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Poverty and the Environment - How Are They Related?

As the human population continues to increase exponentially, so makes the demand for earth's resources. With massive events such as the industrial revolution regulating a need for more conventional practices through advanced resources, it's difficult to ignore the environmental concerns that warn humanity due to this adjustment.

It doesn't take much to realize how the world around us has changed -- clean water is increasingly scarce, climates are altering, and entire ecosystems vanish.

Other Universally Experienced Environmental Issues:

--> Deforestation in one country contributes to water supply reduction in neighboring countries.

--> Industrial toxins cause acid rain to colonize larger areas, intimidating the food chain.

--> Toxic waste disposed of in oceans is transferred by currents and impacts the fish population everywhere.

While humankind, in general, has placed an overbearing strain on the environment, poverty has only increased that tension by playing a significant role in degradation all over the globe. But, how are poverty and environmental issues related? It's a complex relationship but something that is of great importance to understand.

Poverty and Environmental Degradation: A Toxic Relationship

The alliance between human activity and the natural environment is a pretty dynamic but negative one. Individuals consume natural resources such as water and food daily to survive. Not only are such resources needed for human survival, but they are needed to stimulate economic activity. However, the overconsumption of finite resources creates a global problem, with the depletion of natural resources contributing to extreme environmental stress.

This is especially true because more impoverished individuals tend to rely on their environment for survival than wealthier populations directly. There is insufficient environmental knowledge triggering this issue with constant pressure on fragile land and larger families. Since extreme poverty doesn't usually lead to a widened opportunity to receive a quality education, many women in these circumstances lack the resources necessary to utilize birth control. Therefore, it's common for them to produce large families because of limited chances to get proper aid. In turn, this leads to higher prices, reduced food production, poor health, and vulnerability to natural disasters.

Poverty Influence People To Place Pressure On the Environment:

--> Over-exploitation of soils and needed resources due to difficulty meeting community needs

--> High death rates and absence of security in old age can result in having more children

--> Restricted access to sanitation leading to poor hygiene practices

There's no doubt that environmental problems result in more suffering among the poor. There are overcrowded urban areas among poorer communities that heighten the risk of disease, soil erosion, and deforestation, resulting in lessened crop yields and shortages of essential supplies such as wood for fuel. Those who experience these less than fortunate situations are increasingly inhabiting clustered areas that are ecologically fragile and around the perimeter of growing urban areas.

In rural districts, the most sought out land is owned by wealthy farmers that deem modern technology an accessible pursuit to farm in larger capacities. Due to this, poorer individuals are persuaded out of these regions and are coerced to seize and exploit more insubstantial territory, ranging from hillsides to arid locations. This presents adversity due to growing sustainable crops in marginal areas, which ultimately supports poverty and even more pressure on over-utilized land.

To an increasing extent, poor rural people relocate to urban areas in search of better work opportunities. In many developing countries around the world, there are large cities that are growing expeditiously. Due to this reality, there are frequent shortages of available jobs, housing, and facilities such as clean water supplies and electricity. However, that's not to say that developing nations don't have better infrastructure and are more inclined to provide for people's necessities.

How Do We Give Our Environment Our Hand?

--> Education! Due to the lack of education, many pursue harmful methods such as disposing of their waste in the environment. This can be revised with more informative approaches, perhaps by introducing a sound agricultural system without dependence on degree soil and other unqualifiable resources.

Also, there should be more considerable emphasis on water management and protecting fisheries, vital for many individuals' livelihood. Re-forestation plans are essential in providing the environmental goods that deforestation has damaged.

--> Irrigate

Families utilize foot-powered treadle pumps to access existing water essentials for large land areas. This means that winter crops such as coca and maize can be produced during the dry season.

--> Introduce better crop alternatives and healthier resources

Using more-enhanced crop varieties such as millet and rice are reasonable options if other crops fail.

Instead of using expensive chemical fertilizers, farmers have access to mulch. Along with this, it initiates ownerships of more extensive plantations with multi-purpose trees that produce renewable resources such as firewood.


The more our global population grows, the bigger the environmental burden. Every human consumes a substantial amount of resources, and the least we can do is monitor what and how we use our resources to halt global warming further. Taking action to stop environmental rampages is a crucial step in nourishing our environment back to good health. No matter how small your contribution is, it helps give back to your earth.

Educate, share, and care.

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