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Volume 9 October 2004
ISSN 1438-7890
African Journal of Environmental Assessment and Management
Revue africaine de gestion et d’évaluation environnementales
Assessment of Linkages Between Population Dynamics and Environmental Change in Tanzania

Ndalahwa F. Madulu

This paper discusses the linkages between population growth and environmental degradation in Tanzania. Tanzania's major environmental problems, demographic characteristics, and the linkages between environmental change and rapid population growth both at national and regional levels are discussed. These discussions are intended to provide an empirical base for analysing the impact of changing environment on the people’s lifestyle and their demographic behaviours including the reproductive ones. In the course of discussion the impacts of a rapidly growing population on the environment have been brought in the agenda. Examples from various parts of Tanzania have been given to provide empirical evidences to the arguments given. Generally, the paper demonstrates that high population growth and economic backwardness are dependent variables and both contribute significant impacts on the environment. There negative impacts are also reflected in the diminishing economic growth given the fact that the Tanzanian economy is agrarian. Environmental degradation affects agricultural productivity through land degradation, climatic change, and declining land per capita. A conclusion is made that environmental change is as an important factor to demographic and economic factors as it is population growth to economic development and environmental conservation. A change in the environment may influence changes both in the demographic behaviour and socio-economic conditions of the people, hence, population growth.
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