Population growth is seen by
today’s generation as one of the main threats to the natural environment that
if will continue to multiply, will cause a more devastating impact on the
environment. However, population and natural systems are connected in countless
ways. Numerous studies have been conducted on the pursuit of understanding the
relationship of the two resulting in the emergence of a wide array of theories
which leads basically to different conclusion and policy recommendations. While
it has become increasingly clear that human population has a powerful effect on
the environment, yet the exact relationship of population dynamics with the
environment is complex and not well understood (Amare and Belay, 2015). Hence,
a deep and broader understanding of the complex relationship between them is
necessary to in order to come up with the best solution possible for to curb
the root of the problem to minimize more environmental problems to come. To do
this, there’s a need to understand the underlying theories of population and
environment and examine some important studies on the matter. Hence, this
review of the literature on population and environment interaction was
conducted.

Conversely, while it is a fact that
human population solely depends on natural resources for survival as all his
needs come from the natural resources, these natural resources are limited
hence are being depleted. Human has proceeded against the ecological principle
that ‘consumption must not exceed production’ as he is consuming natural
resources faster than the time for natural resources to renew. Collectively, he
has had a massive impact on the land, water, and air of the Earth, far out of
proportion to our role as just one species out of millions. Humans have
tremendously shaped the planet to suit his comfort and perceived needs using
his outstanding technical abilities and dexterity. In so doing, he have
severely exploited much of the world’s natural resources, notwithstanding other
species and left the by-products of his efforts to improve his lifestyles in
pools, pits, oceans, lakes, rivers and land?lls around the world, on the
highest mountains and in the air (Gifford and Nilsson, 2014). Undoubtedly, an
overlay of diagrams representing worldwide movements within the populace,
consumption of energy, carbon dioxide emissions, deposition of nitrogen, or
deforestation of land area has commonly been accustomed to show the
consequences that the population has laid over the environment (Lakhan, 2015).

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Human is said to be the greatest
enemy of nature, thus, the greater population of human means greater enemy for
nature. The global population is continuously increasing reaching 7 billion in
2011 and was forecasted by United Nations (UN) to peak to 9 billion people in
2050 (Randers, 2012) and the cities and the less developed countries will be
the bulk of the world’s net population growth over the coming 40 years. With
this, the ecosystems that support livelihoods and well-being of the people are
being rapidly degraded. In the recently completed Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment revealed that 60% of the 24 critical ecosystem services they
examined upon which humans depend were being degraded or used unsustainably.
The impacts of these degraded ecosystem services are a key factor contributing
to poverty and are being disproportionately borne by the poor. At the same
time, these degraded ecosystem services are a barrier to achieving the Millennium
Development Goals set by the United Nations (Bremner et al., 2010).

Introduction

  

Population Growth and Environment
Degradation Relations

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