Humans require food, water, and living space in order to survive. These things do not exist in endless abundance and are derived both from abiotic and biotic sources, making humans inherently dependent upon the optimization of land area and the preservation of biodiversity. The human population is increasing, and is predicted to expand from 7.0 billion to 9.5 billion people within the next 40 years. A parallel increase in the demand for food species is implied, and estimates claim that food production will need to be doubled in order to compensate. The trouble with this becomes evident upon the consideration of the productivity of current systems of agriculture and fresh water harvesting: despite our efforts, 1.0 billion people suffer from hunger modernly, and 1.2 billion live in areas with water scarcity.
To make matters worse, the affluence of the world is increasing, meaning that more of the future's consumers will demand higher—quality resources. The intensified harvesting of resources from the environment affects biodiversity negatively, as it contributes to climate change (through the burning of fossil fuels) and habitat fragmentation, degradation, and reduction (as natural terrestrial environments are converted into farmlands). Habitat loss is the leading cause of biodiversity loss, and today, about 38 percent of global land is devoted to agriculture. Without altering our current systems of development, this percentage will only increase, as open-air soil-reliant crops cannot be stacked into storied facilities.