Population, environment and development


The rapid pace of population growth has led to the excessive utilization of natural resources. Huge population also leads to huge production of wastes. The resultant outcomes are loss of biodiversity, pollution of air, water and soil and increased pressure on arable land. All these have been putting great stress on the environment. If you take the case of India, it supports 17 percent of world population on just 2.4 per cent of the world land area.

The earth’s carrying capacity in terms of its food resource is approaching its limits. Oceanic supply of fish, rangelands which support livestock, and the hydrological cycle to produce freshwater are strained. The backlog of unused agricultural technology is shrinking in industrial and developing countries alike, slowing the rise in cropland productivity. At the same time, soil erosion, air pollution, soil compaction, aquifer depletion, the loss of soil organic matter, and the waterlogging and salting of irrigated land are all slowing food production. At present, it appears that nothing can reverse the worldwide decline in grain output per person. The bottomline is that the world’s farmers can no longer be counted on to feed the projected additions to the present population. Attaining a humane balance between food production and population growth now depends more on family planners instead of farmers.

Mazor impact of popuatlion growth on Environment are:

  • Resource Scarcity:

– Food

– Energy (coal, oil, uranium)

– Raw materials (iron, copper, wood, water)

  • Environmental Impacts

– Soil degradation

– Deforestation

– Global Warming

Population growth would not be sustainable if it has important negative impacts that will jeopardize the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

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