Population and biodiversity

Biodiversity, the diversity of life on Earth, is under threat from our large and growing population. We are now undergoing a sixth mass extinction event, named the ‘Anthropocene’, because it is driven by human activity.

Ever more people means ever less wildlife. Our unsustainable numbers and consumption are directly fuelling the two main causes of species decline, habitat destruction and overexploitation. According to scientists, approximately one million species now face extinction unless we take action.

Learn more about biodiversity and population here.

See our latest news stories and blog posts about biodiversity below.

11 July 2020

World Population Day 2020 Live Q&A

Join us for a live panel discussion on the link between population and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Deforestation
13 March 2020

Population growth and environmental destruction fuel deadly diseases

Our growing population and resulting overexploitation of nature are facilitating the emergence and spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19.

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Shipping
17 February 2020

The ‘blue acceleration’: ocean plunder in the Anthropocene

A new study highlights the rapidly increasing pressure on the world’s oceans as a result of human population growth and burgeoning demand for resources.

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Deer crossing road
24 January 2020

Wildlife habitat crumbling under weight of human footprint

A new study shows that the majority of wildlife ranges are now under intense human pressure due to population growth and changes in the use of the land.

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Chris Packham
17 January 2020

Chris Packham: we need to talk about population

In a landmark and powerful documentary on the BBC, Population Matters patron Chris Packham looked at the challenges of population growth, and made an impassioned plea for it to become a core part of environmental debate.

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Mountains and lake
10 January 2020

Here's why 2020 could be a ‘super-year’ for nature

Despite the climate and biodiversity crises continuing to escalate, environmentalists are calling 2020 a ‘super-year’ for nature because of several upcoming international policy meetings that have the potential to set nature on a path to recovery. Population Matters is actively campaigning to ensure population solutions are recognised and implemented.

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Robin Maynard and Lagos media, World Population Day 2019
23 December 2019

2019 Year in Review

PM director Robin Maynard reviews a successful year for Population Matters, but one which brought much bad news about the planet.

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Population Matters Magazine Autumn 2019

Population Matters Magazine

Features World Population Day 2019, Population Declinism, an interview with Dr Edu Effiom and our new Empower to Plan project Jiwsi.

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Human population and the convention on biodiversity - briefing 2019

Briefings and submissions

A four page summary outlining the impact of human population on biodiversity, and options to address it within the Convention on Biodiversity

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Houses in UK
4 October 2019

UK biodiversity report: more of us, less of them

The latest edition of the most authoritative report on biodiversity in the UK has just been released - State of Nature 2019. The 2016 version described the UK as "one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world". This new edition makes clear there has been no improvement - and shows some of the impacts of human population growth.

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