UN Graphics on the Environment, Development, and Vulnerability

As official depositories for the United Nations and the European Union, the Miami University Libraries have access to a wealth of information -- in print and online -- pertaining to the people living outside the borders of the United States, and the realities of our own thirst for global resources.

Whether discussing environmental sustainability, the effects of globalization, trends in “greener” mass-transportation and transit, or the overlap between economic development, migration, and climate change, documents from these organizations provide stunning evidence to support programs across the academic curriculum. The Libraries, in just the past month, have received a number of United Nations publications worth highlighting.

The UN’s Vital Graphics Series is an excellent compilation of statistics presented in understandable, colorful charts. These graphics often speak for themselves in explaining their findings:

From Vital Forest Graphics (Call No.: Govt & Law UN | SD131 .V58 2009):
Loss of Human Lives due to Conflicts over Land 1997-2007 Brazil

From 2004’s Vital Waste Graphics (Call No. Govt & Law UN | HD4482 .B354 2004):
Ability of Countries to Support Their Citizens from Their own Environment

Among publications produced from the UN’s Environment Programme are the short (50-100 page) but thoroughly researched Rapid Response Assessments. Much like issues of CQ Researcher put to a grander scale, these topical publications provide summaries and definitions of ecological events and human processes, backed up by excellent bibliographies.

The Environmental Food Crisis: The Environment's Role in Averting Future Food Crises
The Natural Fix? The role of ecosystems in climate mitigation
In Dead Water- Merging of Climate Change with Pollution, Over-harvest, and Infestations in the World's Fishing Grounds

The United Nations Population Fund’s State of World Population is an annual publication that presents statistics on health, development, and global patterns of change specifically as these issues affect and influence women. Previous reports have centered on urban growth, gender equity, and adolescents' health and rights. The State of World Population 2009 confronts population and climate change.

Finally, Vulnerability in Developing Countries is the title of Wim Naude, Amelia SantosPaulino, and Mark McGillivray’s book from the United Nations University Press. Using economic case studies on India, Zimbabwe, and China, among other countries, the book discusses micro-lending, poverty, hunger, and growing exposure to HIV and TB. The earthquake in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, may have students reading Marin Heger’s chapter : “Vulnerability of small-island economies: the impact of ‘natural’ disasters in the Caribbean.”

The Miami University Libraries receive a few hundred publications from the United Nations every year. These materials are rich, but often overlooked, sources of data and social research. If you have any questions about what items are available in your area of interest, contact the Government Documents Librarian.