Impact of population on sustainable development

Poverty and sustainable development[ edit ] International development can be boosted or held back by sustainable development concerns, depending on the context. On the positive side, it can mean greater efficiency and lower resource use. On the negative side, an excessive concern for the environmental impact of the poor could mean neglecting pressing needs, and may be inappropriate when their resource use is well below that of the rich.

Impact of population on sustainable development

A definition of sustainable development can be: In earlier modules we learnt that development can occur when economies are strong and can provide for all the people in a country.

In South Africa, where so many people are presently living in poverty, we need economic growth before our economy will be able to provide sufficient resources to overcome poverty. Economic growth also has to be greater than population growth otherwise more and more people will form part of the poor.

In the greater global environment there is a serious concern whether economic growth all over the world is sustainable. The main concern is around environmental issues. Economies have to grow to look after the increasing numbers of people and economic growth is very often at the cost of environmental protection.

Striking a balance between preserving our limited natural resources and overcoming poverty In the World Summit on Sustainable Development was held in Johannesburg. There are serious resource Impact of population on sustainable development in the world.

Economic development and consumerism also threatens natural resources like forests, minerals and rivers.


There are no simple answers to how to build sustainable development whilst overcoming poverty. South Africa has many examples of problems we face to make development sustainable.

We are rapidly increasing the access to water and electricity for poor people. This will greatly increase the amount of water we use and the amount of electricity we have to produce. As the economy grows there will be increasing pollution and pressure on natural resources. Government has to balance the need for development with the sustainable use of resources.

Impact of population on sustainable development

These are the people who live in large houses, often have at least one car per family, consume highly processed and packaged foods and luxury consumer goods like TVs, sound systems, air conditioners and so on. They have dozens of different sets of clothing and spend a lot on leisure activities.

They create a huge amount of waste and pollution and consume more than half the natural resources the whole world uses every year. These people are characterised by living in small households, often built by using immediately available natural resources.

They tend to use public transport or bicycles and eat less packaged and refined foods. They do not consume a lot of luxury goods and have only a few sets of clothing. They do not create a lot of waste.

These are people who most often live in rural areas in developing countries. They have only one or two sets of clothing, use animals or their feet as their main form of transport, often grow their own food and produce almost no waste.

Other than basic items like flour, salt, sugar and oil, they consume very little that they do not produce themselves. If we see overcoming poverty as moving everyone into the same sort of lifestyle as the over-consumers the earth will not be able to sustain development at that rate for very long.

It is very important for us as development workers to consider the impact of development on the environment and the sustainability of any development in terms of environmental and other factors. Sustainable development is beginning to take root globally Most countries in the world have accepted that sustainable development is an essential development pathway and are busy incorporating its principles into their own policies and programmes.

The United Nations has taken sustainable development very seriously and it has established specialist units to deal with the issue and to identify opportunities and activities to support this development theory.

Sustainable development in itself is not a political theory but it has been recognised that without political change, sustainable development is not possible. A rampant capitalist society, where the rich have all the access to wealth and resources and where the only thing that matters is economic growth and profit, cannot support sustainable development.

This is why the South African political model is well placed to support sustainable development and the ideas encompassed within the sustainable development debate have begun to be merged with all policies related to development. The challenge now is to mainstream sustainable development thinking and to find sensible and simple solutions to our challenges.

The beauty about sustainable development is that it really is very simple and people have been practising it for centuries. The next section will try to explain a lot of the jargon and give a summary of the theory, debates, issues, developments and ideas in simple terms.

A later section will provide the learner with examples of programmes where sustainable development is being implemented and a practical guide for some simple things we can do as individual and development practitioners to make sustainable development happen in our communities.

People, development and the environment 5. People are a part of large biological system ecosystem made up of every living organism in the world and indeed the universe, which interacts to make life as we know it.

These organisms also interact with the non-living parts of nature such as climatic cycles and solid matter. This ecosystem is carefully balanced and each part is interdependent on the rest.

Indeed, humans have begun to act as if they control the system and can manipulate it, as they want, without any consequences.PoPulation and develoPment Review 37(4): – (decemBeR ) Harvesting the Biosphere: The Human Impact Va c l a V Smil the human species has evolved to become the planet’s dominant organism in what has been, on the biospheric time scale of billions of years, a very.

A new report by the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development, and Reproductive Health entitled Population Dynamics and the Sustainable Development Goals was launched in early July, coinciding with the celebrations of World Population Day and the preparations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals summit in .

UNDP works to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities through the sustainable development of nations, in more than countries and territories. While the definition of sustainable building design evolves over time, six fundamental principles persist.

Optimize Site Potential Creating sustainable buildings starts with proper site selection, including consideration of the reuse or rehabilitation of existing buildings.

With member countries, staff from more than countries, and offices in over locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.

The Business Commission draws upon the expertise of global private sector and civil society leaders to investigate, articulate and amplify the business case for sustainable development.

Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership