Human is said to be the greatestenemy of nature, thus, the greater population of human means greater enemy fornature.
The global population is continuously increasing reaching 7 billion in2011 and was forecasted by United Nations (UN) to peak to 9 billion people in2050 (Randers, 2012) and the cities and the less developed countries will bethe bulk of the world’s net population growth over the coming 40 years. Withthis, the ecosystems that support livelihoods and well-being of the people arebeing rapidly degraded. In the recently completed Millennium EcosystemAssessment revealed that 60% of the 24 critical ecosystem services theyexamined upon which humans depend were being degraded or used unsustainably.The impacts of these degraded ecosystem services are a key factor contributingto poverty and are being disproportionately borne by the poor. At the sametime, these degraded ecosystem services are a barrier to achieving the MillenniumDevelopment Goals set by the United Nations (Bremner et al., 2010).Conversely, while it is a fact thathuman population solely depends on natural resources for survival as all hisneeds come from the natural resources, these natural resources are limitedhence are being depleted.
Human has proceeded against the ecological principlethat ‘consumption must not exceed production’ as he is consuming naturalresources faster than the time for natural resources to renew. Collectively, hehas had a massive impact on the land, water, and air of the Earth, far out ofproportion to our role as just one species out of millions. Humans havetremendously shaped the planet to suit his comfort and perceived needs usinghis outstanding technical abilities and dexterity. In so doing, he haveseverely exploited much of the world’s natural resources, notwithstanding otherspecies and left the by-products of his efforts to improve his lifestyles inpools, pits, oceans, lakes, rivers and land?lls around the world, on thehighest mountains and in the air (Gifford and Nilsson, 2014). Undoubtedly, anoverlay of diagrams representing worldwide movements within the populace,consumption of energy, carbon dioxide emissions, deposition of nitrogen, ordeforestation of land area has commonly been accustomed to show theconsequences that the population has laid over the environment (Lakhan, 2015).Population growth is seen bytoday’s generation as one of the main threats to the natural environment thatif will continue to multiply, will cause a more devastating impact on theenvironment. However, population and natural systems are connected in countlessways.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the pursuit of understanding therelationship of the two resulting in the emergence of a wide array of theorieswhich leads basically to different conclusion and policy recommendations. Whileit has become increasingly clear that human population has a powerful effect onthe environment, yet the exact relationship of population dynamics with theenvironment is complex and not well understood (Amare and Belay, 2015). Hence,a deep and broader understanding of the complex relationship between them isnecessary to in order to come up with the best solution possible for to curbthe root of the problem to minimize more environmental problems to come.
To dothis, there’s a need to understand the underlying theories of population andenvironment and examine some important studies on the matter. Hence, thisreview of the literature on population and environment interaction wasconducted.