Public conference: Human population and the sixth mass extinction

There is widespread consensus among scientists and conservationists that we are in the midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction, and that human beings are its cause.

As the world’s population grows, so does demand for food, water, land, and other resources, while carbon emissions increase with each new carbon emitter. While many scientists and conservationists acknowledge the link between human population growth and shrinking biodiversity, few mainstream conservation organisations are calling for action to address it.

Population Matters' 2019 conference brings together scientists and campaigners to examine the problem, and discuss the solutions.


Our thanks to The Catalysts Foundation for supporting the Population Matters conference.

Event details

The conference is FREE and open to our members and the public.


It will be held on Saturday, 27th April 2019, 2pm-5pm

Doors open at 1:30pm


The Light,

Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ 

For more information, contact:

How to get there:

Please check out the directions via tube, bus, car, rail, bike, and the airport. Also, check out the information on accessibility.

Here are some very clear graphics to help you locate the venue itself and The Light, which is the auditorium we’re using inside Friends House. 

Conference registration

Speakers and panelists

Population Matters
Dame Jane Goodall - Video message

Dame Jane is a primatologist renowned for her revolutionary research on chimpanzees at Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania.

She founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation in 1977. Through nearly 60 years of groundbreaking work, she has redefined species conservation to include the needs of local people and the environment. In 2002, she became a UN Messenger of Peace and is also honorary member of the World Future Council.

Dame Jane is a patron of Population Matters and the conference will be opened with her message on video.


Dr Edu Effiom Nigeria
Dr Edu Okon Effiom

Dr Effiom works as an Assistant Director in the Cross River Forestry Commission, Nigeria where she heads the REDD+ & sustainable forest Project Unit. Her main focus is on the impact of anthropogenic activities on biodiversity, capacity building, and policy-making, linking research-based sustainable forest management, biodiversity conservation, climate mitigation and adaptation with local, state and national green growth development policy.

She serves as a Councillor with ATBC (Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation) and currently chairs the Africa Chapter of ATBC.

Mark Wright
Dr Mark Wright

Mark is Director of Science at WWF-UK. Before joining WWF-UK as conservation science advisor in 2002, he spent eight years overseas in Tanzania, Togo and Belize on behalf of the British government or other NGOs, mainly working with small-scale farmers. He oversaw the southern Africa programmes for Save the Children during a time of civil war, food crisis, floods and political upheavals. Mark also worked for WWF-Cambodia as their Eastern Plains Landscape manager. He holds a PhD in insect ecology.

Stop Ivory
Dr Winnie Kiiru

Dr Kiiru is Regional Technical Advisor for Stop Ivory and a Senior Technical Adviser to the Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI) Secretariat. Dr Kiiru previously worked with Kenya Wildlife Service as a research scientist and with Born Free Foundation as the Regional Director for East Africa. Dr Winnie Kiiru is a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and the African Elephant Specialist Group, a founder member of the African Elephant Coalition and Board of the Friends of Karura Forest. Dr Kiiru is an avid mountaineer having conquered Mt. Kenya, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and the Ruwenzori mountains. In 2016, she was named Woman of Excellence by the Kenya Association of Women in Tourism..


Population Matters
Bella Lack 

Bella is a 16-year-old conservationist and ambassador for the Born Free Foundation and Jane Goodall Institute. She is also part of the Ivory Alliance, which is a group of ‘influencers’ and politicians working to combat the Illegal Wildlife Trade. She also utilises the power of technology (in the form of social media and blogging) to try to educate and inspire a wide group of people to protect the natural world. In addition, Bella delivers speeches, including speaking at the People’s Walk for Wildlife and the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in 2018.


Philip Lymbery

Philip is Chief Executive Officer of Compassion in World Farming. He is the author of Farmageddon and Dead Zone: where the wild things were, examining the relationship between industrial agriculture and extinctions. Philip is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Winchester and Vice-President of Eurogroup for Animals, an animal welfare umbrella organisation based in Brussels. An award-winning author, ornithologist, photographer, and naturalist, Philip has worked extensively on animal welfare, wildlife, and environmental issues for 25 years. He regularly comments in the media and on speaker platforms about the global effects of industrial farming.


Population Matters
Robin Maynard 

Robin is a longstanding and passionate supporter of the population cause. Robin has held senior positions at the Soil Association, the Forestry Commission, and Friends of the Earth, where he was responsible for 250 local Friends of the Earth groups. He has also worked as a consultant for Compassion in World Farming, among many others, including Population Matters in 2014. He has been Director of Population Matters since 2017.


Population Matters
Sara Parkin OBE

Sara is Principal Associate of The Sustainability Literacy Project.  She is also Co-founder of Forum for the Future, Chair of the Richard Sandbrook Trust, Trustee of the St Andrews Prize and board member of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

Sara has campaigned for sustainable development since the 1960s, playing leading roles in the UK Green Party and founding what is now known as The European Greens. She no longer has any political affiliation.

She advises organisations, including the National Union of Students, is an honorary fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Energy, Founding Fellow of the Engineering Council, and Patron of several organisations, including Population Matters.

She has written several books, including The Positive Deviant: leadership for sustainability in a perverse world (2010).

Sara will chair the conference.


Population Matters
Jonathon Porritt

Jonathon first got involved with environmental issues in 1974, at the same time as he became a teacher in a West London comprehensive. Ten years later (during which he was also very involved in the Green Party), he became Director of Friends of the Earth where he stayed until 1991, just prior to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 – which was a life-changing experience. In 1996, he founded Forum for the Future with Sara Parkin, now the UK's leading sustainable development charity. He was Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission between 2000 and 2009. 

A patron of Population Matters, Jonathon became the charity's President in 2018.


Population Matters Conference 2019

PM 2018 Conference Highlights