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Define the concept of carrying capacity of an ecosystem as relevant to an environment. Explain how understanding this concept is vital while planning for sustainable development of a region.(UPSC MAINS GS3 2019)
In ecological terms, the carrying capacity of an ecosystem is the size of the population that can be supported indefinitely upon the available resources and services of that ecosystem. India’s rapid growth of population which is expected to surpass China by 2024 according to a report by United Nations Population division. Already, world’s more than 17% of population thrives on 2.4% of the Indian mainland. There is a rising concern regarding ecosystem collapse in India hence it becomes vital top consider carrying capacity of an ecosystem while planning for sustainable development of a region.
While considering carrying capacity of an ecosystem as an anchor for sustainable development and planning, it must be taken care that resources are not concentrated in fewer hands. There must be equitable distribution of natural resources as well as manmade resources such as education, health care system and transportation without any discrimination. These steps will help India to fulfill its domestic commitments such as reduction of inequality, poverty and achieve its international obligations of attaining sustainable development goals by 2030.
Topics Covered - Carrying Capacity