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Examine the impacts of government population policies on human and phsical environments Free essay! Download now

Home > A Level > Geography > Examine the impacts of government population policies on human and phsical environments

Examine the impacts of government population policies on human and phsical environments

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 2700 | Submitted: 27-Jun-2007
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This is an essay answer to a question on an Edexcel A Unit 6 Synoptic Paper. It contains a wide range of case studies and advanced level 5 points thus gaining an A grade.

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Governments in all parts of the world and at all stages of human development have sought either directly or indirectly to try to control the demography of their people, in terms of both quantity and demographic structure. The impacts of these policies will vary at different scales and over different periods of time and may be viewed as either positive or negative, depending on the social, economic, environmental or political perspectives of people in that country or elsewhere. There are few entirely natural physical environments left in the world while even in the middle of a megalopolis, the physical environment can still remain influential. On a sliding scale of categorisation, only in the extremes can human and physical environments be easily classified. Most environments in the world are a mixture of both physical and human environments and so consequences for each type of environment may inevitably affect the other.

Government demographic policies can increase the country’s population, for example in Japan a pro-life policy has had indirect effects on the physical environment but direct effects on settlements. The policy was implemented to tackle problems of an ageing population leading to economic decline such as a 10% fall in labour over the next 25 years. As a result the government introduced the Angel Plan Initiatives that gave 50,000 new child day care centres, improved working conditions and even new homes for young couples to get away from their parents. They also allowed more immigration into the country to increase the birth rate and therefore tackle the problems caused by aging populations.
Building of child day care centres and housing meant that settlements such as Tokyo grew outwards (suburbanisation) creating more and more services for the local areas. Small conurbations such as Urawa and Omiya, North West of Tokyo joined to form a large satellite called Saitama. However suburbanisation caused land to be cleared for new buildings and the natural habitats of animal species were destroyed, reducing the biodiversity of the local area. The deforestation of the land will have had an impact on the global physical environment, as carbon dioxide absorbed originally by trees will now be released into the atmosphere and add to the enhanced greenhouse effect. Over a long time period, this will cause melting of polar ice caps and glacial ablation, leading to a eustatic rise in sea level and flooding of human settlements such as Selsey in West Sussex, where there will be a loss of the salt marsh at nearby Pagham, home to many wading birds. It has also been thought that global warming caused by an increase of greenhouse gases because of population growth, can also increase the meteorological phenomena El Nino. These give rise to droughts.
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