Population, Food and Water in the 21st Century
This chapter begins with a discussion on to the determinants of how much food is needed in the world. It reviews the present trends in population dynamics and food production. The chapter highlights means and constraints to increased food production, with regard to the role of increasing unit yields or expanding the area of production in relation to population increase and land transformation. It argues that the availability and quality of fresh water will become the critical factor, both in terms of increasing food production, as well as human and ecosystem health. Environmental degradation is also closely linked to food production and food security. Our ability to feed the ever increasing population is contingent on the health of the biological resource base. The impact of population growth on environment and development remains a controversial issue. The chapter concludes with some general lessons and recommendations for the future.