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Population growth means more need for natural resources
The world population is expected to increase to 10.2 billion by 2050, with two thirds of the population living in cities. More than half of this anticipated growth is expected to occur in Africa (+1.3 billion), with Asia (+0.75 billion) expected to be the second largest contributor to future population growth. Global demand for agricultural and energy production (mainly food and electricity), both of which are water-intensive, is expected to increase by roughly 60% and 80% respectively by 2025*.
*WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme)/UN-Water. 2018. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2018: Nature-Based Solutions for Water. Paris, UNESCO. Page 10, ISBN 978-92-3-100264-9
Natural Resources Consumption:
People in rich countries consume up to 10 times more natural resources than those in the poorest countries. On average, an inhabitant of North America consumes around 90 kilograms (kg) of resources each day. In Europe, consumption is around 45 kg per day, while in Africa people consume only around 10 kg per day.
Which society consumes more?
Before industrial times, people lived by hunting and gathering. They consumed only renewable natural resources such as wood and sun. Wood was basically used for basic shelter and carving hunting weapons. One person consumed only about 3kg of natural resources per day.
In agrarian communities, more natural resources were used to power the farms, feed animals and transport produce and meats. The average consumption per person in this community is 11kg per day.
In an industrial society, more energy, particularly fossil fuels is used to power production plants. Construction, infrastructure, transport, storage, marketing and distribution, all depend on energy and other natural resources. This is why industrialised nations consume so much resources. The average consumption per person is 44kg per day.
Waste Recovery is real:
Before the mid 1970, waste in Connecticut (a state in the USA) was sent to landfill. The state recognised the environmental hazards of it, and made some policy changes. By 2010, about 92% of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is saved from the landfill. Of this amount, one this is recycled and two thirds is combusted to energy. The energy is enough to power 100,000 homes