Natural Resource Depletion And The Sustainability Of Natural Resources

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While human fertility does appear to be declining, world population is expected to reach ten times that of year 1800, with an expected 10 billion people by the late 21 century (Bongaarts 2009). An increase in human population and related natural resource depletion and environmental degradation are cause for global concern. There are a number of challenges to managing natural resources given the increases in human population today and into the future. The relationship between population growth and environmental degradation is apparent in the increasing energy demands, air and water pollution and loss of biodiversity. Additionally important is the necessity to maintain sustainable food crops for growing populations. Meeting the needs of a growing population has enormous bearing on how and where this resource retrieval will affect biodiversity and the sustainability of natural resources. Increasing global human population will have interchanging effects on ecosystem services; create difficulties in the ability to produce adequate levels of sustainable food through crop production and hunting; place increasing pressures on land for human habitation; create a greater potential for human-wildlife conflict; and most urgently, increase the potential for climate change effects as a result of human-induced activities that result in emissions of greenhouse gases. Human-induced problems identified during the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (requested by the United Nations) revealed
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