Theme 3 Geograpy Case Studies


Changing location of an economic activity

Name: Changing location of an economic activity

Locate: South-East Wales, North of Cardiff, UK

Describe: Steel and coal industry started to decline in the 1970's,

  • Raw materials, iron ore, limestone & coal became exhausted over time.
  • foreign ores- considered too expensive, so many inland works closed.
  • British Empire reduced the market overseas, steel works and manufacturing - moved to such as India, cheaper to manufacture - wages very much lower compared to the UK & the standards of heath and safety is much lower- cheaper costs.

Explain: Men often employed, steel and coal industry- labour intensive, closure meant large-scale unemployment.

  • village & towns straddling the valley become depressed
  • community spirit declined and crime increased
  • young people had to migrate to the towns and cities leaving the area to more of a decline
  • negative multiplier effect was caused- suppliers to the steel works lost contracts, money & staff had to lay off
  • government set up the Welsh Development Agency to try and encourage investment int the region and create jobs
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Multinational Companies

Name: Multinational Companies

Locate: Nike, Headquarters - Oregon, USA

Describe: Headquarters are in the USA where all the major decisions & research take place

  • 5% of nike clothing is made in the USA, sports gooads are manufactured apporoximately 45 different countries - e.g. China, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea and Malaysia.
  • produces a wide range of sports equipment. First products - track running shoes, currently make shoes, jerseys, shorts etc, most recent additions - shoes designed for stakeboarding.
  • spends about a billion dollars in total on advertising in 140 different countries, employs more than 600,000 workers, pay top athletes millions to wear Nike products- another way to advertise, supplies goods to 47,000 shops around the world.

Explain: Advantages - jobs brought to the LEDC, earn good money compared with other workers in their country, local people- trained as managers- better jobs, money comes into the LEDC can pay for schools roads and hospitals, other companies may be attracted to the LEDC - create more jobs and gives the country a higher profile.

  • Disadvantages- workers work long hours for very low pay - no rights and can be sacked easily, if company was in trouble - factories in LEDCs would close down first, most of the money goes to the MEDC rather than workers.
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Impact of Economic Activity on the Environment

Name: Impact of Economic Activity on the Environment

Locate: China, Asia, Northern Hemisphere

Describe: Since the early 1990s china's economy has been growing rapidly, the Gross National Income or average income per person has also grown.

  • Fewer people in china live in poverty, the standard of living for ordinary Chinese people is improving.
  • 2020- expected that the chinese GNI per person will be similar to the GNO in the USA today.

Explain: Factors & power plants created China's economic success - creating a pollution problem.

  • Burning of fossil fuels releases nitrogen dioxide - pollutant, combines with moisture in the air and results in acid rain, nitrogen oxide causes health problems - breathing.
  • Smog covers china caused by car fumes & factories, often reaches levels - dangerous for human health.
  • Emissions of nitrogen dioxide in china - increased by 50% from 1995-2005.,400,000 chinese people die every year from diseases caused by air pollution.
  • 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in China.
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Climate Change

Name: Climate Change
Locate: UK, Europe, North Hemisphere
Describe: Low carbon future- achieved by combining three approaches: Using new technologies - reduce dependence on fossil fuels for energy & transport, better energy conservation & efficiency- changing lifstyles so each of us plays a part in reducing carbon emissions.

Individuals can reduce energy consumption by:insulating homes, low energy appliances, more public transport, fewer flights, finding ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere & storing it in long-term sinks - forests or in rocks underground.

Local actions- have an energu audit, energy efficient light bulbs, fuel efficient cars, less heating, appliances off standby. Local views- town councillor- can win subsidies for their voters- can get money to build solar panels to help save money with electricity bills.

National/government strategies- promote low-carbon techonologies, incentives for solar panel installation firms, green subsidies on electricity bills to promote use of sustainable fuels, promote new fuel efficient cars. National views- UK Government- wants to protect UK from effects of sea-level rise to protect votes in vunerable areas.

Explain: International strategies -Kyoto Protocol-1997- designed to reduce CO2 emissions to pre 1990 levels &reduction of 15%, bali conference - 2007- targets not working, USA & China refused to sign up to Kyoto Protocol- copenhagen accord, 2009- all countries agreed that CO2 levels need to be reduced.

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Trans-boundary water issue

Name: A trans-boundary water issue

Locate: River Nile, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

Describe: the 4 countries in the river basin have been negotiating about how to share & protect the river during a chaning climate and rising population, talks broke down in 2010, one side- Egypt & Sudan- rely heavily on Nile's water because of their dry climates. Other side- remaining countreis- supply most of the nile's water.

Explain: Uganda- population expected to triple by 2050 to 97 million- raising demand for food and water, government's priority to build dams to produce electricity- will restrict flow of water to countries downstream (sudan & egypt) Ethiopia- population in 2010- 85 million but high popluation growth rate of 3.2% means population expected to reach 150 million by 2050- greater demands for both food and water. Wants to keep more of the Nil'es water for its own needs, likely to lead to serious disputes with Sudan & Egypt if they result in less water, government- wants to build big dams to create hydroelectric power - can be exported to neighbouring countries to generate much- needed income.

Sudan- blue nile & white nile meet in sudan. southern sudan- swamps & rainforests, large part of the north is nubian desert. facing problems of desertification & a falling water table. government- wants to expand the use of irrigation to increase food supply - means taking more water from the nile.

Egypt -population in 2010-79million, expected to increase to 122 million by 2050 - increased demand for water and food. relies on Nile for 90% of water supply- used to irrigate farmland on either side of river, crops to be grown for domestic use and export.

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A Country receiving aid

Name: A country receiving aid

Locate: Wateraid in Ghana, Africa

Describe: 7 million people (over 40%) of the population do not have access to clean, safe water - often muddy & carries bacteria, this can lead to diseases & cause illnesses such as diarrhoea, typhoid & cholera. water can carry tiny worms which grow inside the body & cause bilharzia & other fatal diseases.

Wateraid- UK charity, provides expertise on how to install a well, provides materials & the pump needed, villagers form a committee to decide where the well will be and they organise the work. Everyone in the village joins in to look after the well and carry out repairs, each well costs about £1200.

Explain: Impacts-

social: more young people can go to school instead of searching for water, teachers happy to stay in villages because less chances of diseases, fewer arguments with local neighbours over water, pride taken in their village, clothing & homes kept cleaner, less tired- dont have to search for and carry water.

economic: less diseases-less money spent on medicines, some people have been able to grow extra food to sell due to having more water, women- more time to spend making things such as pots to sell which help bring in more money.

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