and human factors have contributed to the variation in water scarcity shown (10)
Jan 2010

Using named examples, assess the contribution of large scale water management projects in
increasing water security (15) Jan 2010
Study Figure 2.
Explain how human interference in the water cycle can affect water availability. (10)

Using named examples, assess the potential for water supply to become a source of conflict. (15)

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Topic 3: Biodiversity under Threat

What do I need to know?
Ways in which biodiversity can be defined
Key processes and factors that influence biodiversity
Global distribution of biodiversity and biodiversity hotspots
The value of ecosystems
The distribution of threatened areas
Global factors threaten biodiversity
The impact of these threats on ecosystem processes
The link between economic development and ecosystem destruction/degradation
The concept of sustainable yield
The role of different players in managing biodiversity
Spectrum of strategies and policies for managing biodiversity
The future of biodiversity

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Key Terms:


Net primary productivity

Goods and services
Energy flow
Nutrient cycle


Endemic species
Sustainable Yield

Genetic diversity
Species diversity
Ecosystem diversity
Biodiversity Hotpot
WRI (World Resources
MEA (millennium
ecosystem assessment)

The total amount of organic matter

A major terrestrial ecosystem of the world.
A system of which both the living organisms and their environment form
components (elements) - these components are linked together by flows
and are separated from the outside by a boundary.
The gradual and predictable change in plant and animal species over time,
for example bare ground is colonised by plants and there is a series of
sequential replacements as one set of dominant plants replaces the other
The difference between the rate of conversion of solar energy into
biomass in an ecosystem and the rate at which energy is used to maintain
the producers of the system
Living components of an ecosystem
The non-living parts of an ecosystem
goods are direct products that can be derived from an ecosystem and
services are the benefits that the ecosystem provides
The movement of energy through a community
The movement of nutrients in the ecosystem between the three major
stores of the soil, biomass and litter.
The variability amongst living organisms from all sources including
terrestrial, marine and other aquatic systems, and the ecological
complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity within species,
between species and of ecosystems.
The protection of natural or man-made resources for later use.
The place where a particular species lives and grows. It is essentially the
environment- at least the physical environment- that surrounds,
influences and is utilised by a particular species.
Exclusively native to a particular place of region. Endemic species tend to
have a high conservation value.
Key part of sustainable management of ecosystems. It represents the
safe level of harvest that can be hunted/caught/utilised without
harming the individual ecosystem
The diversity of genes found within a species
The variety of plant/animal species in a given area (habitat)
The variety of different ecosystems and the habitats surrounding them
in a given area, it includes biotic and Abiotic components.
An area containing a huge number of species, a large percentage of which
are endemic
An economic scorecard which shows the condition of the worlds major
ecosystems and their ability to provide future good and services.
A multi scale assessment commissioned by the UN
Loss in quantity
Loss in quality

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Ways in which biodiversity can be defined

Biodiversity is the total genes, species and ecosystems in a given area. It can be investigated by
looking at diversity within species and also between ecosystems.
Genetic diversity range of
genes found within a particular
species. Variation within
genetic makeup makes it easier
to adapt to changing
Species Diversity variety of
plants and animal species
present in an ecosystem

Allows accurate picture of
the diversity within a
Helps explain how isolated
groups have adapted to new
On a basic level areas can be

Ecosystem Diversity number

of different ecosystems within
a given area

Involves the interaction of

species with each other and
their environment = complex

Difficult to assess without
high-level biological skills as
DNA has to be analysed

Many species are yet to be

Need to compare similar size
areas for it to be fair
Hard to know where to place
the boundaries for each area
Needs a consistent set of

Key processes and factors that influence biodiversity

Higher altitude = lower
Temperature extremes =
low biodiversity
The rate in
which plants
is measured.
TRF have high
GPP = high

Hunting and direct
exploitation of flora
and fauna

Amount of light

Rate of nutrient


Human effects
e.g. pollution

Found particularly on
islands, species that
are found nowhere
else and
Created by Natalie
increases biodiversity

Lower latitudes = warmer climate

rapid nutrient cycling

Humans are in
competition with
other species for
space and resources.
As human population
increases = decrease
in biodiversity

Size of the area

and topography

More species
can live and
interact in a
larger area

The level of
recording of species
within the region

Global distribution of biodiversity and biodiversity hotspots

Tropical Rainforests:
Found in South and Central America,
Madagascar, Malaysia and Indonesia

Coral Reefs:
Corals with the greatest
species are found in the
Pacific Ocean and eastern
edge of the Indian Ocean

Main patterns:
The top 5 countries with the highest diversity index are found around the EQUATOR or the
TROPICS. Countries with the lowest diversity index are found in either cold countries or ones with
large areas of desert. Greatest biodiversity is found in areas of TROPICAL RAINFOREST with +1/2
the worlds species, although they cover only 7% of the earths surface.
Biodiversity Hotpots
This is an area containing a huge number of species, a large percentage of which are endemic. They
cover less than 2% of the earths surface but contain 44% of the worlds planet species and 35% of
the animal species. They are divided into 3 categories:
1) Continental hotspots richest in terms of biodiversity
2) Large island hotspots have distinctive species
3) Small island hotspots low in species number but contain a high proportion of endemics

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Named Example: Continental Hotspot Fynbos, South Africa

Fynbos is the major vegetation type of a small region in South Africa
known as the Cape Flora Kingdom. It is the smallest and richest area with
the highest known concentration of plant species at 1,300 per 10,000km2.
(TTF = 400 per 10,000km2). Home to +7700 plant species, 70% are
endemic. This hotspot was created due to unusual geology and soils,
topography and a distinctive fire regime. However there are a number of
Spread of alien plants

Commercial forestry using non-native species e.g. European pines

Frequent bush fires
Construction of housing estates around Cape Town
Increased farming

The value of ecosystems

Value can be looked at through direct use values e.g. Uses humans put biodiversity to in terms of
consumption or production and include food, medicines etc. Indirect uses include the services that
biodiversity provides such as soil formation.

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Case Study: The Value of a global ecosystem - Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are located in shallow seas (no deeper than 25m) with an average annual temperature
about 18c. Corals are extremely sensitive and the greatest concentration of coral reefs is found in
South-east Asia (30%).
Ecological Value
Economic Value
Cultural/Aesthetic Value
Coral reefs act as protection
for the coastal, breaking the
power of the waves before
they reach the land
Highly diverse ecosystems

Aquarium trade
Medicine algae and sponges
contain bioactive compounds
used by the pharmaceutical
Building materials coral
reefs are mined for lime and
stone in developing countries
Tourism some Caribbean
countries gain of their
GNP from tourism
Food in the far east, reef
fisheries feed 1 billion

The distribution of threatened areas

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Education and research

easily accessible from the
Coral and shells are used for
traditional crafts
Recreational use

There are various ways of measuring threatened ecosystems:

1) Economic Scorecard shows the ability of ecosystems to produce goods and services
2) The Living Planet Index monitors changes over time in the populations of representative animal
species in various ecosystems
3) Ecological footprint measures the human impact on the planet
4) Red List of endangered species shows species at risk of extinction
5) Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is a multi-scale assessment by the UN
The majority of areas under threat are located with the tropics and areas of lower biodiversity tend
to have lower threat levels as these regions are not in demand for agriculture due to unsuitable

Factors threatening biodiversity

Global Factors:
a) Climate Change expected that the climate will change so quickly that species will be unable to
adapt. Recent climate changes have shown impacts on the ecosystems:
- laying and fruiting have been advancing by several days each decade
- Coral bleaching due to warming seas has increased since 1980s
- Ocean acidification caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide
- Polewards migration of species by an average of 6km per decade
b) Deforestation clearance of forest cover results in loss of biodiversity and resources but also
has knock-on effects on the food web and nutrient cycling
c) Pollution can cause various issues:
- Ozone depletion due to CFCs
- nitrate pollution of lakes
d) Human population growth this is forcing people to spread into more areas and is encroaching
onto areas with high biodiversity
Local Factors
a) Fire was used widely in Europe and N. America to clear forests for development. Controlled
fire as a management option is useful but large-scale burning for soya bean production causes
loss of biodiversity
b) Habitat change developing natural habitats for agriculture, minerals or urban growth e.g.
overfishing in the North Sea

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

c) Recreational use plants are vulnerable to trampling and animals to disturbance

The impact of these threats on ecosystem processes

Energy Flow
Primary producers (green plants) convert sunlight into energy through
photosynthesis, as energy is lost through respiration at each stage,
the amount of biomass at each trophic level decreases. Human action
on one level of the chain has an impact on the others that are
dependent on it e.g. the catching of tertiary consumers

soils are vulnerable to erosion.

Nutrient cycling
This occurs alongside the flow of energy through an ecosystem and
involves the feedback of miners from decomposed organic material
back into the plants so that they can grow and continue the cycle. In
hot climates of the tropics there is faster nutrient cycling then in
cold regions. People can impact upon the cycle by adding nutrients via
fertilisers, by reducing the biomass through overharvesting and
deforestation, and by degrading the soil. Once deprived of nutrients,



Movement of species

Growth or uptake pathway


The movement of species can occur by accident or deliberately but has a serious threat to
ecosystems. Alien or exotic species can become established at any trophic level and often have:
- enhanced survival rates as they are more efficient competitors
- lack any native predator
- Not susceptible to native diseases
Deliberate introductions include:
1) Game species such as pheasant and rainbow trout for hunting
2) Hedgehog was imported from the Scottish mainland to the Outer Hebrides to deal with a
plague of garden slugs but have since effected the populations of ground nesting birds whom
they eat the eggs of
Accidental introductions include:
1) Alien species can arrive by ship e.g. Zebra mussel arrived in North America from the Caspian
Sea by clinging on the sides of ships. These were brought into the Great Lakes where the
multiplied to 70,000 per km2
2) Air transport was responsible for introducing snakes to the Pacific Island of Guam which had
huge impacts on the food web
Nutrient Overload
Excess nutrients are washed into the lakes and rivers but this has been increased by the human use
of fertilisers etc. The extra nutrients cause increase growth in plants but also the growth of algal

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

blooms which block out the light causing plants to die out. This uses up the oxygen in the water
leading to further deaths and the food chain collapses The extra nutrients cause increase growth in
plants but also the growth of algal blooms which block out the light causing plants to die out. This
uses up the oxygen in the water leading to further deaths and the food chain collapses

The link between economic development and ecosystem destruction/

The shift of countries from economies based on primary industries, to mixed industries including
manufacturing and industry has put huge pressure on their ecosystems as natural resources are
A country with a
stable economy and
education has the
freedom to choose
to support
biodiversity without
compromising its
peoples ability to be
fed and housed

Less development
near pristine
environments in which
indigenous people live
mainly due to lack of
access and technology

Rapid industrial development e.g.

China has led to air pollution such as
acid rain, which has an impact on
forests. Expansion of agricultural
land due to population growth

Named Example: Udzungwa Mountains National Park: a pristine

This national park has huge amounts of biodiversity with 276 tree species
and 50 endemic species. The local villages are also reliant upon it for
watershed protection, medicines and food. However their access is limited
and highly controlled due to increasing pressures on the park such as
population growth. The Tanzanian National Park authorities therefore
decided to involve the local people in sustainable bottom up strategies for
example, setting up tree nurseries and promoting ecotourism. This was the
best way forward due to the issues of policing a vast area with a skeletal
ranger force; instead the local people become responsible for the area.

Named Example: Masai Mara game reserve: a degraded area

This reserve experienced a breakdown in management which has led
to the decline to the grassland ecosystem. The park fees from
tourists were meant to go towards management of the area and
providing social services to the local tribesman. However the park
rangers were not paid properly and lacked basic equipment so could do

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

little to stop illegal hunting. In 2008 a private organisation called Mara conservation took over
control and runs on a non-profit basis uses 50% of revenue to build roads and anti-poaching patrols
and 50% to the local tribes. This is needed as the local people have to give up cattle grazing land for
tourism but are having a hard time seeing the benefits.

The concept of sustainable yield

Sustainable yield represents the safe level of harvest that can be hunted/caught/used without
harming the individual ecosystem. It is measured through:
1. Maximum sustainable yield (MSY) the greatest harvest that can be taken indefinitely while
leaving the ecosystem intact.
2. Optimum sustainable yield (OSY) best compromise achieve in the light of all economic and
social factors.
In order to manage wildlife etc models estimating carrying capacity have been developed the
maximum human population that can exist in equilibrium with the available resources.

Carrying Capacity

Zone of overharvest
population begins to be
threatened by overharvesting
MSY is halfway between 0 and
the carrying capacity

OSY is lower than MSY as it

enabled the ecosystem to have
a high aesthetic value

Named Example: Campfire Project, Zimbabwe

This was developed in the late 1980s aimed to long-term development, management
and sustainable use of natural resources. The responsibility for the area was
placed in the hands of local people and therefore an example of a bottom-up
approach. Some schemes made money from big-game hunting at sustainable yield
levels and this was then fed back into the communities. Environmentalists disagreed
with this approach as how was hunting endangered species helping to protect them?
The scheme was then undermined by the economic collapse of Zimbabwe and lack of

The role of different players in managing biodiversity

International Treaties:
a) Ramsar Convention 1971 - to
conserve wetlands
b) World Heritage Convention
Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010
1972 - protect outstanding
cultural and natural sites
c) CITES 1973 - controlled

Regulation establish and
enforce laws to conserve and
protect various areas and
Preservation preserve areas
of biodiversity often through

Indigenous groups depend on
biodiversity for basic survival
e.g. spiritual significance
Farmers strong views about
conservation as it conflicts
with their aims

In the developed world, ethical
consumerism has led to people
choosing to buy
environmentally friendly
products e.g. dolphin friendly
Scientists and researchers
work for variety of
organisations and monitor the
state of the biodiversity

Spectrum of strategies and policies for managing biodiversity

Conservation strategies follow the idea of a spectrum from complete protection through to
commercially exploited areas where limited parts are protected for publicity purposes.
Total Protection was the main focus of conservation during the 1960s. Total protection has been
criticised as:
- In developing countries there is a conflict between conservation and cutting people off from
- Totally protected reserves are often narrowly focused for scientific purposes so may fail to
take into account social, economic factors etc
- Many protection schemes are based around political boundaries and not the ecosystem
natural boarders
- These strategies rely on the co-ordination of outside agencies which often forget about the
local peoples needs.
Biosphere Reserves identifies a core area which is heavily protected with buffer zones around it.
However some countries do not have finances to fully monitor or mange these reserves and the
pressure from development may be difficult to control. These act at a number of different levels;
locally they involve local people and the landscape they know in order to better serve the community
and ensuring continued biodiversity e.g. community conservation schemes. On a national level they aim

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

to inspire further conservation e.g. National Parks. Globally the biosphere designation of the
Galapagos Islands helped implement a zoning strategy to solve the problems the area faces.
Restoration this can include recreating wetlands or linking up small fragmented reserves to produce
a large reserve. These can be very expensive and much of the success depends on how readily plants
will reseed and how polluted the land is.
Conservation this can involve ex-situ conservation where an endangered species establish a captive
population away from its natural habitat. This includes captive breeding with release schemes and
biodiversity banks such as genetic and seed banks in zoos and botanical gardens. For example giant

Named Example: The Galapagos Islands Zoning Strategy (Hot-Spot

Management Strategy)
Location: found on the Equator 1,000km off
the coast of Ecuador
Key facts:
Nearly one fourth of the Galapagos marine life
is endemic - found nowhere else on earth
There are 13 large islands and six small, which
were formed by oceanic volcanoes some three
to five million years ago

Threats facing the islands:

Extensive migration from mainland Ecuador from 1982-1998 population growth was around
6% but in the last 10 years the number of people on the islands has more than doubled to take
it to 16,000.
absence of a quarantine system to avoid the introduction of foreign species

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

illegal fisheries that apply great pressure on the islands marine resources (until 1990s only a
few hundred fishers were involved but by 1999 660 were registered as global over-fishing
grew due to demand for seafood and speciality products e.g. shark fins)
lack of an adequate legal framework to ensure the long-term preservation of the islands
Tourism since 1969 charter flights began bringing people to the islands and it became the
main economic activity employing 70% of the active population. In 1998 - $75 million was
generated through tourism. However out of this only around 1% is used to support
1936: the Galapagos National Park (GNP) established
1968: Boundaries finally established; effective park administration began
1984: Recognized as a Biosphere Reserve under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program
1986: The Galpagos Biological Marine Resources Reserve (GMRR) established to include all waters
within 15 nautical miles
1992: Zoning plan for Marine Resources reserve included 4 zones:
General Use Zone for sustainable use of the reserve
Recreational Fishing Zones for the benefit of residents
National Marine Park Zones for human activities where natural resources are neither damaged
nor removed
Strict Nature Reserves where human access is not permitted.
2002: Poza de las Diablas on Isabela I. declared a Ramsar Site of International Importance

The future of biodiversity

The Millennium Ecosystems Assessments (MEA) identified 4 scenarios predicting rapid conversion of
ecosystems to farmland and urbanisation.
Global Orchestration
All trade barriers and subsidies are removed
to allow for free trade
Economic growth is high and standard of living
in developed countries improve
As wealth increases there will be more money
to deal with environmental problems = too
High biodiversity loss
Adapting Mosaic
Will manage ecosystems locally and regionally
= more sustainable
Lower biodiversity loss than 1 and 2
People working together to develop
economically but also maintain ecosystems

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Order from Strength

Protection of national boundaries will see rich
countries close their boarders to protect
their own standard of living
Problems of ecosystem degradation in
developing countries
Ecosystem collapse huge biodiversity loss

Techno garden
Using technology to help provide ecosystem
Excellent sharing of ideas at a global level
May become over reliant on technology
Wealth increases in poor countries as

knowledge and technology is shared

WWFs Living Planet Report looked to model ways of ending ecology overshoot (the amount by
which the ecological footprint exceeds the biological capacity of the space available to that
population). They also showed 4 possible scenarios:
1) Business as usual increased ecological footprint and no reduction in overshoot
2) Slow shift gradually reducing the ecological footprint by developing many sustainable policies
so that ecosystems can recover by the year 2100
3) Rapid reduction radical policies to control ecological footprints lead to elimination of
overshoot by 2040
4) Shrink and share breaking the world into regions in order to share responsibility for
controlling the overshoot problem

Case Study: Named Global Ecosystem- Daintree Tropical Rainforest

Location: North east coast of Australia in Queensland
Why is Daintree so special?
World Heritage site measuring the size of Wales
135 million years old
Greatest number of threatened species of plant and animals in
the world
of Australias bird species
65% of all butterfly and bat species
1) Tourism
- In 1983, 17000 tourists visited Daintree but by 2002 this had
grown to 436000 visitors
2) Destruction of ecosystem to cope with demand
- tarmacking of roads has lead to small areas of forest being
divided into plots for sale
- Occupied plots are often bulldozed and turned into cattle ranches

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

3) Development
- Increased numbers of tourists had lead to the development of Port Douglas changing the
villages character
4) Climate Change a global temperature increase could threaten the distinctive ecosystems
5) Logging the commercial timber industry in began in Daintree in the 1930s. The rainforest acts
as a carbon store so the removal of these releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere adding to the
greenhouse effect




Money spent by
Impact on tribes
Local people suffer
from congestion and
Increase in population

$147 million per year
3500 jobs created
Destructive of native
tribes as they lose
their land and move
Cultures westernised

Infrastructure improved
e.g. tarmac roads
Australian heritage lost
Increase in population =
increase in house prices =
local people move out
Tourism could decline

Soil erosion from

Loss of habitats
Disruption of native

Breeding patterns
Food web disrupted

Release of C02 from

Extinction of species
Invasion of alien species

Management of Daintree
Key players:
a) Wet tropics Management authority = formed in 1990 to research and monitor the state of
the wet tropics. Looks at developing management agreements with land holders and native

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

b) Cairns Regional council- aimed to gradually reduce population in Daintree. Increased ferry
costs to reduce number of visitors and rejected plans for a bridge across the river as
more people would endanger the rainforest.
c) Australian Rainforest Foundation operation BIG BIRD the cassowary given a wildlife
corridor to protect it. Money given to buy back land from developers and return it to
d) Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland community based looking at a sustainable
future for people and wildlife. They are for a ban on development in the area.
e) Australian Tropical Rainforest Foundation build visitor centres and education facilities to
highlight the global importance of the tropical rainforest ecosystems.
f) Rainforest co-operation research council community development allowing up to 1400
people to live in the area but must conserve the land. Looks to identify hotspots for
conservation where no development is allowed. Aims to recognise the rights of native
people to own land and promote their culture in the forest.

What kinds of questions have been asked?

Explain the distribution of the worlds terrestrial and marine hotspots (10 marks)

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Evaluate the relative advantages and disadvantages of the hot-spot approach to biodiversity
management (compared with other strategies) (15 marks)
Evaluate the relative importance of global and local threats to one named global ecosystem (15 marks)
Assess the role played by different players in managing areas in which biodiversity is under threat
(15 marks)
How far is it possible to reconcile the desire for development with the need to manage biodiversity
(14 marks)
Referring to examples, discuss the threats to biodiversity hotspots and why these threats could
prove critical (15)
Explain how human activities have contributed to the condition of ecosystem goods and services. (10)

Using named examples, evaluate the success of global actions designed to protect biodiversity. (15)
Explain the pattern of alien species invasions, and suggest the possible impacts of alien species on
ecosystems. (10)

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Topic 4: Superpower Geographies

What do I need to know?

How to define the idea of superpower

How patterns of power change over time
Theories for the growth of Superpowers
Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

How power can be maintained

Role of superpowers on international action and decision making
Nature of trade and who controls it. Does this maintain global power?
Superpowers cultural influence
The impacts on Water, energy, environment and land demand of the rising
The impacts of the rising new superpowers on the old superpowers
Implications for the Majority world (Less developed countries) of the new
superpowers good or bad?
Shifting power may lead to tensions

Key Terms

Cold War

An economic system in which all or most of the means of production and

distribution are privately owned and operated in a relatively competitive
A state of political tension and military rivalry between nations that

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Cultural Imperialism
Dependency theory
Development theory
Direct influence
International Monetary
Market economy
Modernisation theory

Purchasing Power Parity
World Bank
World Trade

stops short of full-scale war e.g. US vs. Soviet Union following World
War II
The system or policy in which a country maintains foreign colonies
A form of political development that aims to create equality and a
classless society.
Promoting the culture of one society into another e.g. Tea to India
Notion that resources flow from a periphery of poor and
underdeveloped states into a core of wealthy states
A number of theories outlined how desirable change is best achieved
The power of persons or things to affect others by means of power
based on wealth
The inequality or difference
An international organisation established by the UN to promote monetary
cooperation, international trade and stability
An economy in which prices are determined by buyers and sellers with a
relatively high degree of freedom
The socio-economic development and process that evolves from a
traditional society to modern economies e.g. USA
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation founded in 1949 for the purposes of
opposing communism during the Cold War.
Describes the ways in which rich countries dominate the economy of
poorer countries through economic imperialism rather than political
The process of moving from a government controlled system to a
privately run system
The value of gross national income related to local prices
A nation that is able to project its power and influence anywhere in the
A government tax on imports or exports
Soviet Union a former communist country in eastern Europe and
Northern Asia established in 1922. Was dissolved in 1991
UN agency created to assist developing nations by issuing loans
Set up in 1995 to open up and ensure fair play in international trade.

How to define the idea of superpower e.g. USA and USSR

Size countries with a large land

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

USA is the 3rd largest

Worlds largest country with

area tend to have greater natural

resources and extend their
influence over a larger number of
Economic strength in 2007, the
12 largest economies earned
around 2/3rds of the worlds GDP
and control investment
- determine economic policies
which effect the globe
Culture spread of
Americanisation across the globe
Religion religious leaders can
influence politics through their
beliefs e.g. contraception
Population countries with a large
population are important as
economic growth cannot be
sustained without sufficient
number of workers
- cheap workers can help promote
economic growth
- large populations encourage
economic growth through markets
Resources countries with
resources necessary for economic
development should have
significant power
Military strength countries with
a large military force are seen as
more power but also the types of
weapons are important e.g. nuclear

country with land over 9

million km2

land area over 22 million km2

Managed as a democracy and

had a free-market (capitalist)
approach to the economy
Contains 776 of the largest
Dollar is the world reserve
Rapid growth in film and
television industry helped to
convey a positive image on
USA and its high standard of
250 million live in USA

Promoted communism and the

economy was state controlled

Land contained valuable

minerals, metals, forests and
a modern agricultural and
industrial system (Worlds
greatest economy)
The worlds largest and most
powerful navy and one of the
two most powerful air forces
in the world

Huge amounts of oil and gas (2nd

largest economy)

How patterns of power change over time

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Tried to sell itself as high

culture with ballet, music and
art. Very tight censorship so no
criticism allowed.
Worlds 3rd largest with over
285 million at the time of its

Had the largest land based army

and the worlds largest stockpile
of nuclear weapons

Named Example: The rise and fall of the British Empire

The British Empire was founded on exploration and sea power as its royal navy dominated the seas
from 1700-1930s. There were 3 key phases:
Phase 1: Mercantilist (1600-1850) = small colonies set up on coastal islands e.g. Jamaica with focus on
trade including slaves.
Phase 2: Imperial (1850-1945) = whole conquest of territories, religion and culture spread e.g.
cricket. Governments set up to rule the colonies and complex trade networks.
Phase 3: Decolonisation (1945 - ) = After 2nd World war the UK was bankrupt and could not support
the empire as before. Growth of anti-colonial movements e.g. India some colonies granted
Britain still maintains a superpower legacy and has control over 14 overseas territories e.g. Falkland
Islands. The Commonwealth contains 53 states (former British colonies) that cooperate in common

Named Example: collapse of Communism

The causes of the collapse were reforms in the USSR in 1985 by President Gorbachev which
increased freedom of speech and allowed private ownership of small businesses. As these reforms
spread there was soon an open revolt against the communist system and the fall of the Berlin Wall in
1989 ended the symbol of separation of the Cold War superpowers. The USSR collapsed in 1990
when the communist party gave up its monopoly on power. This led to the breakup of the entire
country as countries such as Latvia and Georgia broke away into independent nations.

Named Example: The Rise of the BRICs

These are Brazil, Russia, India and China as they show:
- Strong economic growth
- Large populations
- Access to key resources e.g. fossil fuels
- Market economies
- Regional power and influence
It is expected that the USA will see a decline in its power, especially in relation to China

Theories for the growth of Superpowers

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Modernisation theory Rostow 1960s

Aimed to explain the dominance of the British Empire and USA. Rostow believed that as these were
the first countries to experience the Industrial revolution this gave them an initial advantage over
other regions. He believed that countries moved through 5 stages of develop.

Dependency Theory Frank 1971

Countries become more dependent upon more powerful, frequently colonial powers, as a result in
interaction and development. This is because the colonial power often exploits the resources of its
weaker colony as the colony becomes more dependent upon it. However, the rise of the NICs argues
against this as they are examples of countries that have developed, however some of these did
receive huge economic support and aid from the USA.
World Systems Theory Wallenstein 1974
This treated the whole world as a single unit broken down into the core (MEDCs), periphery (LEDCs)
and the semi-periphery. It also allowed change to take place as countries began to develop.

Named Example: China vs. India

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

World Systems theory would suggest that industrial capitalism was born in Europe and that the rise
of India and china is another stage of the growth and spread of the global economy. Dependency
theory however would see the current growth as a shift back to an older world order when India and
China were powerful economic forces as Frank believed Britain and other European powers were the
first NICs.
Path to development:
China state-led industrialisation and intensification of agriculture but largely cut off from the rest
of the world.
India Home-grown technology with high import tariffs, still however mainly a rural society.

How power can be maintained

Superpowers have shifted the maintenance of their power from colonial rule to indirect neo-colonial
rule. Following the end of the colonial rule, decolonialisation occurred but brought about conflict
rather than immediate freedom for 3 main reasons:
1) Colonial boarders did not match religious or ethnic boundaries
2) Colonies had a government but indigenous people were excluded from running them so
therefore when the colonial rule was removed there was not enough experience
3) As colonial powers left, insurgents pushed them out = violence

Named Example: Colonialism- India

In India today there are still symbols of colonial power such as the residence of the governor-general
of India in Delhi. Culture was also spread through British traditions such as cricket, tea drinking and
the English language. India became modernised so that the economy could serve Britain more
effectively e.g. the building of railway system improved transport and trade but allowed efficient
military transport to put down rebellions. Independence was granted in 1947 but this plunged India
into a period of chaos.
Neo-colonialism refers to a form of indirect control over developing countries, most of them former
colonies. In this direct political control decreased whilst economic control increased through:
- Economic dependence on primary goods issues created with trade as these goods have low export
prices compared with high prices the developing world must pay for manufactured goods
- Economic dominance of multinational companies foreign direct investment e.g. manufacturing
located in developing world allows for big profits for TNCs but low wages and skills for the developing
- Impact of foreign aid and debt developing nations pay huge sums in interest which often exceed
aid receipts
- Strategic alliances USA for example allied with many developing nations to spread their global
influence, often by means of foreign aid
- Aid often given with strings attached

Named Example: Neo-colonialism in Ghana

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

In 1957 Ghana gained independence from British colonial rule and in recent years has been seen to be
making progress in economic and social indicators. For example GNP has risen from $5.7 billion to
$14.9 billion in the last 20 years. However Ghana is still very much influenced by external factors,
perhaps identifying an example of neo-colonialism?
External factors:
1) Commodity markets in London and New York
- Cocoa prices depend on global demand which may vary
- Competition with Ivory Coast for cocoa. If prices in Ghana are too high, buyers will purchase
for lower-priced countries
2) Overseas Tariffs
- EU import tariffs are much higher for processed cocoa than for raw beans. This means
Ghana is better off exporting raw cocoa beans as import costs are lower and they would make
more money
- Means that Ghana is unable to develop its own processing industries as most of this is done in
Europe = loses out on value added
3) WTO
- Before 1995 Ghanaian government subsidised its farmers to encourage them to stay on the
land and grow food for their growing cities
- Ghana then joined the WTO in an attempt to increase its global trade
- WTO imposed joining condition that the Ghanaian farmers could no longer be subsidised
- Farmers could no longer compete with imports of heavily subsidised foreign food e.g. EU
tomatoes are cheaper to buy then home-grown ones

Role of superpowers on international action and decision making

Monetary Fund
World Bank

United Nations
World Trade
North Atlantic
The G8

Davos Group

Monitors the economic and
financial development of
countries. Lends money to
countries facing difficulties
Gives advice, loans and grants
to reduce poverty and promote
economic development
Prevents war and arbitrates on
international disputes.
Trade policy, agreements and
settling disputes. Promotes
global free trade
Military alliance between
European countries and the
Meetings about global policy
direction for western
Swiss based non-profit
foundation to discuss business
and profits

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

44 governments originally now 185. USA = 17%,
EU=25.7%, Africa =1%
Reflects USA concerns so lent to countries
threatened by communism. Can impose conditions
Similar to IMF. USA = 16%. Bad reputation in
1970s for financing projects that caused
environmental damage and created debt. MDGs!
192 members in 2008. Most influential
international alliance in the world
All countries get 1 vote but votes never actually
just through mutual consent with biggest
markets deciding outcome. Allows subsidies for
USA and EU!

Represents 65% of global GDP but 14% of

population. Very restricted membership
Business CEOs, political leaders, Media,
No official status but attended by presidents

Nature of trade and who controls it. Does this maintain global power?
The WTO established a series of trade agreements since the 1950s which have resulted in huge
growth in trade and wealth:
Removal of taxes and tariffs on imports
Removal of quotas on imports
Removal of subsidies for domestic producers
This has therefore seen the growth of areas such as Asia e.g. China and India but the decline in
Africas share of world trade as the international trade is mostly in the hands of TNCs who have
decided not to invest in Africa and in Asia they have developed free trade zones which attract more
However the idea of free trade for some countries is an illusion as trade takes place between trade
blocs e.g. EU and NAFTA. Thos countries not a member of a trade bloc still have to pay tariffs and
quotas etc.
Finally developed nations also control innovation and technology which are not shared with developing
nations. 75% of fees/royalties go to three main powers, USA, EU and Japan.

Superpowers cultural influence Americanisation

Global culture has been seen as a way to spread a superpowers influence. The USA is seen as the
most powerful force in cultural globalisation.

Named Case study: McDonaldisation

Opened in Des Plaines in 1955 with a profit for the 1st day at $366.12 and has grown to having $41
billion in sales
Adapting to different cultures:
Portugal only country where soup is served
Pakistan McArabia and the spicy chicken burger
Saudi Arabia no pork products sold as against Islamic law. All meat is halal
China all drinks were in china cups
1) Encourages developing nations to export their crops when most children are undernourished
2) Use lethal poisons to destroy vast areas of the Central American rainforest to create grazing
pastures for cattle (800 square miles of forest per year needed to keep McDonalds supplied
for paper for 1 year)
3) Workers in catering do not have a specific union so little help with disputes
4) Forcing indigenous tribes from their native lands
However, McDonalds have also donated over $180 million to McDonalds Children charities and claim
to donate more money than any other commercial enterprise in the USA ($50 million each year)

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

The impacts on Water, energy, environment and land demand of the

rising superpowers e.g. China
Impact on resources:
Energy rapid rise in oil prices in 2007 and 2008 leading to oil being pumped out quicker than
new reserves can be found = PEAK OIL
Environment China and Indias ecological footprint may be similar to those of the EU and
USA by 2040

Named Case Study: China an emerging superpower

Rapid economic growth in China has been achieved at high environmental and social costs:

Environmental Costs

Social Costs

China is going through industrial revolution in

a compressed timeframe resulting in it being
the largest contributor to C02 emissions
16 of the top 20 most air-polluted cities
2003 air pollution blamed for 400,000
30% of China suffers from acid rain due to
emissions from coal-fired power stations
C02 emissions in 2006 more than 6.2 billion
tonnes (increase of 9%)
70% of Chinas rivers and lakes are polluted
Beijings pollution levels are 3x higher than
safe WHO levels

Rural population still in poverty

20% of population live on less than $1 a day
Child labour used in some factories
Housing in some parts of Beijing were
demolished to make way for Olympic facilities
(300,000 evicted)
During the Olympics the authorities banned
non-residents from being in the city e.g.
beggars, mental illness
1/12th of people rely on the polluted Yangtze
river for drinking water

Although Chinas stature and power are growing it needs to look to resolve some of its environmental
and social costs to ensure long-term sustainability. China is however one of the few countries trying
to tackle their issues e.g. rapidly increasing their forest cover, wind turbines and solar panels.

The impacts of the rising new superpowers on the old superpowers

Recently the emergence of the new superpowers has been seen as an opportunity as the EU, Japan
and USA have experienced economic growth and falling consumer prices due to the explosion of
economic activity in NICs and RICs. It is thought however, in the future that the USA will become
less dominant and that shortage of fuel, food and water will lead to conflicts.

Named Example: Russia the rebirth of a superpower

In the past 20 years Russia has uncovered significant reserves of both oil and gas which adds to
Russias global power. Russia currently supplies 25% of EU gas and is the largest producer of natural
gas in the world. Russia has also developed links with China as Asias cities need to switch to less
polluting natural gas. Russias nature resource reserves have also allowed it to growth in confidence:

In 2006 Russia cut off gas supplies to the Ukraine

by 25%

for 3 days and in March reduced supplies

In August 2007 Russian submarines planted 2 flags on the Arctic seabed claiming sovereignty
over a large area

Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and EU cut off in 2008-09

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Named Example: USA car industry

The USA car industry has shrunk since 1970s due to lack of investment and a failure to compete with
Japanese car technology. In 2000, car sales in the USA were at 17 million but this has declined in
2007 to 13 million. In 2008, the top five best selling cars in the USA were Japanese. Chinese car
industries are also beginning to launch themselves onto world markets and it is thought that by 2015
Geely will produce 1.7 million cars per year.

Implications for the Majority world (Less developed countries) of the

new superpowers
Some periphery nations have gained economic independence through 2 ways:
1) Nationalisation state has taken control of the company or its land owning
2) Cartels formation of cartels e.g. OPEC

Named Example: OPEC an oil cartel

The organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was created in 1960 to counter oil
price cuts from American and European oil companies. In 1979, the OPEC countries produced 65% of
the world oil but only 35% by 2007. There were concerns that they had reached peak oil but it has
allowed them to control the price of oil within a range of $22-28 per barrel. This means they control
the amount of crude oil they export to avoid flooding or squeezing the international marketplace. The
profits made from oil have allowed member countries to invest and diversify their economies and to
generate wealth over the past 40 years. It has also ensured that countries maintained favourable
relationships with the OPEC countries and that the Middle East would be involved in economic
cooperation and development with industrialised countries.

Named Example: Chinas investment in Africa Colonisation or

The growth of the emerging powers has been seen by many to provide the developing world with new
opportunities to develop. Chinese companies are investing in Africa to help exploit and export raw
- Around 30% of all used in China comes from Africa
- In 2007 Chinese investment in Africa totalled $30 billion
However many believe that China has little interest in developing Africa; they are just wanting its
resources. This is because most investment goes to the governments, TNCs and Chinese companies,
and not to the local people. Much of the infrastructure has also been built by Chinese nationals and
not local people. China now has:
- 45% ownership of oil field in Nigeria
- Minerals investment in Zimbabwe
- $175 million invested in copper mining in Zambia

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Shifting power may lead to tensions

Although the USA and Europe are allies there still remain cultural tensions between them. USA
attitudes tend to focus on individual provision of healthcare and education, are more overtly religious
and are concerned about being number one! Europe has a stronger emphasis on the welfare state,
more liberal attitudes and is more family orientated.
This is a growing feature of the 21st Century and tends to be located in areas where the involvement
of the USA and other countries are seen as directly opposed to the interests of Islam and Muslims
by extreme Islamic groups. It is mostly directed toward the USA, with the biggest attack being the
9/11. Many people in the world believed the USA deserved the attack as they ignored international
agreements for example the world criminal court in which they refuse to have its own citizens stand
but wanted war criminals prosecuted. They had reduced its aid to the poorest nations and supported
political regimes where it suited them e.g. Kuwait.
In 2002 the invasion of Iraq was thought by many Europeans to be less about removing Saddam
Hussein and this alleged weapons of mass destruction but about ensuring the USA had access to
Middle East oil supplies. The USA drawn-out attempt to restore a form of peaceful, functioning
government in Iraq undermined the USAs international status.
The Future
There are 4 main cultural world views which are present in the emerging powers; American corporate
capitalism, European liberalism, the Islamic world and Chinese Confucianism. There are various
possible scenarios
1) Multi-polar world USA remains the most powerful but less dominant superpower but rise of
China and India
2) Arms race possibly nuclear in the middle east and east Asia if tensions cannot be resolved
3) Resource nationalisation rising tensions as oil and water run short and there is a dash for
new resources
4) Decline of Europe and Japan due to rapidly ageing populations
5) Resource rich powers (Russia, Middle East) will challenge the political and economic order

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

What questions have been asked?

The tensions between todays superpowers are economic rather than political Discuss. (10)
To what extent have the ways of maintaining power changed over time (10)
Suggest and justify a set of criteria for defining what is a superpower (10)
Examine ways in which superpowers exert their influence (10)
Evaluate the factors which lead to superpower status (15)
Using examples, assess the view that the relationship between the developed and the developing
world is a neo-colonial one (15)
Assess the view that economic development in not possible without causing environmental degradation
Using figure 4 - explain how membership of International Organisations gives some countries political
and economic power (10 marks)

Referring to examples discuss the factors that cause power to shift between superpowers over time

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

US overseas aid: the top 20

receiving countries

McDonalds restaurants
around the world

USA military presence

around the world

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Topic 5: Bridging the Development Gap

What do I need to know?
How the development Gap can be measured
Theories on why the gap exists
The role of different Key players on development
General physical, economic, political and social causes of the gap
Role of trade and investment in the development gap
Social, economic and environmental impacts of the development gap
Impacts on minority groups
Impacts on Megacities
The positive and negative impacts of countries trying to close the gap on migration and

the environment
Theoretical ways of reducing the development gap
The advantages and disadvantages of methods of closing the development gap

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Key Terms:
Bilateral aid
Bottom-up development
Debt service
Development gap
Formal economy
Gross Domestic Product
Gross National Product
Human Development Index
Informal economy

Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs)
Multilateral aid
Multiplier Effect


Per capita
Purchasing Power Parity

Refers to gifts or repayable loans made by one country to another

Meaning segregation, used to describe a political and legal system used
in South Africa to separate different ethnic groups
Foreign aid (in the shape of money, expertise, education or technology)
from a single donor to a country
Occurs at a community level peoples needs are indentified and local
projects are designed to meet them
High-cost industries such as mining where machines do most of the
work and few jobs are created
Payments of interest, plus a proportion of the original loan, which are
required in order to pay back a debt over a given period of time
Means change and implies change is for the better
The social and economic disparity between the wealthy and the poor
The economy that is regulated by the state so is taxed and monitored
by the government.
The value of goods and services produced in a country over a year.
Like GDP but includes overseas investment such as shares and earnings
for overseas companies and branches.
Created by the UN to provide a measure of life expectancy, education
and GDP for every country in the world.
All economic activities that are neither taxed or monitored by the
Refers to repayable loans used to develop a country but with an
expectation of a share of the profits e.g. when TNCs invest in a
Agreed at the UN summit in 2000, 8 goals were agreed to provide a set
of development goals for the world to reach by 2015
Aid given from alliances for several countries or organisations to
An effect in economies in which an increase in spending produces an
increase in the national income and consumption greater than the
amount originally spent
Idea that market exchange is capable of acting as a guide for all human
action. State interventions are minimized including the obligations for
the state to provide for the welfare of its citizens
The employment of people overseas to do jobs previously done by
people in the home country
Per person
Shows what per capita income will purchase when the cost of living is

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Structural Adjustment
Programmes (SAP)
Tied Aid
Top-down development
Trade liberalisation

taken into consideration

Re-scheduling loans to make them more affordable
Where foreign aid benefits the donor in the shape of interest
repayments, access to new markets or political allegiance.
Development projects are made by governments or large organisations
Also known as free trade, removing barriers such as duties or customs

How the development Gap can be measured

Gross Domestic Product total value of goods and services produced by a country in a year.
Does not take into account the way in which the cost of living may vary between countries.
Also only average figures which do not tell the way in which wealth is distributed within a
country or how the government invests the money it has.
Human Development Index (HDI) measures life expectancy, educational attainment and GDP
per capita. These are converted to an index which has a max value of 1.0
Gender related development index (GDI) measurement of overall achievement for both men
and women in the 3 factors measured in the HDI
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established in 2000 to reduce global poverty
substantially by 2015. Measurement of progress is based on 1990 figures.
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Achieve universally primary education
Promote gender equality
Reduce child mortality
Improve maternal health
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Ensure environmental sustainability
Develop a global partnership for development
Development Cable identified that in order for a country to develop there are key
developmental factors that interact. The outer strands are the outcomes of development and
are integral to development

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Theories on why the gap exists

Rostows model (Modernisation Theory)
Stated that a country passes from underdevelopment to development through a series of stages of
economic growth. He thought that capital should be transferred from developed to developing
countries to assist development. Did not take into account factors such as high rates of population
growth or political changes

Poverty Cycle
Idea that less developed countries are trapped in
a continually cycle of poverty because of a lack of
money and low incomes. Did not take into account
the rapid economic growth of countries like China,
India and South Korea. Also does not consider
the amount of foreign aid or loans from
international banks.
Dependency Theory (Frank)
Countries like the USA control and exploit less
developed areas of the world. This produces a
relationship of dominance and dependency which
can lead to poverty and underdevelopment.

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Countries are becoming increasing connected and interdependent at a global scale. Global flows that
connect places involve the movement of people, capital, technology, ideas and information.
In the last 50 years, many poor countries accepted loans from rich countries and interest payments
on loans affect development as they put pressure on the financial situation in the country. Debt is
also an issue due to corruption within developing countries governments which divert loan money from
the intended target and trade barriers imposed by developing countries which make it hard for
poorer countries to export their goods.

The role of different Key players on development


World Bank

World Trade

TNCs e.g.





Impact on development in developing countries

Aim to prevent the disruption of international financial system so
countries can renegotiate through the IMF the terms of debt and
impose conditions called stabilisation programmes which often
hinder the development
Provides investment for economic and social projects to improve
standards. Conditions attached to the loans hinder development and
promote dependency and increased poverty
Can promote trade between developed and developing nations. Can
encourage trade dependency and create barriers to free and fair
trade agreements
Provide employment and investment in a country/region. May exploit
workers to maximise cheap labour and stay competitive. Leakage of
funds back to parent company
Regulate the economy to make the most of market opportunities and
attract inward investment. Provide physical infrastructure e.g. roads
and public services e.g. education. Decisions can be affected by
politics and existing alliances
Non-biased help to development projects or relief programmes.
Bottom-up approach takes account of local peoples needs. Rely on
funding that may not be available

General physical, economic, political and social causes of the gap

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Role of trade and investment in the development gap

Some NICs have benefited from high levels of foreign direct investment e.g. China and South Korea.
However there are 2 billion people who live in countries that have become less globalised as trade has
falled iin relation to national income including most of the African countries.
Africa in 2002 if it increased its share of world trade by just 1% would earn an extra $49billion, 5x
the amount it receives in aid. Traditionally north-south trade flows have focused on developing
countries exporting primary products. In the last 20 years developing countries have moved into
manufacturing (80% of exports now manufactured products). Globalisation has led to large increases
in trade in places such as China, India. Importantly terms of trade is the ration between currencies
earned from its exports and the prices of imports. This means that any countries exporting natural
resources and importing manufactured goods will have declining terms of trade.

Named Case Study: Cotton

Mali Cotton

Background information

Impacts of cotton

10 million small-scale
cotton growers suffering
from falling prices
Small scale farmers can
earn up to $1000/year
3 million Malians rely on
cotton to survive

Breathing problems
due to cotton fibres
Farming cotton
gives a farmer 3x
the average annual
Plans to privatised

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Link to the development

Subsidies lea to
overproduction of
cotton forces
cotton prices down
Mali cotton farmers
earn less decline in
living standards

USA Cotton

2001 US aid = $37.7 m

2001 = Mali lost $343
million due to American
= 6% of GDP
25,000 cotton producers
receive $4 billion/year in
Up to 20% of cotton
farmers income comes
from subsidies
USA spends 3x as much on
subsidies for cotton then
it does on aid for
whole of Africa
The US is the second
largest cotton producer
US currently accounts for
more than 50% of the
worlds exported cotton.

the cotton industry

4% of population
driven into poverty

Large scale
production e.g. 1
16,000 acre farm
makes enough
cotton for 200,000
The slack in world
production of
clothing has been
taken up by China
and Pakistan
In countries that
subsidise their
farming, only 5% of
the population are

If cotton subsidies to
USA farmers were
scrapped prices would
have risen for African
farmers by 3.5%
Reduced cotton prices
by 15%
Law passed banning
export subsidies on
WTO ruled in March
2007 that cotton
subsidies were unfair

Social, economic and environmental impacts of the development gap

Urban and rural areas are effected differently by the development gap, rural communities are often
the worse effected due to an inability to produce enough food.

Named Case Study: The impact on the development gap in Uganda

Key Facts:
Population of 31 million
Resources copper, cobalt and hydro-electric power, coffee, tobacco, sugar cane and tea

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Infant mortality rates 106 per 1000 live

births for the poorest and 20 per 1000
live births for the wealthiest
24% of families are undernourished
Lack of money from exports means
government has limited funding for
healthcare and education
2005 life expectancy was 49.7 years
Only 60% have access to safe water
Only 43% have access to sanitation
First government in Africa to attract
international aid for a HIV/AIDs
education programme = only 6% of
population infected
Only 17% of girls attend secondary school
Women marry at the age of 15
High fertility rate 6.8 children per

In 2005 GDP per capita

was $1454
Economy based on export
sale of primary goods =
low prices
In 1992, debt was $1.9
Early 1990s debt
repayments exceeded
export earnings
2000 the World Bank
cancelled most of the
debt through the HIPC
scheme totally $1.5 billion
increased spending on
public services by 20%
10% more of the
population now have
access to clean water

Widespread malaria
and cholera
At risk from
droughts especially
linked to climate
Raw material
exploitation has led
to destruction of
the natural
environment e.g.
mining, removal of
trees for

Impacts on minority groups

The development gap can create differences between groups such as castes in India or between
males and females in the same country. The caste system is a religious and social class system in
India, where classes are defined by birth and family. The Dalits or untouchables (16% of population)
work in unhealthy, polluting jobs and suffer from social prejudice and extreme poverty. They are not
allowed to obtain water from the same source as other people and must have their own segregated
area. Scheduled tribes consist of tribal groups (7% of population) and other backward classes (52%
of population). This enables them to discriminate positively in education and jobs for the most
Women in developing countries are more likely than men to be unpaid family workers or occupy lowstatus jobs and have lower earnings. 64% of adults are illiterate women and 57% of children who
receive no primary education are girls.

Impacts on Megacities - General examples and 1 in detail e.g.

Mumbai from AS or Dhaka in book
8% of the worlds urban population live in megacities which have populations over 10 million. In
developing countries a variety of push factors in the countryside have encouraged out-migration to
the cities; population pressure, unemployment, poor housing, famine etc. People are then attracted to
the urban areas due to pull factors; better education, housing, improved medical facilities etc.

New migrants dont have any
money so end up in temporary
Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010 settlements on unwanted land e.g.
marshy, polluted, along transport


Air pollution due to traffic,

power plants that are old and
badly maintained
Water pollution leaking
sewers, landfill sites and lack of
sewerage systems
Waste disposal contamination
and health hazards due to
waterborne diseases
Water supply aquifers become
depleted due to huge population


Limited access to employment and

Reliance on informal economy
Overcrowded housing
Limited access to health and
Unhealthy environments


Location of megacities

Named Case Study: Dhaka, Bangladesh: a megacity under stress

Key facts:
By 2015 population expected to reach 21 million with one of
the highest population densities in the world
Caused by high rates of natural increase and large volumes
of rural-urban migration.

Challenges created:

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010


Urban Poor

al quality

Unemployment of 23%
33% of city workforce is self-employed
Child labour high in poorest households
Home to 80% of the 2 million garment
industry employees
28% of population classed as poor, 12%
extremely poor
Only 5% live in permanent housing
4.2 million live in slums
Only 27% connected to public sewer
Poor water management cost $670
million each year
Poor air regulation = air pollution above
national standard 100 days per year
Polluted water sources = disease
spreads quickly

Solution/recent developments
2 export zones created to encourage
export of goods
Bashundhara City created with hightech industries and businesses
Improvements in drains and
Back to home programme encourages
people to return to villages with help
Local community health volunteers
Ban on leaded petrol
Work in improve water quality, supply
and sanitation cost $100m
Public information on causes and
impacts of poor air and water quality
Promoted clean gas-powered cooking

The positive and negative impacts of countries trying to close the gap
on migration and the environment
Migration: increased migration flows are a vital part of development and include both international
(into the country e.g. business, technicians and out of the country as they seek a better life) and
internal flows from rural to urban areas.



Source area/country
Natural increase slows as
young adults leave
Less pressure on resources
Remittances sent home
Populations become older
Loss of skilled workers
Westernisation of returning

Host area/country
Declining populations
boosted by migrants
Labour force filled
Multicultural society
Racial/social tensions
Gender concentrations e.g.
only males
Increased pressure on

Environment: as a country develops its environmental pollution and ecological footprint becomes
larger. Economic development raises demand for resources and countries tend to exploit them as
quickly as possible without thinking of the environmental costs e.g. SYNOPTIC LINK TO CHINA

Theoretical ways of reducing the development gap - Neo Liberal,

Marxism, Populism, Non development
Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Neo-liberal 1980-1990s looked to remove tariff barriers to encourage international trade. This
allowed countries to develop through trade and governments should look to privatise and reducing
state intervention in the economy. This however, tended to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.
Examples e.g. World Bank, world Trade Organisation
Marxism idea that capitalism is based on the exploitation of workers by the owners and that
history has mainly been a conflict between these 2 classes. Sought to replace existing class
structures with a system that managed society for the good of all
Populism idea that supports the people in the struggle against societys ellite. Also known as
grassroots action it is an important element of bottom-up planning e.g. NGOs
Non-development some people are against the idea of development as it creates and widens
inequalities, undermines local cultures and is environmentally unsustainable.

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

The advantages and disadvantages of methods of closing the development gap




Provided by
many nations
and organised
by international
bodies e.g. UN

Enables overview to see where

the money will be best used
Equal share of aid can be given
to a number of different


Given directly
from one
country to

Fosters links between

Often the country receives
more aid in this way


Run by NGOs
or charities
such as Oxfam,
Action Aid


intensive and

Work with communities to

provide for their long-term
Often help during natural
Major disaster areas benefit
from short-term aid
Areas with historic ties
between the donor and
recipient countries receive lots
of aid
Countries often use the aid to
support their existing systems
Involve the local people in the


Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Fails to reach the poorest people
Benefits are short-lived
Often a number of disasters occur in
a short period so people give less
The WB notorious for implementing
conditions that consequences for
recipient countries
Often tied to the purchase of goods
and services from the donor country
Use of aid on large capital intensive
schemes can worsen the conditions of
the poorest people
Can create a culture of dependency
Interest repayments
They rely on the generosity of the
public as well as donations from
governments for their funds. This
means that their cash flow isnt
always guaranteed
Criticised as inappropriate way of
helping poor countries
Aid often fought over by different
interest groups = lack of investment in
productive business activities
Often money diverted to rich people
rather than the poor
They rely on the generosity of the

Brandt Report suggested each
country should give 0.7% of its
GNP towards. However most
countries do not get close to
reaching that target

See Pergau Dam example

See Barlonyo example

Pergau Dam, Malaysia

Began in 1991 and set up without
consulting local people.
Malaysia around the same time
bought 1 billion worth of arms
from the UK
Only 234 million in aid actually
given = tied aid
Barlonyo, Uganda

decision making
Analyses the locals needs and
looks for solutions
Uses appropriate technology

Fair Trade


Aimed to
improve the
terms of trade
between North
and South
through the
Fair Trade

Obtains a fair price for a wide

variety of goods exported from
developing countries to the
developed world
Works with small-scale
producers and makes them
more economically secure
Fair-trade sales valued at $2.3
billion worldwide in 2006
14 heavily indebted poor
include make
countries (HIPCs) have had
poverty history
their debts written off
in 2005 or
Allows countries loans to be
rescheduled to make them
more manageable
Improves FDI by removing
trade or investment
Reduces government debts
through cuts in spending

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

public as well as donations from

governments for their funds. This
means that their cash flow isnt
always guaranteed

The products sold in the developing

world are more expensive than other
brands e.g. Cadburys so there is a
reluctance to buy them

Reduces government spending by

cutting social programmes e.g. health
and education
Privatisation of state assets to cut
debt often sold to TNCs
Increases pressure on countries to
generate exports to pay off debts
Some developed countries accused to
protecting their own interests

Supported by national and

international NGOs local
farmers have formed a
democratically run cooperative.
Enables all farmers to share the
cost of hiring a truck to
transport their goods to market.
In 2008 able to sell their
sesame seed crop for 3 xs than
in 2007. Extra income gone into
schooling and healthcare. NGOS
gave ox ploughs, high-yield seeds
to improve efficiency.
Biggest export crop is coffee
worth $350 million in 2007.
Gumutindo Coffee cooperative
has 3000 members 91% depend
on coffee for their main income.
Money helps pay for school fees
and raise the standard of living
In December 2000, the UK
government agreed to cancel
debts owed to the UK by 26
countries, but debts owed to
other creditors, such as the
Inter-American Development
Bank, have not been cancelled


Belief that the

and scenery in
many poorer
countries can
attract longhaul tourism
from developed


Access to
mobile phones
in the
countries could
help bridge the
digital divide

South to South

Hope that more

low cost and
solutions could
be developed

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

FDI and technology brought in

by TNCs
Mass tourism from wealthy
Tourism needs the development
of infrastructure e.g. roads
which benefit the local people
Generates local employment
and wealth
Multiplier effect profits
from tourism trickle down to
the local economy
Does not require the same
levels of literacy as a computer
Cheaper way to access
Africa now the fastest growing
mobile phone market in the
Allows leapfrogging of

TNCS control tourism so leakage of

Can spoil the natural environment
Local culture can become westernised
Too much pressure on local resources
Exploitation of cheap labour

Encourages recipient
governments to spend aid more
Workers are learning new skills
Employing local people
New trading links developed

Economic migration to recipient

countries to earn higher wages
Wages often remain low in recipient
Large-scale projects can lead to
displacement of people

Access to technology is limited in

many areas of the world due to the
lack of funding
Should money be spent on phones
when there are larger issues to be

The Asia-Pacific Development
Organisation Programme
(APDIP) has developed citizen
information centres which
function as training centres
which visitors can learn basic
computer skills and access the
internet. Remote rural areas
can connect to the central
government and apply for grants.
Aims to encourage business and
collages to use IT and
counteract the issue of the
China in Africa
China increased its aid to
African governments, cancelled
$10 billion debts. China hopes
that by doing this it will open up
new markets and find new raw

Ignoring health and safety regulations


Provide a
framework for
monitoring the
gap and
measuring any
reducing it

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Success stories e.g. 41 more

children enrolled in primary
2 million more receiving aid
6% economic growth in subSaharan countries in 2008

Over 500,000 women died from

treated, preventable conditions of
pregnancy and childbirth
980 million still live on less than 1$
per day

materials. Africa has 50% of the

worlds gold and is also rich in
diamonds. China now buys 1/3rd
of its oil from Africa
Bangladesh Progress
1) Eradicate poverty = poverty
reduction rate of 1.2% a year
2) University primary education
= 3.4% increase
3) Gender equality = gap in
education levels closed
4) Reduce child morality =
reduced by 2.8%

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

What questions have been asked?

Study Figure 4.
Using information in Figure 4, and your own knowledge, explain why it is difficult to measure
development. (10)

Evaluate the role of different global organisations in narrowing the development gap. (15)
Using Figure 4 and your own knowledge, explain why some groups of people within a country have a
lower level of development than others. (10)

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Using named examples, assess the advantages and disadvantages of top-down and bottom-up
development strategies (15)
Evaluate the role of trade in bridging the development gap (15)
Examine the role played by debt in maintaining the global development gap (15)
Examine the barriers that exist against the expansion of trade in some developing countries (15)
How far are patterns of global trade responsible for maintaining the development gap? (15)
Assess the view that economic development is not possible without causing environmental degradation

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Topic 6: The Technological Fix

What is technology and how has it developed and spread?
Geographical distribution of technology use
Reasons for inequality of access
Link between economic development and technological change
Technological leapfrogging a way to overcome barriers to development?
The impacts of technological innovation
Externalities of technology
Different types of technological solutions
Technology vs. sustainable future
What will have to technology in the future?

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Key Terms
Digital Access Index
Digital Blackout

Digital Divide
Extended polluter


Genetic modification
Global Shift
information and
technology (ICT)
Intellectual property
Polluter Pays
Technology poor
Technology rich

Any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms to

make or modify products or processes for specific use
The gap between the digital haves and have nots
Where people are without some or all of the following; email, internet,
television and telephone connections. This can be due to either a malfunction
or because of a switch to new technology
The gap between the richer and poorer parts of the world in terms of ICT
The chemical in the cells of animals and plants that carries genetic information
The view that the physical environment, rather than social conditions,
determines culture
Holds manufacturers and traders responsible for the environmental impacts of
their products throughout the product life-cycle, from extraction of natural
materials, through the manufacturing process and product use, to their
Third-party effects that can be positive or negative. They occur when the
actions of one group, organisation or individual affect the standard of living or
quality of life of another party without direct interaction between the two
The manipulation of DNA by splitting the DNA module and then rejoining it to
form a hybrid molecule
Transfer of manufacturing from western Europe and North America, to newly
industrialised countries and the growth of trade around the Pacific Ocean
Blanket term to cover all technologies involves in the manipulation and
communication of information
Cover the ownership of creations of the mind both artistic and commercial
Labour intensive and small scale technology
A disease that spreads over a whole country or over the whole world
Sole and exclusive rights for a number of years to the proceeds from the sales
of an invention
Intended to make those who cause pollution pay for the damage they do to the
Describes how some newer technologies, such as mobile phones and the
internet, are penetrating developing countries much faster than older
technologies such as landline telephones
Places and people who lack access to a regular and reliable source of electricity
Places and people who have access to reliable electricity and to a good
communications infrastructure

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

What is technology and how has it developed and spread?

Technology results from innovation and the ability of people to innovate and find new and better ways
of carrying out a task. It also increases the ability of people to satisfy their own needs. It is
generally believe that for every problem there is a technological fix:
Technological fix examples include geo-engineering to reduce incoming solar radiation to reduce
global warming and pharmaceutical research to find a vaccine for HIV/AIDS
Attitudinal fix examples include education and tax incentives to reduce peoples carbon footprints
and public health education to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS
Development of Technology

Over time people have used technology to control nature, so that their lives are less controlled by
environmental factors e.g. an umbrella when it is raining. Generally people will accept new technology
if they think it will improve their quality of life. Techies embrace new developments to the luddites
who are opposed to technological change. In the USA Amish Christians reject modern technology for
religious reasons.

Geographical distribution of technology use

The Digital Access Index (DAI) was introduced in 2003 to measure the access to ICT of people in
178 countries. It outlined that technology can be seen as pervasive, as it is found in some form or
other wherever you find people living on the planet

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

When comparing the HDI and DAI

North America, Western Europe,
Japan, and Australia countries are
high in both human development
and digital access. This clustering
Those counties with a high HDI
score but middle/low DAI scores
include Cuba, Iran, Maldives,

Reasons for inequality of access

- In North Korea the government
banned people from having private
phones and mobiles since 2004
- The Catholic Church bans the use
of contraception on religious
- In some developing catholic
countries access to contraception in
severely limited

- 2/3rds of all those infected by
HIV live in Sub-Saharan Africa but
cannot afford the annual treatment
- 31 countries operated nuclear
power plants in 2007
- Western powers that used
military force, economic sanctions
and tied aid to prevent countries
gaining access to nuclear technology
e.g. Iran

Link between economic development and technological change

Countries with higher levels of development tend to have greater access to communications
technology. Those countries with a digital access index of over 75 are hyper connected and these
include the triad of economically wealthy countries East Asia, North America and EU. Countries
with scores less than 15 are mainly in Africa and they will be slow to move forward as a range of
other technologies need to be in place first e.g. reliable power source.
Also linked to this is the developing worlds ability to access technology to exploit and burn fossil
fuels, meaning they are reliant upon capturing energy directly e.g. solar and wind power. This
therefore restricts their development.
The developed world has also gained an initial advantage through continual technological innovation.
This has meant that the use of patents and copyright has enabled the funds from these innovations
to be returned to the developed countries. The USA accounts for nearly 40% of technology patents.

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Technological leapfrogging a way to overcome barriers to

This can help countries to develop by providing a quick fix such as the use of mobiles has allowed
places to develop as they are wireless and nodes such as mobile phone masts and solar power systems
can be built quickly and almost anywhere. This therefore allows long-distance communication to
develop in places that were in the past on the periphery.

Named Example: India

In 1998 India had 22 telephone landlines per 1000 people and was seen as excluded from global
communications due to the expense and waiting list for telephones to be installed. Mobile phones
were introduced in 1994 and since 2000 mobile phone use has grown from 3.5 mobiles to 230 per
1000 people. This has brought many benefits to the people:
Families separated by rural-urban migration can stay in touch
Farmers can now check prices before going to market to buy fertilisers or sell crops ensuring
they get the best prices
Small businesses can keep in touch with customers and services
Information such as weather forecasts and hazard warnings can be sent to remote areas

The impacts of technological innovation

Who developed the
Which crops are
Where are the crops

Have they increased

food production?

Green Revolution
Research institutes e.g.
International Rice Research
First crop IR8 was rice but other
varieties now replace it as more
HYV rice grown in Asia
HYV wheat grown in Latin America
HYV crops in Africa
Rapid growth allows 2 crops
per year
Yields 10xs traditional rice
Now bred to be disease and
pest resistant
India been self-sufficient in
rice since 1980s
Yields of wheat, rice and maize
grew by 2% year between 19671996
1 ) Solar polarisation larger
farmers could afford fertilisers
etc so benefited the most
2) Monocultures HYVs are
vulnerable to new strains of

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Gene Revolution
TNCs and bio-tech companies

Bt maize and Bt cotton and herbicide

resistant soybean
GM soya bean most widely planted
USA, China, Latin America and Canada
have large areas of GM crops
Some varieties have been bred for
nutrient e.g. Golden rice contains
vitamin A
Crops are resistant to herbicide so
weeds can be killed without crop
Most GM crops are fed to animals

1) Led to export boom which helped

Argentina to recover from serious
crash in 2001
2) Number of farms has fallen by
60,000 as area of GM soybean x3
3) Decline in areas of maize and

3) Dependency needs high inputs

of fertilisers, water and machinery
to maintain yields
4) Environmental problems
widespread use of agrochemicals
lead to Eutrophication

sunflower by 5 million hectares

reducing food security among the poor

Named Example DDT

From 1938 the synthetic pesticide was used to control malarial mosquitoes and became a farm
pesticide. In 1964 environmentalists Rachel Carson publish Silent Spring which blamed DDT for a
growing toll of wildlife deaths. DDT was ingested by creatures and restricted their ability to lay
viable eggs. DDT was banned in the USA in 1972 and the UK in 1984.

Externalities of technology
For every technology there are unexpected consequences of its use which can be both positive and
negative. There are various different approaches to externalities and their impacts:
Polluter Pays Principle way of accounting for the pollution which is a negative externality. It
quantifies the cost of pollution and passes it back to the producers, or user of a technology. It can
be implemented through 2 approaches:
1) Command and control new technologies are introduced to limit pollution. In the USA all cars
built since 2004 must be fitted with a catalytic converter to reduce their emissions
2) Market based governments introduce pollution controls, carbon trading permits and product
labelling e.g. British government introduced Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) bands based on the
amount of C02 that a vehicle emits. This aims to encourage people to drive cars which
produce less carbon dioxide.
Pollution Sink the carbon dioxide we produce from burning fossil fuels is released into the
atmosphere. It was assumed that the sink was large enough to cope but the WWF living Planet Index
suggested that using the environment as a sink for pollution has serious consequences that will need
to be addressed
Capturing pollutants for single-point polluters such as power stations the use of carbon capture and
storage (CCS) technology can be used.

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Different types of technological solutions







Designed with
consideration to
the environmental,
ethical, cultural,
social, political, and
economical aspects
of the community it
is intended for.
Refer to relatively
low, usually labour
technology that can
be mastered by
local people,
especially in the
developing world
Also known as
megaprojects which
reflect a top-down

It is appropriate to the
level of income, skill and
needs of the local
Fewer resources are
Easier to maintain
Less impact on the
See above

Takes tremendous study of the

regions climate, resources,
location, and people to ensure it
fits in with local cultures etc
long term effects are unknown
Pose more problems for large
scale applications

Free play wind-up radio

Cost around $40 which is human powered
so no pollution or energy costs. Has an
integrated torch and can be used to hear
news, weather forecasts and hazard
Increases independence and access of
critical information in isolated rural areas

See above

Sri Lankan Pumpkin Storage system

Gutters collect rainwater and it is stored
in a tank built from locally available
materials (cost to build 200). Water is
then collected from the tap at the
bottom of the tank, supply clean fresh
and regular water supply

Provides quick path to

development e.g. China
Can help solve issues
such as energy
production and flood

Very expensive e.g. Three

Gorges Dam cost $25 billion to
Huge environmental impacts e.g.
pollution and flooding of land
Social impacts e.g. displaced
Often money comes from tied
aid or loans which have
conditions or high interest

Have favoured megaprojects as a quick
way to modernise the Chinese economy
and most of the leaders are trained
Gained a 8% GDP annual growth rate
e.g. Three Gorges Dam
- Increased pollution as the river can no
longer regulate itself
- 4 million people displaced
- Several species threatened with



Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010


Refer to
technologies that
are more
friendly than the
dominant in current

Control energy costs and Issues over practicality of

reduced greenhouse gas
widespread use
Are they cost-effective?
Collect methane gas
Will widespread adoption would
which if released into
produce negative impacts on the
the atmosphere is 20x
economy, lifestyle or
more global warming
potential than carbon


Includes providing
developing nations
with connections to
ICT and mobile


See GM/Green
revolution table

Enables developing
countries to become
part of the globalised
network of
Leapfrogging of old
technologies enables
fast development in
certain areas
See GM/Green revolution

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Is this an effective way to

spend aid money?

See GM/Green revolution table

Landfill gas South Dakota

Landfill gas is approximately forty to
sixty percent methane. The gases
produced within the landfill can be
collected and flared off or used to
produce heat or electricity. The City of
Sioux Falls, South Dakota installed a
landfill gas collection system which
collects, cools, dries, and compresses the
gas into an 11-mile pipeline. The gas is
then used to power an ethanol plant
operated by POET Biorefining. This
energy production offsets almost two
million tons of coal per year.
See India Named example

See GM/Green revolution table


Looks to engineer
our own planet than
rather attempting
to find a new one

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Could provide long term,

large scale solutions to
some of the worlds
most serious issues e.g.
global warming, land
degradation and energy

The effectiveness of the

schemes proposed may fall short
of predictions.
Techniques that do not remove
greenhouse gases from the
atmosphere may control global
warming, but do not reduce
other effects from these gases
The full effects of various
geoengineering schemes are not
well understood.
Performance of the systems
may become ineffective,
unpredictable or unstable as a
result of external events, such
as volcanic eruptions, El Nio,
solar flares
The techniques themselves may
cause significant foreseen or
unforeseen harm

Building of a $32 million artificial island
of Hulhumale between 1997-2002. It is
built 2 metres above sea level and it
designed to reduce overcrowding on
existing islands and also replace them if
they are drowned by rising sea levels
Space mirrors
Attempt by Russia in 1999 to launch giant
mirrors into orbit to reflect solar
radiation away from Earth to create a
cooling effect. Costs expected $1 trillion

Solving global issues with technology

Named Example: Fixing Global Warming

Improving energy efficiency in vehicles and machinery

Changing transport patterns from air and road to rail, reducing distances travelled by goods
Extending renewable sources e.g. tidal, wind, solar
Producing bio fuels from crops
Using natural gas in place of coal to generate electricity
Constructing greener buildings e.g. double glazing, solar panels etc
Carbon sequestration storing carbon underground
Seeding oceans with iron to encourage growth of phytoplankton
Injecting sulphate particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect solar radiation
Constructing giant mirrors in space to reflect sunlight
Social controls population control, lifestyle changes, tax credits for electric cars
International agreements e.g. Kyoto Protocol

Named Example: Fixing land degradation

Increasing organic content in the soil by adding manure and crop wastes to improve structure
and drainage
Leaving land fallow allows soil to recover
Crop rotations balance out the nutrient budget and prevents pest taking long-term hold
Planting shelterbelts prevents soil being washed or blown away
Alley-cropping alternates crops with trees and bushes providing shade and reducing water
loss by evaporation
Magic stones used to slow runoff and prevent soil erosion

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Technology vs. sustainable future

In order to judge whether technologies we use might help to solve global environmental and resource
problems, the sustainability quadrant allows us to assess technology against well-know criteria

What will happen to technology in the future?

Business as usual likely to lead to further increases in greenhouse gas emissions, land degradation
and water shortages. Global inequality will grow leaving some areas of the world technology poor.
Countries such as Bangladesh face the added issue of climate change impacts as there are 10m people
who live on land less than 1m above sea level. Therefore a country like Bangladesh can only use
technology to cope with the frequent flood disasters that afflict it but longer-term solutions to
prevent the disaster lies in the hands of the developed world

Technological Convergence the spread of the motor vehicle is an example of this and they allow
individual mobility, road transport which is key in development as it allows markets and networks to
operate and transport in an industry accounts for up to 10% of the GNP providing jobs and income
growth. The launch of the Tata Nano in India priced at $2500 will allow the poorer people to access
transport. Also leads to other problems such as increases in Co2 emissions.
Energy efficiency The Automotive X Prize is a global competition to find a 100mpg four-passenger
car. The winner will receive $7.5 million and aims to encourage technological breakthroughs. Other
examples include; electric cars, hydrogen cars and bio fuel cars.
Technology transfer IMF report concluded that education was the key to ensuring people in less
developed parts of the world could benefit from new technologies. The commitment to development
technology index shows the developed worlds willingness to allow this technology transfer.

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Technology transfers do occur but often rely on NGOs to provide the funding required to purchase
and install the technology e.g. Practical Action

What Questions have been asked?

Using information in Figure 5, and your own knowledge, explains how farming technologies might have
different consequences for human and ecosystem wellbeing. (10)

Evaluate the contribution technology might make to tackling global environmental problems such as
land degradation and global warming. (15)
Using named examples, discuss the extent to which there is a widening technology gap between the
developed and developing world. (15)
Technology can be seen to have unforeseen consequences. Discuss this with reference to examples
Some are able to access new technology to solve environmental problems while others are left to
suffer from environmental determinism. Referring to examples, assess the validity of this viewpoint
Examine the importance of technological leapfrogging for developing countries (15)
The development of technology is a possible response to future resource shortages. Assess the
possible costs and benefits to this approach (15)
Assess the view that economic development is not possible without appropriate technologies (15)

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010

Explain how both taxing and subsidising petrol can have impacts on human and ecosystem wellbeing.

Created by Natalie Garthwaite 2010