Threats to Natural Resources

A. Overpopulation

This is probably the most significant, single threat that natural resources face. The world’s population is increasing at a very fast rate. In the USA, a baby is born every 8 seconds, and a person dies every 13 seconds The increase in population means there will be pressure on almost all natural resources. How?

  • Land Use:
    With more mouths to feed and people to provide homes for, more land will need to be cultivated and developed for housing. More farming chemicals will be applied to increase food production. Many forests and vegetation lands will be converted into settlements for people, roads, and farms. These have repercussions on natural resources.
  • Forests:
    Demand for wood (timber), food, roads, and forest products will be more. Therefore, people will use more forest resources than they can naturally recover.
  • Fishing:
    The freshwater and seafood sector will face problems too as we will continue to depend heavily on them. Larger fishing companies are going deeper into the sea to catch fish in even larger quantities. Some of the fishing methods they use are not sustainable, thereby destroying many more fish and sea creatures in the process.
  • Need for more:
    Human demand for a comfortable life means more items (communication, transport, education, entertainment, and recreation) will need to be produced. That means more industrial processes and more need for raw materials and natural resources.

B. Climate Change

The alteration in climate patterns as a result of excessive anthropogenic is hurting biodiversity and many other abiotic natural resources. Species that have acclimatized to their environments may perish, and others will have to move to more favorable conditions to survive.

C. Environmental Pollution

Land, water, and air pollution directly affect the health of the environments in which they occur. Pollution affects the chemical makeup of soils, rocks, lands, ocean water, freshwater and underground water, and other natural phenomena. It often has catastrophic consequences.