Human impacts refer to the consequences of human activities to the environment including biodiversity, biophysical environments and other resources. In Libya, population explosion and increase of development activities have greatly enhanced many of human activities that have negative impacts on the environment.
Agricultural advances including the use of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides to increase production ends up damaging the soil structure, pollutes the air as well as endangering aquatic life (Marquina 28). Besides, survival of various species of flora and fauna is threatened as a result of habitat loss through deforestation as humanscreate more land for cultivation.Desertification and water pollution are other human impacts in Libya. Industrial effluents, oil spills and fertilizer runoff threatensLibya’s coast as well as Mediterranean Sea (Vandewale 15).Empirically, only approximately 68% of Libya’s whole population accesses clean water.
Depletion of underground water as a result of agricultural developments isanother environmental concern in Libya. This has caused penetration of sea waterinto the coastal aquifers and salinity. Moreover, the Great Man made River Project designed to increase water supply has no long term viability because of the finite nature of the fossil reserves.Endangered species is another significant human impact in Libya. As of 2001, two of Libya’s bird species and 11 mammal species and 41 of its plants species were endangered (Marquina 52). Some of these species includes the slender-horned gazelle and Mediterranean monk seal. Sahara Oryx and Bubal Hartebeest have gone extinct.
Oil and gas related pollution is very common in Libya. The issue of contamination from refineries, oil pits, storage facilities and chemical plants is rampant(Marquina 63). Dumping takes place in remote areas of the countryparticularly in areas where oil and natural gas wells are located.Environmental studies conducted in al-Zawiya and Tripoli has indicated great levels of soil contamination.Human impacts such as pollution and overexploitation of resources occur at different levels andthese impacts affect thewhole planet and all the species living in it.
Marquina, Barrio A. Environmental Challenges in the Mediterranean 2000-2050. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004.
Vandewalle, Dirk J. A History of Modern Libya. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.