Population Matters

Vision & values

Vision & values

Defining our vision

Our vision is of a future with decent living standards for all, a healthy and biodiverse environment, and a stable and sustainable population size.


Sustainability means living within the constraints of renewable resources. It means the convergence of living standards both within and between societies, and otherwise tackling the unsustainable consumption of resources needed to secure the future of our children and future generations. It also requires respecting natural ecosystems on which we depend and which sustain what is left of our planet’s wildlife.

Achieving our vision

Achieving our vision will not be easy. Human impact on our environment, through extraction, consumption and pollution, is significant and increasing. Population and per capita consumption are continuing to rise sharply, even as billions continue to live impoverished lives.

Airplanes on a runway

Relying on only one solution to address the imbalance between our demand for resources and their limited supplies would be unwise. Instead, we believe that a holistic approach is needed. We should reduce waste of our precious resources wherever we can, and continue to develop technologies that provide the same or better products and services while using fewer resources. We should work to improve the living standards of the poorest groups, while encouraging a moderation in consumption by the wealthy and a reduction in the unproductive use of resources. Finally, we should encourage everyone to have a smaller family size, especially as we all live longer.

Human rights

We are committed to human rights.


We support the individual right to make personal lifestyle choices whilst recognising the responsibility to consider the societal and environmental impact of those choices.

We support human rights, particularly women’s equality and reproductive rights, and oppose all discrimination or coercion. We advocate a rights-based approach to family planning provision.

We endorse the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the right to found a family; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and the principles and programme of action of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development.

Father and son

Our values

Our values are the ethics to which we subscribe. We believe:

  • In the value of healthy and diverse ecosystems, and of just and sustainable human societies.
  • That we all have duties to the community and to future generations to act in ways that do not undermine the protection, fulfilment and advancement of fundamental rights and freedoms; in a world of limited resources our reproductive and consumption choices are of critical importance to discharging these fundamental moral duties.
  • That everyone has a right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being, and to an international order in which fundamental rights and freedoms, including gender, sexual and reproductive rights, can be fully realised.

Read more about the ethics of population concern.

Our principles

Our principles are guidelines that define how we conduct our activities. These are that we:

  • Seek to work within the mainstream of politics and society;
  • Focus on population within the wider context of related issues, including in particular over-consumption, gender and social inequality, and environmental degradation.
  • Are independent, but seek to work with others.
  • Make claims based on sound evidence.
  • Are a learning organization.
  • Adopt professional standards.
  • Follow a scientific approach to solutions and foster research.

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