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Sustainable Resource Usage

Assignment Two
Allannah Scott

Topic: Pick TWO of the following issues

(population growth, poverty, or property
rights) and explain how they relate to
each other and sustainable


Visuals: 2 x 100 = 200words

Words: 3850 + 200 = 4050

Plagiarism Declaration:
I have referenced any work or ideas that are not my own.

Signed:…………………….. Date:………………………….
“Sustainable development (SD) is maintaining a delicate balance between the human need to
improve lifestyles and feeling of well-being on one hand, and preserving natural resources
and ecosystems, on which we and future generations depend” (Authorstream, 2010, p 1: ¶ 1).
In concurrence, the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) asserts
that SD is, “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability
of future generations to meet their own needs” (Authorstream, 2010, p 1: ¶ 2). This essay
concentrates on how population growth and poverty issues are interrelated with each other as
well as being related to the concept of sustainable development.

Panayotou (2000, p 177: ¶ 2) asserts that in rural, less developed countries such as Sub-
Saharan African countries, "population growth, poverty and environmental degradation are
entangled in a mutually reinforcing vicious circle." This 'new economic demography' considers
population growth as not being exogenous and it attempts to pinpoint fertility influencing
factors (Panayotou, 2000, p 177).

It is argued that population growth is one of the leading causes of environmental degradation
and resource exploitation, thus preventing sustainable development. It is proposed that since
ecological degradation is often assumed to provoke poverty, population growth may lead to
environmental degradation, which thus provokes poverty (Pearce and Warford, 1993, p 149).
Such an argument is subject to much controversy. It is debated that a decline in population
growth is a prerequisite in order to realize a sustainable future. Van Ginneken and van Diepen
(1993, p 353: ¶ 3) suggest that, “less population growth certainly contributes to alleviation of
problems such as poverty and environmental degradation, but it is not the solution.”

Pearce and Warford (1993, p 150) provide an insightful view on the correlation between
ecological degradation, poverty, and population growth (See appendix – figure 6-1). Figure 6-
1 portrays several mediating factors that population growth may inflict on agriculture for
example. Resources that are already engaged or ‘touched’ (i.e. current cropland, urban land,
forest, and rangeland) are differentiated from those that are frontier resources (i.e. untouched
forest and untouched range and cropland) (Pearce and Warford, 1993, p 150). Pearce and
Warford (1993, p 149: ¶ 2) assert that, “population growth tends to affect both types of
resources.” That is, it tends to affect engaged resources and frontier resources. Currently
engaged and operating resources tend to be utilized rigorously, and this can lead to
environmental degradation and resource exhaustion into the future, i.e. the prevention of
sustainable development. Pearce and Warford (1993, p 149) suggest that, expanding
population growth has a great tendency to drive the colonization of formerly untouched
resources. For example, trees are being cut to free land space to farm, and previously
untouched hillsides are now being tended to. “Erosion and overuse tend to follow because the
land is intrinsically unsuitable for cultivation or because agricultural practices suited to
inframarginal land are not suited to sloped land” (Pearce and Warford, 1993, p 150: ¶ 1). All
such factors tend to result in reduced productivity of the land, which cripples the yield the land
generates. According to the figure 6-1, incomes tend to plunge down, and thus poverty arises
(Pearce and Warford, 1993, p 150).

Furthermore, the land is expected to degrade further, as poverty intensifies, and poor families
react by widening their farming boundaries (if possible), only to degrade that land too. From a
more optimistic view, it has been argued that expanding population growth can act as an
incentive to persuade farmers to strengthen agriculture with the implementation of
technological introduction, modification, and transformation (Pearce and Warford, 1993, p
150). However, for poor farmers, the ability to afford new, modern, and efficient technology is
more often than not, limited by their restricted available cash funds.

According to Van Ginneken and van Diepen (1993, p 354), population growth appears to vary
across the world and especially between less developed (LDC’s) and more developed
countries (MDC’s). The greatest population growth appears most likely to arise in LDC’s. Van
Ginneken and van Diepen (1993, p 355) suggest that in LDC’s, such as Africa for example,
prospective, fast-paced population growth has been attributed to the fact that the youth of the
population are expected to produce a significant amount of children into the future i.e. each
prospective family is likely to at least produce one or two children. This is known as a
demographic transition and occurs in both LDC’s and MDC’s. In the midst of this transition
process, LDC’s tend to have elevated birth rates; it is at this point that population growth is at
its greatest (Van Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993, p 355). Overall LDC’s appear to have a far
more volatile population growth than MDC’s (Van Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993, p 355).

For example, energy usage in an LDC such as South Africa has substantially increased since
1983, partially due to massive population growth. Van Ginneken and van Diepen (1993, p
360: ¶ 2) forecasted that, “in 2050, the share of LDC’s in the total use of energy would be
87%, compared to 27% now.” There is a degree of uncertainty involved as to whether these
energy demands can be fulfilled, and whether the associated polluting emissions can be
suitably dealt with in the future (Van Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993, p 360). Therefore,
population growth expansion appears to be a factor that significantly amplifies total energy
use in LDC’s.

Total energy use, as well as other knock-on environmental pressures such as ozone layer
depletion and global warming, are not confined to LDC’s alone but are expected to be
experienced in MDC’s too (Van Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993, p 361). Expanding
population growth together with consumption may be a cause of unease in MDC’s if
environmental pressure exists in the form of food shortages in LDC’s for example. Van
Ginneken and van Diepen (1993, p 361) suggest that this is likely to cause surges of
‘environmental refugees’ to MDC’s. Environmental refugees are termed as people who are
compelled to depart from their home land due to the fact that the land is unable to provide for
them (Gale, 2006). Environmental pressures such as food shortages, flooding, soil erosion,
as well as socioeconomic circumstances, are some of the contributing factors that lead to
these refugees’ home lands becoming unstable, and to these refugees’ looking to seek a
home elsewhere (Gale, 2006).

The environmental pressure of population growth in MDC’s is relatively insignificant to that

experienced in LDC’s (Van Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993, p 361). Van Ginneken and van
Diepen (1993, p 361) predict that the 21st century will reveal, lowered population growth in
MDC’s, and that the role of consumption on environmental pressure in MDC’s will largely
outweigh the role of population growth on environmental pressure. Van Ginneken and van
Diepen (1993, p 361: ¶ 3) assert that, “only 23% of the world population consumes 73% of the
world energy and is responsible for 70% of emissions of carbon dioxide in the world.” Total
energy usage seems to be far greater in MDC’s than in LDC’s.

Population and consumption factors, with particular reference to households, provide a

comprehensive estimate of the environmental pressure they inflict (Van Ginneken and van
Diepen, 1993, p 361). In the 21st century, one would expect the number of households and
the numbers of members within these households to increase (more so in LDC’s than in
MDC’s), therefore placing a greater demand on resources such as water and energy
resources and making them less sustainable in the future. Van Ginneken and van Diepen
(1993, p 361) suggest that, water usage is expected to increase substantially into the 21st
century because older generations are likely to impart knowledge regarding cleanliness (i.e.
bathing and showering) to their children from generation to generation.
Ostrom (1991) suggests that historically common property resources didn’t always yield
disparaging competition and rather that, “traditionally communities relied on social norms to
protect their commons from overexploitation, but economic and social change – including
interference from outside – have eroded traditional controls” (Panayotou, 2000, p 180: ¶ 1).
Panayotou (2000, p 180) explains that traditional controls have certainly been eroded and are
much less sustainable, and the following tragedy of the commons example clearly explains
this erosion:

In a household that comprises of a substantial amount of children who each take advantage
of the commons available, that particular household views its position as an optimal one. The
family experiences the benefits of having an extra child ‘abusing’ the commons, while the
damage to the commons is felt by the whole community (Panayotou, 2000, p 180). If each
and every household implements this type of thinking and way of operating with regard to
making use of the commons available, from a social standpoint this will become far from
optimal because eventually the carrying capacity of the common will be surpassed
(Panayotou, 2000, p 180). The resources (commons) may become permanently spoiled and
not sustainable, which would prevent further use of the resources by the community, and then
eventually by each household too (Panayotou, 2000, p 180).

Panayotou (1995, 1996) suggests that this tragedy of the commons leads to a lower
equilibrium level, and that many households tend to react ignorantly by increasing their
number of children in an attempt to counteract the diminishing labour productivity (Panayotou,
2000, p 179). However, because each household is acting in this way, without accounting for
the degree of resource exploitation and exhaustion, this leads to speedy environmental
degradation and compels the people in the community to face increasing poverty. Dasgupta
(1995) states that, “under these conditions, fertility, poverty, and environmental degradation
reinforce each other in a positive feedback that creates a vicious circle of growing population
and deteriorating social and environmental conditions” (Panayotou, 2000, p 180: ¶ 1). Cleaver
and Schreiber (1992) discovered that in Sub-Saharan Africa, it was clearly evident that this
vicious circle exists by the fact that fertility, poverty, and environmental degradation are
positively and significantly correlated (Panayotou, 2000, p 180).

It is much easier to suggest than to actually prove, that producing a sizeable amount of
children (i.e. increasing population growth) is the source of overpopulation, ecological
degradation, and lowered sustainability. Van Ginneken and van Diepen (1993, p 353) assume
that population growth is not the sole determinant of economic, social and environmental
problems. “Multi-factor causality” exists in relation to these problems, meaning that problems
such as poverty, heightened fertility rate, and ecological degradation, have no one, sole
cause but rather a number of intertwined, influencing factors (Van Ginneken and van Diepen,
1993, p 353: ¶ 2). It is crucial to consider that the amount of pollution and resource
exploitation can be intensified by heightened poverty and population growth, thus resulting in
a reduction of sustainable development.

When a couple is deciding on having an additional child, their decision depends on the
expected benefits and costs (Panayotou, 2000, p 178). The benefit of enlarging family size
tends to more than offset the cost. The benefits include the ‘abuse’ of common property
resources for a particular household (Panayotou, 2000, p 178). Therefore resulting in
elevating poverty as a result of the meager extent of ‘unabused’ common property resources
left untouched.

According to Pearce and Warford (1993, p 153), figure 6-3 illustrates how the private benefits
of enlarging family size initially outweigh the private costs. However, sooner or later, the net
private benefits are inclined to lessen and may become negative when a family size exceeds
a specific number of members, or as educational prospects become available, or as
prospects of nonfarm, urban vocations become available (Pearce and Warford, 1993, p 154).
Pearce and Warford (1993, p 154: ¶ 5) state that, “the private benefit-cost ratio favours large
families at low levels of education, high levels of rural dependence…” These influencing
effects are subject to change and when they do change, the ratio starts to decline and tends
to support reduced family sizes (Pearce and Warford, 1993, p154). In Sub-Saharan Africa,
these effects are transforming at a very sluggish rate. Cochrane (1985) evokes that leaders’
within Africa, tend to back expanding population growth as a channel of acquiring economies
of scale (Pearce and Warford, 1993, p 154). Cochrane (1985) suggests that African leaders
“may perceive that output per hectare does not diminish as new land is brought under
cultivation; according to this view, more people mean bigger markets and hence a greater
division of labour and a larger base for financing overhead costs” (Pearce and Warford, 1993,
p 154: ¶ 6). This particular way of thinking is not sustainable as there is evidence that
resources are becoming exhausted in the process.

Boserup (1965) proposed that, albeit one stops to imagine that population growth is in fact
exogenous, numerous methods exist that allow a household to adjust to a change in the
number of members it comprises of (Panayotou, 2000, p 180). These include strengthening,
intensifying, and increasing the production of crops and the cultivation of soil, irrigation, as
well as tending to more livestock. Cleaver and Schreider (1994) convey that, “government
policies in Sub-Saharan Africa have kept food and fuelwood prices low, thereby reducing the
incentives for intensification of food and wood production” (Panayotou, 2000, p 180: ¶ 2).
However, rural households are faced with the issue of restricted cash funds. Cash flows are
hard to attain because these households battle to gain access to credit (Panayotou, 2000, p
180). The reason for this is because credit is extremely expensive, owing to the lofty expense
of doing check-ups on these rural households. Hence credit is usually out of reach for most
rural borrowers because they lack sufficient collateral (Panayotou, 2000, p 180). “Repetto
(1986) reports that lack of rural credit in Java has prevented upland farmers from undertaking
investments and adopting technologies with long payback periods, such as stump clearance,
land leveling, terracing, irrigation drainage and tree cropping” (Panayotou, 2000, p 180: ¶ 2).

In order to put an end to this vicious circle of fertility, poverty, and environmental degradation,
numerous policies are required to be put into action simultaneously.
It is crucial to consider these necessary policies required to diminish the population growth
rate, in particular the fertility rate, thus aiming to lessen the severity of environmental pressure
and poverty somewhat, and to enhance sustainable development (Van Ginneken and van
Diepen, 1993, p 363). Harrison (1992) suggests that, “the total fertility rate, which is currently
near 4, has to decline to the level of industrialized countries, which have a level of just under
2, in a period of 35 years” (Van Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993, p 363: ¶ 1). Even well into
the 21st century, the task of curtailing the fertility rate is not easily achieved.

Van Ginneken and van Diepen (1993, p 363) suggest two policies that aid in reducing the
fertility rate and that are continually trying to be implemented well into the 21st century. First is
the implementation of family planning programmes in LDC’s, which aim to provide the
relevant people with effective, reachable contraceptive techniques. However, these
programmes alone, are not completely effective or sufficient at reducing the fertility rate
because they are used to aid families at producing their desired number of children (which is
usually 4 to 5 children in LDC’s), and not necessarily aimed at decreasing the amount of
children a family has. However, these family planning programmes are essential, in
conjunction with other policies and objectives, because they only accomplish a meager
reduction in fertility rates alone.

Encouraging these family planning programmes via propaganda campaigns, which endeavor
to persuade families to limit the number of children they produce to two for example, have
shown to be rather ineffective because particular families have substantial motive to have
more than two children (Van Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993, p 363). There are two possible
reasons. The first one being that parents may place a positive worth on their children because
their children imitate them, in terms of raising a family, sticking closely to family roots, and in
terms of the level of education they attain, as well as conforming to family religious customs
and beliefs (Panayotou, 2000, p 178). Dasgupta (1993) asserts that, “inertia, low educational
level and imitative behavior may perpetuate high fertility rates even when mortality rates have
dropped and the original rationale for the social norm has disappeared” (Panayotou, 2000, p
178: ¶ 3).

Secondly, parents view their children as industrious investments that will acquire the ability to
take care of the parents in their old age, and that the children will generate wealth for their
family (Panayotou, 2000, p 178). This is particularly evident in LDC’s where households
obtain a significant degree of their overall income: from the income each child they produce,
generates; and from common property resources utilization by each child. In rural, poorer
communities, many households are unable to retrieve resources such as electricity and water
(Panayotou, 2000, p 178). Water supplies usually have to be acquired from remote, far-off
sources. Predominantly children from six years of age and older, are assigned jobs, which
include collecting water, taking care of livestock, watching over adolescent brothers and
sisters, planting crops etc (Panayotou, 2000, p 178). “According to the Center for Science and
Environment (1990), children between the ages of ten and 15 work 50 per cent more hours
than adults in these activities, more than defraying the costs of their upkeep by the time they
are 12” (Panayotou, 2000, p 179: ¶ 1).

Since the family planning programmes are insufficient on their own, Van Ginneken and van
Diepen (1993, p 363) suggest that a second complementary policy option to implement is the
introduction of: a family planning education growth and enhancement programme; an
employment opportunity growth and enhancement programmes; and a health care growth
and enhancement programme. These programmes should be principally aimed at women and
children because they appear to be least aware of the consequences, costs, and the
environmental pressure (i.e. strong demand on scarce resources such as water) imposed by
families producing 4 or more children for example (Van Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993, p
363). The implementation of these programmes would increase the opportunity cost
associated with producing sizeable families.

Panayotou (2000, p 181) suggests a third and fourth complementary policy to implement. The
third one is the provision of inexpensive food (i.e. subsidized food), and drinkable water in
order to lessen the requirement of additional ‘hands’ i.e. the reduction of families producing
more children. The fourth complementary policy to implement is, eliminating policy
misrepresentations that inhibit competent, cost-effectively operated households, and societies
from reacting to resource exhaustion and population growth properly. Panayotou (2000, p
181: ¶ 1) emphasizes that this fourth policy is especially needed, “if population growth is to
become a source of innovation and economic growth.”

It is vital to consider that there are a number of “major unsolved societal problems” that are
brought to attention when focusing on the fertility rate (Van Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993,
p 363: ¶ 4). These problems include the substandard rank women hold, and the percentage
of the population living under the current poverty climate in Africa for example.

To many couples, the demand for children should depend on the benefits and costs of
producing and bringing up children (Panayotou, 2000, p 178). However, many couples fail to
take into account the costs and benefits incurred (Panayotou, 2000, p 178). In poorer, rural
communities, households exhibit a significant degree of gender inequality where the women
endure a far greater amount of the factors associated with producing children (Panayotou,
2000, p 178). These factors include carrying and giving birth to their children, breast-feeding,
and day to day attention, precision, love and care. Despite the heavier cost being borne by
women, the men in these poorer households usually make the final choice as to the amount
of children that are produced (Panayotou, 2000, p 178). Mason and Taj (1987) assert that,
“these inequalities, reinforced and perpetuated by high rates of female illiteracy and low share
of paid employment, lead to the similarity of women’s professed demand for children to that of
men’s, despite substantial differences in respective reproductive costs” (Panayotou, 2000, p
178: ¶ 1).

Many policy makers have the tendency to sweepingly declare that poverty brings about
environmental pressure and degradation, and thus a reduction in sustainable development.
Markandya (2001, p 194: ¶ 1) asserts that, the reason such sweeping statements are made,
is because these policy makers “do not state whether a constant level of poverty leads to a
worsening environment, or whether it is increases in poverty that cause the degradation.”

It is crucial to establish the causality by determining whether escalating poverty brings about
environmental degradation, or whether environmental degradation brings about escalating
poverty (Markandya, 2001, p 194). However, before the causality can be established, the
association between an increase or decrease in the poverty level and an increase or
decrease in the immediately surrounding environment seems necessary to establish
(Markandya, 2001, p 194). However, Markandya (2001, p194: ¶ 2) clearly states that, “it
cannot be said with any certainty that increases in poverty are correlated with increases in
degradation, let alone that they are the cause of the degradation.”

It is therefore necessary to distinguish whether impoverished communities experience a

greater degree of environmental degradation than wealthier communities (Markandya, 2001,
p 194). More impoverished communities may have land that is more delicate but this by no
means implies that it is more spoiled than land occupied by wealthier communities
(Markandya, 2001, p 194). Deininger and Minten (1996) undertook a study that estimated the
correlation between poverty and forest cover in Mexico; and the results found that the greater
the poverty level, the lesser the likelihood of a land plot having forest cover (Markandya,
2001, p195). These findings failed to determine causality and they couldn’t provide the solid
conclusion that a poverty increment could certainly bring about an increment in forest cover
loss (Markandya, 2001, p195).
Tietenberg (2000, p 426) advocates that in the past, economic growth has shown to
contribute toward development, and this type of development has been particularly
advantageous to both the poor and the rich in MDC’s. The correlation between economic
growth and poverty is unpredictable and it is cannot certainly be successfully and efficiently
applied across the world (Tietenberg, 2000, p 426). It does, however present a potential way
of handling poverty in MDC’s, but can only attempt to discover a potential way to handle
poverty in LDC’s (Tietenberg, 2000, p 426). In order for economic growth and sustainable
development to successfully occur across the globe, “a five-to ten-fold increase in economic
activity would be required over the next fifty years to meet the needs and aspirations of a
population twice the size of today’s 6.0billion, as well as to begin to reduce mass poverty”
(Tietenberg, 2000, p 426: ¶ 5).

The crux here is that, the ability to carry out these incredibly large boosts in economic growth
is often impossible whilst ensuring not to degrade the environment and the sustainability of
resources, well into the future (Tietenberg, 2000, p 426). For example, the establishment of a
new company within an industry, in an attempt to boost economic growth in that industry, is
likely to contribute to the emission of smoke pollution, river pollution etc. which in turn
degrades the environment (Tietenberg, 2000, p 426).

The majority of LDC’s have a large amount of labour, a lot of which is relatively unskilled.
Therefore to get the most out of their economy, LDC’s should approach development in a
labour intensive way (Tietenberg, 2000, p 426). This would allow LDC’s to make the most out
of resources that are copious, as well as present the people with income. Tietenberg (2000, p
428: ¶ 4) asserts that, “by effectively utilizing the low-skilled workforce, developing countries
can increase their incomes, decrease population growth, and ultimately create wealth needed
to support strong education systems.” The provision of a strong educational system could
hopefully teach the population about protecting the environment.

Expanding populations in LDC’s are confronted with progressive restrictions on rights to land
use, educational attainment, health benefit acquisitions, and financial aid accessibility
(Tietenberg, 2000, p 429). Tietenberg (2000, p 429) suggests that, in LDC’s, the right to land
is a significant element when endeavoring to eliminate poverty. However, much of the land in
LDC’s is usually possessed by a minority of affluent owners (Tietenberg, 2000, p 429).
Enhancements to rural, farming methods and systems fail to successfully elevate the
standard of living, if these farmers for example, do not possess the right to use the land
(Tietenberg, 2000, p 429). Tietenberg (2000, p 429) asserts that, poverty ultimately brings
about increased poverty. The Gini Coefficient estimates inequality and ranges from 0 (being
perfect equality) to 1(being perfect inequality). Tietenberg (2000, p 429: ¶ 3) states that, “…in
Africa, where collective tribal land ownership is common, the coefficients fall between 0.36
and 0.55.” This Gini Coefficient suggests that Africa is far from perfect equality or perfect
inequality, but it sits halfway between the two, at times leaning more toward perfect equality
but still far from.

In conclusion, it is essential to attempt to lessen population growth i.e. the fertility rate, which
would reduce the exploitation and exhaustion of resources, and hopefully allow for
sustainable development. This could result in the realization of a sustainable future, where
development is able to satisfy “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their own needs” (Authorstream, 2010). The four mentioned
alleviation policies need to be successfully and efficiently implemented simultaneously, and
they need to be particularly aimed at women and children. A concerted endeavor needs to be
made: to enhance the status quo of women, and the growth and enhancement of health care,
education, and contraceptive techniques, in order to ensure a greater likelihood of achieving a
reduction in fertility and hence in population growth. This in turn would then hopefully alleviate
poverty and environmental degradation because at the end of the day, it is all about
conserving the current resources for the future generations.

Authorstream. 2010. Sustainable Development Definitions. [Online]. Available: [13 October 2010].

Gale, T. 2006. Environmental Refugees from Environmental Encyclopedia. [Online].

Available: [15 October

Ginneken, J. Van., and Diepen, A. Van. 1993. Decrease in population growth: A condition for
a sustainable future. Dutch Committee for Long-Term Environmental Policy. (eds) (1993) The
Environment: Towards a Sustainable Future. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Pp. 351-369.

Markandya, A. 2001. Poverty, environment and development in Folmer, H., Gabel, H., and
Rose, A. (2001). Frontiers of Environmental Economics. Edward Elgar.

Panayotou, T. 2000. Population and Environment in Folmer H. and Tietenberg, T. The

International Yearbook of Environmental Resource Economics 2000/2001. Edward Elgar. Ch
4, pp. 148-196.

Pearce, D.W., and Warford, J. 1993. “World Without End”, Ch 6 Population, Resources and

Tietenberg, T. 2000. Environmental Economics and Policy, “Development, Poverty and the
Environment.” Harper Collins Ch 20, pp. 410-433.

Figure 6-1 Links among Population, Environment, and Poverty

(Pearce and Warford, 1993, p 150).

Figure 6-3

(Pearce and Warford, 1993, p 155).

Van Ginneken and van Diepen (1993, p 363: Ρ 4) suggest that:

“Improvements of the marginal position of women, of the economic position of those

who live in poverty and improvements in the functioning of political and social security
systems may have a more indirect, and more difficult to determine, impact on the
lowering of fertility than education and health care, but in the long run their influence is

UNFPA (1992) and Harrison (1992) infer that there are three valuable factors that influence
the fertility rate and hence population growth (assuming mortality rate is relatively minimal): 1)
the education level a couple possesses; 2) child and infant mortality level; and 3) the ease
with which the relevant people can access contraceptive techniques (Van Ginneken and van
Diepen, 1993, p 363). These three influences are closely interrelated and the outcome of
executing these influences altogether can be particularly beneficial in reducing the fertility


The spread of environmental pressure is expected to continue well into the future unless
some sort of prevention or reduction mechanism is implemented. The successful
development of new technologies is expected to play a role in reducing environmental
pressure well into the future.

Environmental pressure signifies the impact of resource usage (such as fossil fuel and
minerals), global warming, waste emissions, and ozone layer exhaustion, among many other
aspects. Commoner (1972; 1991) utilized three direct environmental-influencing factors,
namely consumption, population, and technology (Van Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993: 353).
Other influencing factors are assumed to have an indirect effect through these three
influences. Hence the following was presented: I = P.A.T, where I, meaning the environmental
influence, “is a product of the number of people (P), the per capita consumption of goods and
services (A), and the number of resources needed to produce a unit of consumption (T)” (Van
Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993, p 353: Ρ 4). The formula I = P.A.T asserts that population
growth as well as consumption, tend to have the power to multiply environmental pressure
(Van Ginneken and van Diepen, 1993, p 358).