Is it right to think that population is a threat to the global environment? Is there indeed a direct correlation between population and environment? Is there such thing as overpopulation and who has the power to say that there is what they called overpopulation? These are some of the questions that are running through my mind. Now, in response to the question “Is limiting the population growth a key factor in protecting the global environment?” I with all conviction say no to that. I believe that it is the behavior of the people and not the population growth itself that affects the environment.
In many of the developing countries perhaps, another factor that they relate to population is poverty. If the number of population is high then there is the existence of poverty which ultimately leads to resource scarcity. But this is barely true, studies shows that there is no direct link between population growth and poverty. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in the United States concluded in its 1986 report, titled Population Growth and Economic Development as cited by Jan (2003) that it is misleading to equate poverty with population growth per se. It found that the claim that population growth led to resource exhaustion was mistaken and it pointed out that to a great extent environmental problems could be resolved by appropriate government policies designed to correct market failure. This study was later confirmed by the Independent Inquiry Report in to Population and Development (IIRPD) commissioned by the Australian Government in 1994. It acknowledged a positive correlation between population growth and sustainable development (Jan, 2003).
There might still be a push and pull factor as to why the environment suffer from exhaustion that can be related to the behavior of man in general. Let us take the case of the country’s forest and its population. If we look deeply on the root of the cause of forest degradation in the country we will see that the number of population is not the reason why almost 80% of the country’s forests cover loss. The history tells us that the forest which once covered almost 90% of the total land area of the country degrade through time by the following reasons. First, when the Spaniards came to the country, they started the extraction of forest resource in the country for their ship building. This accounts for almost 40% of forest cover loss. Secondly when the Marcos regime started, he allowed logging concessions to his cronies in which few rich people benefited, logging forest without replanting it and this almost make our forest cover decline to 17%. With this we can see that the forest cover of the country is not affected by population growth per se but rather the result of corrupt government and colonialism.
Environmental issues are widely known not only in underdeveloped and developing countries but are also true with the developed countries. But then again, population growth has little less impact on the...