Population Matters Members Update
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Population Matters Update
November 2016
While Italy’s government promoted a misguided and ultimately counterproductive campaign to boost the country’s fertility in September, the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, recently declared its population reduction to be an opportunity. With a birth rate of 1.4 births per woman, Japan has both a shrinking workforce and the developed world’s largest proportion of people over 65 – more than one-in-four of the population.
"I have absolutely no worries about Japan's demography," Abe told Reuters. Mr Abe describes Japan’s situation as an incentive to boost productivity, including through the use of technologies such as robots and Artificial Intelligence. Mr Abe aims to stabilise Japan’s population at 100 million people by 2060, about one-fifth below the current level.
Population numbers affect everyone’s well-being, other species and humanity’s future. Help us move population up the public agenda, join us today!
Sexual health and women’s rights
Population Matters took part in a meeting in October to discuss the challenges faced in getting reliable contraceptives to people in need in the developing world. Focusing on the progress of the FP2020 global family planning initiative, a wide-ranging discussion addressed problems of quality assurance, pricing and lack of political will to ensure that contraceptives travel “the last mile” to those who need them. A number of speakers referred to the need to persuade governments that controlling fertility - and by extension, population - offers multiple economic benefits.
The biennial Living Planet report published by WWF and the Zoological Society of London estimates that populations of wild animals will have declined by nearly 70 per cent by 2020, compared to 1970 - when the global population was half what it is now. Dr Mike Barrett, head of science and policy at WWF, said: We know what the causes are and we know the scale of the impact that humans are having on nature and on wildlife populations - it really is now down to us to act."
An article by Population Matters responding to the report and calling for action to address the impact of population growth on wildlife was published by The Ecologist.
News from Population Matters
Changing of the guard - Our Chief executive of six years, Simon Ross, has now moved on to the next stage of his career. We thank him for his very hard work to help establish Population Matters as a trusted advocate for population issues. We wish him well in his future career. The process of recruiting his replacement is underway and we hope to have more news soon.
Supporting our work –  Thanks to the 158 members who distributed leaflets in their areas in support of our '25x25' anniversary project, the message that population matters has been delivered through 20,000 letterboxes. Their actions have spread our message far and wide! Join us today and help us spread the word even further.
'Tis the season: Christmas cards, gifts and our new range of designer clothing - With four colourful designs on sturdy A5 card and priced at just £4 for 10 or £10 for 30, our greetings cards are excellent value as well as a great way to support our work. We are also excited to put on sale a new designer range of t-shirts, designed by award-winning company Rapanui, combining modern design with powerful messaging about population. You can also find plenty of other gift ideas in our Shop.  For more ideas about different things you can do to support Population Matters, see our #GivingTuesday page or contact us.


Third Runway In October, the government endorsed the plan to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport. Partly a product of population growth, expansion in airport capacity and air traffic is an escalation in the unsustainable use of the earth's resources and increases pollution and emissions which threaten our ability to control climate change. Next year, parliament will vote on the government's recommendation. There will also be a public consultation, allowing everyone the opportunity to submit arguments against the expansion. In the interim, you can express your objections through the contact form at the 10 Downing St website or directly to Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport at TransportSecretary@dft.gsi.gov.uk 
Population Matters is currently developing plans to support the campaign against the new runway.
“I’ve seen melting ice caps with my own eyes and got very wet in the process, but it is pointless campaigning against climate change or to 'save the Arctic' without addressing the root cause behind it and virtually every other environmental issue we face: our unsustainable numbers on this planet.” 
— Adrian Hayes, record-breaking polar explorer, adventurer & Population Matters patron
Population numbers affect everyone's wellbeing, the health and welfare of other species and humanity's future. Help us move population up the public agenda by becoming a member today
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