The advancement in medicine, technology, and improved nutrition has resulted in a rapid increase in the human population. According to the United Nations, the world population is expected to reach 9.2 billion by 2050, an alarming rise from 7.3 billion in 2015 (Australian Academy of Science n.p). As a result, concern about the environmental degradation that comes with urbanization, industrialization, intensified agricultural activities and increased energy demand has intensified.
First, the population increase is interrelated with poverty. Therefore as the population increases, there is increased rural-urban migration of people in search of employment opportunities. Such migration pattern is accompanied by a rapid and unplanned expansion of cities, resulting in the emergence of urban slums (Blanc n.p). Moreover, increase in poverty level leads to overexploitation of the natural resources since poor people rely heavily on natural resources to meet their subsistence needs, for instance, food, fuel, and pasture for their livestock(Blanc n.p). Therefore, there is environmental degradation that occurs with the destruction of natural resources to meet subsistence needs for instance food, pasture, and fuel for energy, and environmental pollution from ineffective waste disposal and sanitation system especially in slums.
Secondly, the population explosion is increasing pressure on the agricultural sector to breach the gap in food production and consumption. Notably, agrarian activities have transformed land by causing deforestation, soil erosion, loss of nutrients and land salination. Furthermore, increase in the use of agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers causes land degradation (Blanc n.p). Besides the negative impact on soil and water, an intensified and extensive agricultural activity has resulted in a reduction in forest coverage due to deforestation (Blanc n.p). Therefore, the rapid population growth causes stress in the farming sector, a significant cause of environmental degradation.
Furthermore, population growth as a negative impact on the atmosphere since air pollution is causing global warming. The population growth has intensified energy demand to meet the rapid growth in urbanization and industrialization (Australian Academy of Science n.p). Moreover, the increase in the number of vehicles and the massive infrastructural development has not only increased demand for fossil fuel but has also resulted in extensive environmental degradation as a result of mining activities. Consequently, increased carbon emission and air pollution are causing depletion of the ozone layer, a significant factor causing global warming. Moreover, global warming is causing climate change and has significant negative socio-economic consequences.
Australian Academy of Science. “Population and Environment: A Global Challenge”. Curious, 2019, https://www.science.org.au/curious/earth-environment/population-environment. Accessed 28 Apr 2019.
Blanc, Ross. “How Does Population Growth Affects the Environment Sustainability? Environmental Sustainability”. WordPress.Clarku.Edu, 2017, https:// WordPress. clarku.edu/ id125-envsus/2017/04/07/how-does-population-growth-affects-the-environment-sustainability