Habitat destruction - Urbanisation
- As populations grow pressure on the local natural habitat increases. To see this closely it is worth looking at a current local situation.
- Urbanisation means the growth of cities and towns.
- Half the world’s population live in cities.
- By 2015, the 6 largest cities will each have over 20 million inhabitants.
- The resources needed to support such populations will result in the loss of natural habitat and biodiversity.
In South Africa there are growing pressures from urbanisation on the small province of Mpumalanga.
In 2001 an in depth report was prepared by the South African Government into the conservation issues surrounding this province.
Read the report
Mpumalanga means “place where the sun rises” and is the second smallest province in South Africa. It occupies approximately 6% of the total surface area of South Africa and is bordered by Mozambique, Swaziland and the Kruger National Park. The economy of the province is based primarily on mining, agriculture, forestry and tourism. The province is rich in natural minerals, of which coal is the most important
Mpumalanga’s high biodiversity makes it a favourable destination for tourists.
The contribution of the tourism sector of the economy is increasing on an annual basis. South Africa’s top twenty attractions include four of Mpumalanga‘s tourism assets, namely the Kruger National Park, the Blyde River Canyon, Pilgrim’s Rest and private game parks in the province.
There is a real threat to these ‘high biodiversity’ areas due to human settlement. These are summarised in the table found on the following pdf file:
View the PDF file
- Locate the table on page 14 of this file.
- Briefly summarise the key issues, pressures and impacts on the terrestrial environment.
Habitat Destruction - Industrialisation