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Many of these problems that might harm mankind’s survival on earth are results of mankind’s own actions such as increasing consumption of energy, water and raw materials, increasing production of waste and emissions and increasing usage of land. If we want to continue to survive on this planet, we should make a change to our lifestyles, by finding a sustainable way to continue living our lives without hurting the earth so that our natural resource base and fragile eco-system will be protected.
John (2012) stated that, “a child in the developed world consumes 30-50 times as much water as in the developing world; CO2 production, a proxy of energy use, can also be 50 times higher." (John, 2012) Therefore, consumption of natural resources of people in rich countries is more than those in the poor countries. People in rich countries treat natural resources as commodities. To them, fresh water, forests, fish, minerals and fossil fuels are resources that they own and control. Thus, they are using natural resources at a rate that will drain the planet in near future and making our planet inhospitable to everyone, the poorest people are especially affected by the over-consumption of natural resources because over-consumption causes poverty.
Another factor that causes poverty is overpopulation. Overpopulation means the situation of having large numbers of people sharing too few resources and too little space. As resources can only support a certain number of people, a high population density (the ratio of people to land area) pressures the sacred resources in the country. When population increases, there will be an increase in need for food, clothes and place to live. One of the statistical data done by UNICEF (2005) showed, “1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world). 640 million live without adequate shelter, 400 million have no access to safe water, and 270 million have no access to health services.” (UNICEF, 2005) When there is a shortage of these basic needs, poverty happens.
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Demographic feature with uneven population distribution is another factor causing poverty. Rural communities where a lot of people live in, tend to be isolated from each other. Transportation, communication and commerce are difficult in rural areas. While in urban areas, populations are disproportionately dense because people migrate to cities to look for a job. Resource distribution is a problem in these two cases as illustrated by both the slums and remote villages in developing countries.
Furthermore, environmental degradation is factors of poverty too. Environmental degradation refers to the deterioration of the natural environment including the atmosphere, water, soil and forests. Shortage of food, clean water, materials for shelter and other essential resources are caused by these environmental problems. People, especially the poor who depend on natural resources that are gradually degrading like forests, land, air, and water will be affected the most as their supplies of food and other resources are damaged. In addition, secure our common future and eradicate poverty by achieving an equitable and sustainable development without environment detriment is a goal that should be driven by good governance.
All in all, poverty is not caused by a single problem. Poverty is a complex combination of several interrelated issues. To wit, education and health are also factors that contribute to poverty in developing countries. Being uneducated prevent children from getting a better job that will help their families out of poverty. In poor countries, children are not schooled because they need to work and help out their family with additional income. Being weak and unhealthy decreases the amount of work a person can do, lowering their income and keeps them in the status of poverty.