Massive Consumption of Natural Resources in China and its Ecological Implications Abstract: Natural resources are the main input in any country’s industrial, economic and consequently varying kinds of developments…
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The paper attempts to look into areas addressed by experts, organizations and nonprofit bodies and the conclusions drawn by them. The study will reveal that resource depletion cannot be controlled, since their consumption is inevitable, unless the variables which have potential adverse effects on this issue are monitored. Problem Statement: The ecological footprint of China has increased two fold since 1960’s and its demand is twice than what their ecological system can sustainably provide (WWF). The coming 20 years will be decisive relative to what path the Chinese will take for sustainable development and consequently the effects it will have on the Asian economy. Method: This paper will look into the published research on sustainable development in the modern world specifically China. The majority of the analyzed papers are from last 10 years. The projections and findings identify what variables are perpetuating this problem, the works of the concerned bodies, efforts by the Chinese government and the regulatory authorities. The reports on issues of sustainable development in China, by World Wide Fund for Nature (one of United Nation’s coveted organization) are pivotal to the research input that has been utilized. Background: Chinese consume more industrial and agricultural goods than the United States of America. According to Earth Policy Institute, China is the world’s largest consumer of steel, coal, grain and meat with a booming economy holding 1.3bn people (BBC News). This increasing demand consequently results in more frequent utilization of China’s natural resources which is proving to be a burden on China’s ecological system’s capacity. Ecological Footprint is a very relative term while discussing the limitations of the world’s ecological system. Ecological Footprint is one of the most comprehensive measures of an individual’s average demand from the nature. Ecological Footprint of a nation is defined as the total threshold area which is required for food production, fiber and timber that the inhabitants consume, capacity of land and depth of waste absorption, and the space for its infrastructure (WWF). This demand of nature is compared to the planet’s biocapacity, which means the area which is biologically productive and sustains life. In comparison to the world, Asia-pacific region has a lower size of ecological footprint. This region holds 50% of the total world’s population and its demands from nature constitute about 40% of total biocapacity of this planet, the current world demands 25% more than the planet can provide (BBC News). Introduction: China is significant in this region because of its large ecological footprint which is due to its large population. China’s massive use of goods from grain to platinum has made it a raw material economy. China is suffering an ecological deficit since quiet a long period of time. The emission of carbon dioxide from the fossil fuels is one of the biggest sources of this deficit in China. Chinese import resources to meet their ever mounting needs. This indicates that the consumption of natural resources in China is also influencing and integrated with other countries’ consumption of natural resources too. This also points out to the fact that China’s need for resources is more than the capacity of its land. They import from
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