Population Matters Update - January 2016 Part II

Population awareness

We have released a briefing about the relationship between the new sustainable development goals and family planning. There are still 200 million people worldwide seeking to avoid pregnancy but not using modern contraceptive methods, so the spread of family planning is vital to address population growth, which will undermine progress towards most of the SDGs.

Malthus pointed out that the planet cannot support unlimited human population expansion

13 February will mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Malthus. Malthus was the father of Malthusianism, which contends that the Earth cannot support unchecked population growth. We shall be using the anniversary to raise the issue of population and sustainability, and we invite members to contact their local media about the occasion.

The 1971 Report on UK Population of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology is now available from our website. The Select Committee was the last body commissioned by the UK government to consider the issue of UK population growth.

More >>   What you can do >>

Family planning & women's rights

We have launched a campaign to support the PSHE Bill, which will make sex education compulsory in UK state schools. We are encouraging our UK-based supporters to lobby their MPs so that they support the bill when it is debated in Parliament on 22 January.

We are asking governments to dedicate one tenth of their overseas aid to family planning

The International Conference on Family Planning will take place in Nusa Dua, Indonesia 25 – 28 January 2016. The conference takes place every other year and typically attracts more than 3,000 attendees. We are asking governments to dedicate one tenth of their overseas aid to family planning.

The US-based Center for Biological Diversity will redouble its efforts this year to give out as many free, endangered species-themed condoms as possible. More than 40,000 of the condoms, which we have also been distributing, have been given out over Christmas alone.

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Environmental conservation

An area roughly the size of the UK, in the waters around Ascension Island, is to become a marine reserve by 2017. At least half of the area will be closed to fishing, in an attempt to halt the overexploitation of the Atlantic’s most vulnerable ecosystems.

Nine out of 10 farms are still not required to implement the recommended biodiversity-friendly measures

The EU is not on track to meet the goals set by its Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, according to a report by BirdLife International. Halfway through the program, nine out of 10 farms are still not required to implement the recommended biodiversity-friendly measures.

Research by the National Academy of Sciences has revealed that rice and palm oil plantations are a serious threat to mangroves in South-East Asia. These plantations were the cause of over one third of mangrove deforestation in the period 2000 – 2012.

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Sustainable lifestyles

We have joined the Post Growth Alliance, which is an international group of organizations concerned with environmental stability in a post-growth world. Members of the alliance promote each other’s posts and campaigns on social media.

The UK's recent flooding was exacerbated by intensive house-building on flood plains

The recent flooding in the UK was exacerbated by the building of thousands of new homes on flood plains, according to a report by the Committee on Climate Change. This suggests that building new housing is not a panacea to the problem of UK population growth.

Research published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface shows that more than half of the UK’s food and feed supplies come from abroad. Since 1986, CO2 emissions have increased by one sixth to match the demands of a growing population.

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Population Matters Update is edited by Lily Chamberlain.


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