The root of environmental problems that affect countries is overpopulation. When billions of humans crowd the earth, the tendency is that more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. This is especially prevalent in developing countries. Aside from this, a great number of humans means that more food and water supply is needed, but only a small pecentage gets adequate supply of both (SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry). This leads to the second fact: as population increases, natural resources decreases in quantity and quality, especially water.
Water has been among the natural resources that humans need to survive. However, a small percentage of water can be consumed. Water is necessary to agriculture and as a source of energy, and for sanitation. Unfortunately, only those who can afford it can have access to water supply. This is especially true in poor countries, causing more than a billion people to lack access to clean water. Lack of clean water was also attributed to 1. 6 million children who die each year from diseases related to diarrhea (“Water, Water Everywhere” 1).
The ballooning population can also be attributed to women’s lack of access to family planning programs and empowerment. There are countries where women do not have a voice but contribute greatly to the country’s economy. Most of the time, women’s capability is ignored. Many think that their place in the society is at home, tending to their children and to domestic activities. Furthermore, many of these poor women have many children. There are 200 million women around the world who do not have access to contraception, resulting to 70-80 million unwanted pregnancies (Kristof).
This leads to the fourth fact, which is poverty. Population and poverty are closely linked, as the former worsens the latter. In poor countries, under-age girls of poor families are married to older men. Marrying them off at a very young age is more important than studying. Poverty is also seen as a major reason for these early marriages, as attested by a UNFPA data which showed that “80 percent of pregnant teenagers come from poor families” (Kachere).
Finally, in response to the growing population, certain programs and initiatives have been pushed forward. Some of these include teaching sex education in schools, availability of contraceptives, and family planning.
Kachere, Phyllis. 2009. GENDER-ZIMBABWE: Religion and Poverty Force Girls into Early Marriages. Inter Press Service. 29 May 2009 <http://ipsnews. net/news. asp? idnews=46447>. Kristof, Nicholoas D. 2009. Pregnant (Again) and Poor. The New York Times. 29 May 2009 <http://www.nytimes. com/2009/04/05/opinion/05kristof. html? _r=2&emc=eta1>. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
“Worst Environmental Problem? Overpopulation, Experts Say. ” ScienceDaily 20 April 2009. 29 May 2009 <http://www. sciencedaily. com/releases/2009/04/090418075752. htm>. “Water, water everywhere, but not if you’re poor. ” 2009. Population Connection. 28 May 2009 HYPERLINK “http://www. populationconnection. org/site/PageServer”http://www. populationconnection. org/site/Pa