7 Billion Day – Population Matters Takes Action
October 5th 2011
The UN has named 31st October 2011 as the day that the world’s 7 billionth citizen will be born. Population Matters will be marking the day by highlighting the unsustainability of continuing population growth. This increase in population puts huge pressure on the environment and makes attempts to address issues such as biodiversity loss and climate change even more difficult. As Population Matters patron Sir David Attenborough has said, ‘All environmental problems become harder – and ultimately impossible – to solve with ever more people’.
We rely on the world’s ecosystems and rich biodiversity for everything we need to exist, from the regulation of our atmosphere and the pollination of plants to the creation of important new medicines and crops. The value of biodiversity lies in both the range of species and the genetic differences within species. We are reducing this crucial diversity through development, exploitation and pollution; our numbers and activity increasingly encroach on the natural world. Our impact on biodiversity takes many forms, and population growth contributes to them all.
The world population has grown from 3 billion in 1960 to 7 billion in 2011 and is projected to reach 10 billion by 2085. Over the same period, the UK population has increased from 53 million to 62 million today and is projected to reach 72 million by 2033.
Simon Ross, chief executive of Population Matters, said,
“The United Nations 7 billion day is a date no one should ignore. Everyone agrees that we need to find ways to create a sustainable world for future generations. Slowing population growth can play a valuable role in this. Population Matters and other population concern organisations are calling for improved overseas aid for women’s education and family planning services to enable women to have more choice in career options and family formation. Where people have choices, such as the UK, we are asking them to have ‘two or fewer’ children as part of a sustainable lifestyle.”
Population Matters will be taking space in high volume London Underground stations to inform commuters of this milestone. Using electronic poster boards and on-platform projections, Population Matters will be highlighting the issue and inviting people to join the campaign for a sustainable global population.
Speaking about the decision to use London Underground, Population Matters marketing manager Matt Williams said,
“We wanted to reach as many people as possible in a limited time and talk to them in an environment that itself highlights the problem of overpopulation, the overcrowded transport system.”
The London Underground campaign is being supported by peer to peer activity across the capital. Local Population Matters groups will be taking the opportunity to show how the increase in population will have a direct effect on people’s lives and make the struggle for a sustainable environment even harder to achieve.