1940 1960 1980 2000 2020 2040 2060
Figure 1. Botswana’s population growth and future projections from 1950 to 2050.
b. The graph shows that there was a general increase in population from the years
1950 to about 2000, where the population peaked and stabilized to just over 1 600
000 people from the years 2000 to 2005. The population has already begun to
decline in 2010, and is predicted to continue decreasing to about 1 400 000 people
by 2050 - a decrease of approximately 200 000 people in 50 years.
c. Individuals infected with AIDS are impacted socially in countries such as
Botswana. There are similar social effects within families, than there are among
individuals within the general population. Infected individuals typically do not
discuss the disease with anyone. This is because of shame, the fear of being cut
off from the rest of the population, and for the maintenance of various social
aspects of their lives, such keeping a job. With this regard, those infected feel
very isolated and alone, and feel they must endure this illness alone. This adds
emotional strain which makes dealing with the issue worse. Medical treatments
are expensive and families do not have enough money to keep up with medical
bills and burials for other family members who have died of aids. Furthermore,
increased deaths means less individuals for subsistence agriculture. School drop
out rates are increasing because more people are needed to work on farms. Parents
dying results in less knowledge is being passed on to subsequent generations regarding successful agricultural practices. Dying parents also increases the
number of orphans and thus having an impact on the social and economical
structure of the country.
Furthermore, an environmental impact associated with AIDS stems from the
previously mentioned issue of the loss of labour, coupled with the decreasing
salary earners, this drives people to rely on natural resources in order to survive.
This includes practices such as hunting, fishing, and charcoal making. This results
in a greater amount of consumption of natural resources per household (these
include firewood and medicinal plants).
Barany, M., Holding-Anyonge, C., Kayambazinthu D. and Sitoe A. 2005.
Firewood, food and medicine: Interactions between forests, vulnerability
and rural responses to HIV/AIDS. Proceedings from the IFPRI
Conference: HIV/AIDS and Food and Nutrition Security, April 14-16,
2005. Durban, South Africa
Rompel MU, Gronemeyer R, Rakelmann GA. 2002. The social impact of AIDS
on families in Botswana and Namibia. Int Conf AIDS 14 pp. 7-12.
d. It is important that developed countries try to lessen the impact of AIDS in Africa
by providing both preventative measures and coping strategies. Preventative
measures can include education on safe sex as well as safely treating patients in
medical centers to prevent contamination of blood, as well as providing free
condoms to help decrease the spread of the disease. Coping strategies can be
physical, in terms of free medication to help prolong the lives of infected
individuals, as well as social, in that centers can be set up to help infected
individuals cope with the social and physiological stresses that they are
The Precautionary Principle in Environmental Science, in my opinion, should be
implemented world wide. The Earth systems are extremely complex, and often it is very
difficult to predict the long term impacts of a new action. Environmental Scientists study
these highly complex and somewhat poorly understood systems and are faced with
demands from governments and businesses to allow economic growth while at the same
time protecting the environment from potential detrimental impacts.
These potential impacts are not really predicted by organizations who implement
the new changes for several reasons. Primarily, profit is what drives businesses, and so, the sooner an in-demand product or service can be introduced to the market place, the
greater the revenues of the business. This unfortunately runs the risk of potentially
unknown long term effects of a product or service on the environment, which can cost
more in terms of environmental damage in the future, than the short term monetary
benefits gained by the business. In other words, it’s a trade off of short term gain for
potential long term pain.
This is complicated and there exists many past examples of severe detrimental
environmental impacts, resulting from a product that was beneficial in the short term but
severely damaged the environment. Moreover, with the progression of climate change,
the importance researching potential short and long term environmental impacts is
An example is ch