A Review of the Relationship between Poverty, Population Growth, and Environment

Publication Year : 2005

Deterioration of natural resources during the past few decades has come to prominence as one of the most important current global issues [Desta (1999)]. Increase in population density in ecologically fragile areas and consumption of nonrenewable natural resources at high rates is seen as one of the leading causes of this deterioration [Grigg (1991)]. At present, in some of the developing countries, the pollution of air, water and soil has reached life-threatening levels [Gilbert (1991)]. In many of these countries population pressures, socio-political conditions and economic arrangements have resulted in massive natural resource depletion [Ahmed and Mallick (1999)]. In a developing country, poverty is the major factor that distorts the population transition in response to food supply [Aziz (2001)]. Pethe (1982) suggested that the best way to reduce poverty is to bring fundamental changes in society. The magnitude of this task can be seen readily, if we look at some of the basic dimensions of poverty [World Bank (1998)]: