Sustainable Development, Poverty and Population Growth

4551 Words Nov 1st, 2010 19 Pages
“Sustainable development (SD) is maintaining a delicate balance between the human need to improve lifestyles and feeling of well-being on one hand, and preserving natural resources and ecosystems, on which we and future generations depend” (Authorstream, 2010, p 1: ¶ 1). In concurrence, the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) asserts that SD is, “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Authorstream, 2010, p 1: ¶ 2). This essay concentrates on how population growth and poverty issues are interrelated with each other as well as being related to the concept of sustainable development.

Panayotou (2000, p 177: ¶ 2) asserts that in rural,
…show more content…
According to Van Ginneken and van Diepen (1993, p 354), population growth appears to vary across the world and especially between less developed (LDC’s) and more developed countries (MDC’s). The greatest population growth appears most likely to arise in LDC’s. Van Ginneken and van Diepen (1993, p 355) suggest that in LDC’s, such as Africa for example, prospective, fast-paced population growth has been attributed to the fact that the youth of the population are expected to produce a significant amount of children into the future i.e. each prospective family is likely to at least produce one or two children. This is known as a demographic transition and occurs in both LDC’s and MDC’s. In the midst of this transition process, LDC’s tend to have elevated birth rates; it is at this point that population growth is at its greatest (Van Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993, p 355). Overall LDC’s appear to have a far more volatile population growth than MDC’s (Van Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993, p 355).

For example, energy usage in an LDC such as South Africa has substantially increased since 1983, partially due to massive population growth. Van Ginneken and van Diepen (1993, p 360: ¶ 2) forecasted that, “in 2050, the share of LDC’s in the total use of energy would be 87%, compared to 27% now.” There is a degree of uncertainty involved as to whether these energy demands can be fulfilled, and whether the associated polluting emissions can be suitably dealt with in
Open Document