Comments and reviews
Chavdar Mladenov, Emil Dimitrovv – Demographic developments in Europe in the context of the global demographic problems
The world population is growing rapidly according to UN figures. In October 2011 it was over 7 billion people. Only 17% of them live in highly developed countries while the remaining 83% are concentrated in the underdeveloped ones. Since the beginning of the new era to the year 1900, i.e. for 19 centuries, the population increased from 170 million to 1.6 billion, and from 1900 to 2011, i.e. for 111 years – from 1.6 to 7 billion. During the last several decades it increased by 1 billion every 12 or 13 years. This is a result of the moderately high birth rate in the world (about 20%o), which in SubSaharan Africa is very high – 36%o. At the same time the world death rate markedly dropped to 8%o approximately. These processes led to a fast natural increase of the world population, estimated at roughly 12%o. Against this background, analysis is provided on the demographic development throughout Europe (including whole Russia) – 740 million people, and of EU in particular – 502 million. In 2011 the European population was only 11% of the world population and the perspectives are that in 2050 it will decrease to 8%. Just for the EU, the figures are 7% and 5% respectively. This trend is alarming as in the future more people will live in less developed countries. Nowadays Europe is remarkable for its increasingly aging population, extended life expectancy, slow rates of generation replacement, low birth rates, deaths caused primarily by heart diseases and cancer, low level of age specific mortality rates, and demographic stagnation. This will bring about additional social problems. The UN forecasts that the population of the EU (in its presentday borders) will grow insignificantly from 502 million to 513 million people, and the demographic situation will aggravate, especially in East Europe. In most parts of West Europe the population is likely to remain “stable” (almost equal birth rates and death rates, long life expectancy and population aging).
The UN prognoses suggest that the world population will continue to increase but at slower pace: 8 billion people (2025), 9 billion (2043) and 10 billion (2083). Nevertheless, the problems for the population in the underdeveloped countries will become more serious. European and all the other highly developed countries will also face problems but they will be of completely different nature.
Irina Rodionova, Sergey Elagin – The process of transition from industrial to post-industrial society: the transformation of employment
The article is devoted to the analysis of the transformation of labor and employ- ment in postindustrial society. Economic growth and development of countries have been always connected with the changes of the world economic structure. Allocation shifts in industrial production have become characteristic features of the world economy. The structure of employment also transform in new conditions of world development.
But the present situation cannot be characterized without taking into consideration the structure of employment in the services (especially “producer services”) in the group of developed countries. The significance of industry in forming GNP and the amount of labor force in the industrial sector of the most developing countries (with the biggest share of the world population) some of which only start on the industrial level of development is growing.
Keywords: labor, employment, structure of employment, transformation, development, postindustrial society, new conditions.
Marin Rusev – Geographical efficiency, justice and strategy – main relationships
The traditional economic importance of effectiveness is associated predominantly with financial criteria and indicators, which are indued with significance of universal essence. Social and ecological aspects of complex economic effectiveness have gained increasing significance during the last decades. Its particular spatial projection transforms into geographic effectiveness which reverberates a multifarious spectre of criteria and indicators. Geographic effectiveness has a direct relation to the issues of geographic egoism, geographic justice, internal geostrategic management, as well as local selfgovernment, regional politics and territorial division.
Ekaterina Antipova – Structural and spatial shifts in rural settlement of Belarus
The basic tendencies of transformation of rural settling of Belarus are analysed: decompaction, strengthening of territorial heterogeneity in distribution, decrease ranges of rural settlements, change of structure of settlements and strengthening of disproportions between types of settlements, reduction and structural redistribution of demographic potential. Are developed typologies of rural areas of Belarus on pop- ulation density, relative density of population, concentration of rural population.
Anna Runge – Medium size towns in complex settlement systems (exemplified by Katowice conurbation)
Complex settlement systems of agglomeration or conurbation types are per- ceived only due to the largest city centres which determine trends of socialeconomic changes of a given system. Their metropolitan importance usually overrides positions of the centres placed lower on the hierarchy ladder, both the current and the potential ones. Generally it is assumed that small towns play the role of local service centres for agriculture and the large ones are identified in many cases as metropolis gathering numerous governing, financial functions and highorder ser- vices. The typical division of the roles depending on the size class has been modi- fied due to complexity of the settlement system or the time criterion. The purpose of this paper is to show similarities and differences in formation of trends of socioeconomic changes in the mediumsize towns in Katowice conurbation compared to the towns from the other size groups. Particular attention has been paid to the dynamics of population changes and selected characteristics of the labor market. Such goal results from the insufficient knowledge of the role of medium size cities in the period after the political system transformation. Medium size towns rarely become the object of research and their role in the complex settlement systems has not been studied yet (R u n g e A., 2002).
Emilia Patarchanova, Verginia Petseva – Bulgarian’s foreign trade with neighboring countries
The main changes which came in the foreign trade of our country are discussed. An accent is put on the reasons for these changes as well as on the territorial (geographical) aspects of the foreign orientation of the country. The problem concerning the role and the significance of the foreign trade is touched. The author discusses the country’s open economy possibilities and its influence upon the other counties’ overall economic development. The most specific characteristics of the open economy are outlined.
Analysis of the development of Bulgaria’s foreign trade with her neighbouring countries for the period 20002012 is made. The main factors for dynamic commerce between Bulgaria and her neighbouring countries are scrutinized. The author presents some of the most important changes in terms of the country’s general import and export capacity, the reasons for them, and the influence they have upon each of her neighbouring countries for the last decade. Each county’s import and export structure of products is analyzed. There are conclusions about the development of the foreign trade relations which is a precondition for the formation of a regional market located on the Balkans.
Keywords: foreign trade, open economy, the Balkan countries
Ivan Drenovski – Changes in the seasonal precipitation ratio for the period 1995-2010
On the basis of mean monthly precipitation records from 15 stations, located in the nonmountain part of the country, as well as from 2 highmountain stations, the seasonal variations of precipitation totals have been established for the period 19952010 in comparison with the years 19311985. Most stations in the plains show a trend from a slight to significant increase of precipitation amounts in autumn, resulting mainly from the impressive rainfall increase in September, which is best expressed in the eastern regions. On the other hand, most of the stations in North Bulgaria have recorded a remarkable drop of summer rainfall.
The changes in the values of index, characterizing the continental regime of precipitation, suggest that as a whole the variations in the seasonal precipitation amounts have reduced the temperate continental features and enhanced the transitional and continentalMediterranean ones in the annual precipitation distribution almost everywhere.
The two highmountain stations indicate a marked precipitation decrease in all seasons, being however, most pronounced in winter, and as a result – a temperate continental pattern begins to dominate the annual precipitation distribution.
Petar Dimitrov – Using of multispectral satellite images for estimation and mapping of coniferous forest above ground tree biomass
Forest biomass is important and difficult to measure attribute of the landscape. In the paper data from forest inventory at stand level are used in order to develop regression models for predicting the tree volume and aboveground biomass of coniferous forests in Rila Moun- tain, Bulgaria with satellite data. The possibility of using the spectral bands of Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre (SPOT) HRG satellite sensors to explain the volume and biomass variations is investigated. The near infrared band of SPOT showed the strongest relation with both forest attributes. The mean reflectance of forest stands in this band is used as independ- ent variable in the nonlinear regression analysis. The relative RMSE of volume and biomass predictions are 43.4% and 41.8% respectively. Smaller errors are observed when models are developed only for the stands dominated by Scots pine.
Keywords: forest biomass, satellite images, regression, mapping, SPOT, ASTER
Emil Gachev – Relation between the natural distribution of forest vegetation and environmental controls in the area around Smolian, Western Rhodopes
The article presents a detail research of geographical distribution of natural for- est vegetation in the middle part of Rhodope massif. Using the method of altitudinal spectrums, the patterns of vegetation are analyzed against the differences of altitude, temperature, precipitation, light, bedrock and the effect of them all together. The forest cover is constituted mainly of spruce (Picea abies L. Karst), white pine (Pinus silvestris L.), beach (Fagus silvatica L.), winter oak (Quercus dalechampii Ten.), fir (Abies alba Mill) and black pine (Pinus nigra Arn.). Altitudinal soectrums construct- ed clearly show a general shift fom mesophyte to xerophyte type of vegetation when shifting conditions from damp, shady local conditions and volcanic bedrock to dry, shiny places and carbonate bedrock. At the same time altitudinal belts preserve their character and altitude range by just replacing dominants in their internal structure. On the basis of this analysis the role of each of the components is evaluated and a reconstruction of potential vegetation is presented for the area researched.
Nikola Todorov, Tihomir Alexiev – Specificity of landscapes in the vicinity of Belogradchik
The landscapes in the vicinity of Belogradchik have been formed in the conditions of uplift, deformation and denudation of Belogradchik anticlinorium, where the geological and geomorphological evolution of the West PreBalkan Mountains and the specific microclimate have produced a specific soil and vegetation cover. The presentday landscapes are mostly a result of various geomorphological processes and thousandyear old anthropogenic impacts, having shaped a rather complex landscape structure. The main transformations, caused by past human activities, are the increase of agricultural landscapes, construction of ponds and replacement of the native vegetation in the course of forestry activity, which has led to the appearance of new, anthropogenic geosystems. At the same time certain typical natural processes, undisturbed by humans, currently occur in the settlement and agricultural landscapes, creating a landscape structure, which is just a stage in the complicated succession development of natural complexes.
Gergana Metodieva – Publishing activity of Geography Department at NIGGG under the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (monographs)
The article deals with the publishing activity of the former Institute of Geography under the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, which currently exists as Geography Department at the National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography (NIGGG), over the years 19592011. During this period 4 collective monographs “Geography of Bulgaria” came out which are valuable works, being a result of field expeditions and processing of a large amount of highly diverse data. A lot of researchers contributed to them and therefore they are a source of huge geographic information. Besides, the monographs demonstrate the development of geography science within the Institute and throughout the country. Of no less importance are the self and other collective monographs. The article provides a comparative analysis of the contents, structures and teams of authors for the individual publications.
Georgi Alexiev, Hernani Spirdonov – A review on the monograph “Morphostructure of the East Stara Planina Mountains”, written by Prof. ScD Ts. Tsankov and Sv. Stankova, PhD
Stefan Velev – A new physical geographical terminological dictionary