The world has changed greatly since the 1960s and 1970s, when there existed a virtual consensus among Western experts that rapid population growth in the developing world represented a serious global crisis. One of the primary causes of environmental degradation in a country could be attributed to rapid growth of population, which adversely affects the natural resources and environment. The uprising population and the environmental deterioration face the challenge of sustainable development. The existence or the absence of favorable natural resources can facilitate or retard the process of socio-economic development. The three basic demographic factors of births (natality),deaths (mortality) and human migration (migration) and immigration (population moving into a country produces higher population) produce changes in population size, composition, distribution and these changes raise a number of important questions of cause and effect. Population growth and economic development are contributing to many serious environmental calamities in India. These include heavy pressure on land, land degradation, forests, habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity. Changing consumption pattern has led to rising demand for energy. The final outcomes of this are air pollution, global warming, climate change, water scarcity and water pollution. The rapid growing population and economic development is leading to a number of environmental issues in India because of the uncontrolled growth of urbanization and industrialization, expansion and massive intensification of agriculture, and the destruction of forests. Major environmental issues are forest and agricultural degradation of land, resource depletion (water, mineral, forest, sand, rocks etc.), environmental degradation, public health, loss of biodiversity, loss of resilience in ecosystems, livelihood security for the poor. The increase of population has been tending towards alarming situation. Population Reference Bureau estimated the 6.14 billion world's population in mid 2001. Contribution of India alone to this population was estimated to be 1033 millions. It is estimated that the country’s population will increase to 1.26 billion by the year 2016. The projected population indicates that India will be a first most populous country in the world and China will be second in 2050. India having 18% of the world's population on 2.4% of world's total area has greatly increased the pressure on its natural resources. Water shortages, soil exhaustion and erosion, deforestation, air and water pollution afflicts many areas. If the world population continues to multiply, the impact on environment could be devastating. The rapid population growth in a developing country like India are frightening the environment through the expansion and intensification of agriculture, the uncontrolled growth of urbanization and industrialization and the destruction of natural habitats. The pressures on the environment intensify every day as the population grows. The growing trends of population and consequent demand for food, energy, and housing have considerably altered land-use practices and severely degraded India's forest vis-à-vis environment also. The growing population put immense pressure on land extensification at cost of forests and grazing lands because the demand of food could not increase substantially to population. Thus, horizontal extension of land has fewer scopes and relies mostly on vertical improvement that is supported by technical development in the field of agriculture i.e. HYV seeds, Fertilizers, Pesticides, Herbicides, and agricultural implements. All these practices cause degradation and depletion of environment with multiplying ratio. Poverty is amongst the consequences of population growth and its life style play major role in depleting the environment either its fuel demands for cooking or for earning livelihood for their survival. The unequal distribution of resources...
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