This paper presents a survey of the literature on population dynamics and the decline in biodiversity. It addresses three questions about the significance of human activities during the past 200 years; relationship between biodiversity decline and the existing human responses to resource pressure; and the means to make a change to the destructive pattern. The five major problems associated with the world economic development process are identified. These include: 1) direct population pressure on land use; 2) path-dependence and lock-in in the process of economic development; 3) the difficulty of valuing biodiversity decline; 4) assessing the benefit to future generations; and 5) international coordination in a global environment. It is argued that these problems, directly or indirectly related to population pressure, are responsible for existing biodiversity decline. Furthermore, a summary is presented on the evidence of local land degradation and biodiversity decline in various regions of the world. Strategies for biodiversity preservation at the local as well as the global level are cited. Finally, directions for future research are identified.