Factors Affecting Rates of Resource Use

Factors Affecting Rates of Resource Use

The Level of a Country's Development:

  • The level of development that a country has reached can directly affect which natural resources they use, and how.
  • Less developed countries, where primary industries still dominate, don't consume a great deal of energy resources compared to more developed countries. However they do exploit other natural resources in order to try to gain more money and begin on the path to economic development.
  • Examples of this are the exploitation and cutting down of the tropical rainforests in Brazil. The people have seen the value of selling the trees to countries such as Japan. They are also exploiting their natural mineral reserves, and exporting those abroad also.
  • Some of the poorest nations do not have access to many natural resources but often will rely on one for the livelihood of the country.
  • Countries that are more developed, and can be described as industrialised, are the primary consumers of most of the fossil fuel resources of the world. Their industries require huge amounts of natural resources, which are often imported from the less developed countries.

Population growth:

  • The population of the world is growing at an amazing rate. Last year it reached 6 billion, having only passed 2 billion in 1927 and 4 billion in 1974.
Factors Affecting Rates of Resource Use
  • This swift growth has put the resources of the world under pressure. Most of the major growth has occurred in developing countries in places like Africa, where the pressure on food resources is intense.
  • The UK has seen very little population growth over the past 25 years, meaning that we do not suffer the same problems that the countries of the developing world do, in terms of producing enough food for the population.
  • The lack of sufficient food places great pressure on the resources of that country, and means that if, as in Ethiopia in the 1980's, the harvest is poor because the rains fail, hundreds of thousands of people could starve to death.

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