Saturday, 10 October 2015

Short term aid and Long term aid

Aid is a transfer of resources from a MEDC to a LEDC. Aid includes money, equipment, food, training, skilled people and loans.

Short term aid (emergency aid)
Long term aid (sustainable aid)
  • Short term aid is for immediate relief in emergencies such as famines, earthquakes, floods and droughts.
  • Emergency aid saves lives.
  • This includes money, food, blankets, tents and medical supplies.

  • Long term aid is for economic and social development.
  • Its purpose is to improve the quality of life for people living in LEDCs.
  • Long term aid can improve the standard of living of people living in LEDCs

Advantages of short term aid
  • Short term aid gives help which can save lives immediately.
  • Short term aid can develop into long term aid after a disaster, as people in MEDCs realise how poor people are in the affected zone.

Advantages of long term aid
  • New industries can develop which improves peoples chances of getting skills and long term employment.
  • It can lead to improvements in long term farming methods – introducing new crops and better land management practises.
  • Trade with the donor country may continue into the future.
  • Schools, hospitals, roads, dams and other infrastructure projects improve the lives of many people and will last for a long time.

  1. Give two advantages/disadvantages of aid?
  2. Using examples explain why some countries need aid?
  3. Using examples describe and explain two types of aid?
  4. What are the advantages of emergency aid to a country you have studied?

Friday, 25 September 2015

Infant mortality

Infant Mortality is the number of babies dying before their first birthday per 1000 live births.

Water scarcity

Water scarcity is a lack of drinkable water available in a given area. The lack of sufficient available water resources to meet the demands of water usage within a region. 

Water scarcity already affects every continent and around 2.8 billion people around the world at least one month out of every year. More than 1.2 billion people lack access to clean drinking water.

It mostly affects arid and deserted areas, and places where the water is too polluted to drink. It is a social, environmental and economic problem in many countries. 

Water scarcity can be the result of both human and natural causes. Changes in climate and weather patterns can cause the availability of water to drop. Common human causes include over-consumption, bad governance, pollution, and increases in the demand for water.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


What is corruption?
Corruption is the misuse of entrusted power for private gain. Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement. Government corruption or political corruption occurs when an elected politician or appointed civil servant acts in an official capacity for personal gain.

Corruption Perceptions Index from Transparency International

The Corruption Perceptions Index is an index that shows how corrupt certain countries are.
First launched in 1995, the corruption perceptions index has been widely credited with putting the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda.

What does a number mean to you? Each year we score countries on how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be. Our Corruption Perceptions Index sends a powerful message and governments have been forced to take notice and act.

Corruption in Nigeria
General Sani Abacha was a Nigerian Army general and politician who served as the President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998. 

During Abacha's regime, he and his family reportedly stole a total of £5 billion from the country's coffers. In 2004, Abacha was listed as one of the most corrupt leaders in Africa.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Building a primitive hut from scratch

Proper accomodation is one of the basic necessities.

A house protects people against heavy rainfall, intense sunlight or vermin. But only a few houses have a toilet with a drain and clean running water.

How to built a tiled roof hut in the bush, using only primitive tools and materials.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Into the city, out of the city

Urbanisation is the process by which an increasing percentage of a country's population comes to live in towns and cities. The growth of towns and cities leading to an increasing proportion of a country’s population living there. Rapid urbanisation is a feature of most LEDCs. It as a gradual process common in LEDCs where 1 million people move from the countryside to the cities every three days.

Suburbanisation is the process by which people, factories, offices and shops move out from the central areas of cities and into the suburbs. The commuter towns with a residential population who sleep in the town but who travel to work in the nearby large urban area. The suburbanised village has increasingly adopted some of the characteristics (new housing estates, more services) of urban areas.

Central city
A central city is the large city in the middle of a number of villages and small towns. These small towns and villages have grown larger because of suburbanisation.

Suburbs is an area of housing around the edge of a city. A suburb is an area of a town or city, a little away from the main part, where there are fewer big buildings and mainly houses, schools and shops. These are called suburbs or 'the suburbs'.

New towns
When suburbanisation started around 1965 in the Netherlands, the Dutch government allowed some villages near a city to become a suburb. Those placed are called “New towns”.

Compact city

The land use policy of building more inside and close to the cities is called the compact city policy. The central cities had to be occupied again. More houses had to be built in the central cities to fill the space.

Housing shortage
If the demand for housing is greater than the supply, we call this a housing shortage.
There are three causes for a housing shortage:
  1. Commercialisation of the city centre: houses in the old city centre make room for shops and offices.
  2. Family size reduction: The families nowadays are smaller and there are more single people.
  3. Residential thinning: there are fewer houses than before. Small houses are often converted into one large house. This is called residential thinning.

Cities are constantly growing. Sometimes the city expands and absorps neighbouring towns, suburbs and villages linked to it.

Migration is the movement of people within or between areas. The movement of people from one place to another to live or to work. Such an area may be a town, a province, a country or even a continent. Therefore, migration occurs at all scale levels.

Natural increase
An increase in human population, due to a high birth rate and a low mortality rate, is known is natural increase.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A polycentric world

China - a newly industrialized country

Newly industrialized countries (NICs) are countries who still are not developed countries but are doing better than other developing countries. NICs have fast growing economies, and export a lot. In NICs many things in the country change quickly as people from the country move to the cities to take jobs in factories.

Friday, 15 May 2015


Brazil is a country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country. The country has approximately 201 million people. The capital of Brazil is Brasília.

The climate of Brazil comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large area and varied topography, but most of the country is tropical. According to the Köppen system, Brazil hosts five major climatic subtypes: equatorial, tropical, semiarid, highland tropical, temperate, and subtropical. The different climatic conditions produce environments ranging from equatorial rainforests in the north and semiarid deserts in the northeast, to temperate coniferous forests in the south and tropical savannas in central Brazil.

Brazil has the world's largest rainforest, the Amazon Rainforest. It makes up 40% of the country's land area. Brazil also has other types of land, including a type of savanna called cerrado, and a dry plant region named caatinga.

Brazil's large territory comprises different ecosystems, such as the Amazon rainforest, recognized as having the greatest biological diversity in the world, with the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado, sustaining the greatest biodiversity. In the south, the Araucaria pine forest grows under temperate conditions. The rich wildlife of Brazil reflects the variety of natural habitats. Scientists estimate that the total number of plant and animal species in Brazil could approach four million, mostly invertebrates.

The most important cities are Brasília, Belém, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Goiânia, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, São Paulo (the biggest city) and Vitória. 

Brazil is divided into 26 states plus the Federal District in five regions (north, south, northeast, southeast and centre-west):

  • North: Acre, Amazonas, Rondônia, Roraima, Pará, Amapá, Tocantins
  • Northeast: Maranhão, Pernambuco, Ceará, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Alagoas, Sergipe, Bahia 
  • Centre-West: Goiás, Mato grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Distrito Federal/ Federal District
  • Southeast: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais
  • South: Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul

The country is the fifth largest in the world by area. It is known for its many rainforests and jungles.

Like other places in the tropics, deforestation in Brazil is increasingly the result of urban consumption and trade rather than subsistence agriculture. 

Today deforestation in the Amazon is the result of several activities, the foremost of which include:

  • Clearing for cattle pasture
  • Colonization and subsequent subsistence agriculture
  • Infrastructure improvements
  • Commercial agriculture
  • Logging

People and culture

Brazil is the largest country in South America and the largest economy in Latin America. Its people include people of Portuguese or other European descent, African descent, and native Amerindians, as well as many people of mixed origins. Brazil also has the biggest number of Japanese descendents outside Japan.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

China - population density

Asian Tigers

The Asian Tigers or Asian Dragons is a term used in reference to the highly free and developed economies of
  • Hong Kong, 
  • Singapore, 
  • South Korea and 
  • Taiwan. 

These nations and areas were notable for maintaining exceptionally high growth rates and rapid industrialization between the early 1960s and 1990s.

These regions were the first newly industrialized countries in Asia. They are known because they had very high growth rates and fast industrialization between the early 1960s and 1990s.

The four Asian Tigers countries are now rich countries. All four Asian Tigers have a lot of people who are very educated and good at their jobs. They also did different things, and tried to do them better than other countries. For example, Hong Kong and Singapore became very good at international finance, while South Korea and Taiwan became very good at information technology.

All the Asian Tigers tried to export things to rich industrialized nations. They grew rich very quickly (they had double-digit economic growth) for decades. Each nation was not a democracy, and people were not very free in the early years. All of these countries later became freer, and people now think Taiwan and Korea are liberal democracies.

Japan, the old tiger and leading goose

South Korea, Taiwan but also Hong Kong and Singapore form the group of so called Asian Tigers. Japan is left out of this group because it emerged earlier than the other four nations and the term was coined later on after the Japanese economy had already developed. However, in another such paradigm, the so-called leading goose paradigm, Japan is seen as the lead goose followed by the four Asian Tigers. In this paradigm the Asian Tigers are followed by the main ASEAN countries Indonesia, Thailand as well as Malaysia and finally by other fast developing nations in the region: China, Vietnam, Philippines etc.

Rural - Urban migration in China

Thursday, 26 March 2015

The dangerous border between Mexico and the United States

The USA – Mexico border is one of the most dangerous and porous borders in the world.

Each month, assisted by smugglers working with drug cartels, thousands of Hispanic immigrants try to cross the frontier between Mexico and the United States.

On the eve of the US mid-term elections, the influx of illegal immigrants has re-opened the debate on immigration. Many are caught and try again, once, twice, ten times if necessary, while those who make it through are often hunted down by federal agents once on American soil.

On both sides of the border, our reporters met with those who want to emigrate and those who try to catch them.

VIDEO: Mexico-USA-danger-ridden-border-immigration-illegal

Friday, 6 March 2015

Discouraging coca cultivation in Columbia

A waste of time and effort?

Helpful to achieve the objective

Harmful to achieve the objective








-War on drugs (destroy the plantations of coca plants)

-in 2000 – 1000 tonnes of cocaine annually

-in 2010 – less than 300 tonnes of cocaine annually

-in 2000 – 170000 hectares of coca bushes

-in 2010 – 75000 hectares of coca bushes


-Columbian government has no authority:

*left wing guerrillas (FARC)

*right wing paramilitary  groups

-environmental pollution (spraying & toxic materials).

-Farmers cannot make a living from legal agricultural activities, coca cultivation creates jobs and income for all the coca farmers in remote rural areas.

- +- 1.2 % of Columbia’s GDP is spent every year on the war on drugs (1 billion dollars).


-American support (also European support).

-US provides 1.3 billion dollars mainly in military aid, to help fight the drug barons.

-US provides military helicopters.

-US organised a training program for  3 special army battalions. The special army battalion try to clear the area of drug traffickers.


-the demand for cocaine in the US is extremely high. For example most Columbian heroin is destined for the US Market.

-the international crisis in the coffee world is tempting small coffee farmers to turn to growing the coca plant.

-Farmers in Columbia go bankrupt because they can’t compete with subsidised agricultural products imported from Europe and the US.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Surtsey, a new volcanic island

New islands are islands which have been created recently, whether by means of volcanism, erosion, glacial retreat, or other mechanisms. 

One of the most famous new volcanic islands is the small island of Surtsey, located in the Atlantic Ocean south of Iceland. It first emerged from the ocean surface only in 1963. 

In 1965, it was declared a nature reserve for the study of ecological succession; plants, insects, birds, seals, and other forms of life have since established themselves on the island.

Monday, 9 February 2015

What are hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones?

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by names such as hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone.

Mexico City

Largest city in Mexico
Mexico City is the capital and largest city in Mexico. It is also one of the most populous and polluted cities in the world. The Aztec people were here before the Spanish came and made Mexico City. It was founded in 1521 by Hernán Cortés. Today, about 8.5 million people live in the city, and about 21.2 million live in the Greater Mexico City urban area. The city of Mexico City ceased to exist in 1928. Since then, there is only the Federal District.

Mexico City has 21.2 million people. It is the city with the second highest number of people in the world after Tokyo in Japan and just slightly more populated than Mumbai in India.

Primate city

Mexico City is a primate city. A primate city is the leading city in its country or region, disproportionately larger than any others in the urban hierarchy.A primate city is number one in its country in most aspects, like politics, economy, media, culture and universities.

A primate city is at least twice as large as the next largest city and more than twice as significant.