Human beings have existed for just 200,000 years, yet our impact on the planet is so great that scientists around the world are calling for our period in the Earth’s history to be named the ‘Anthropocene‘ – the age of humans. The changes we are now making have exacted a heavy toll on the natural world around us. It's vital that people understand the impact we have. Help us persuade other organisations to tell them the truth.
“Looking across the world at the present time it is obvious to anybody at all who has even the slightest bit of biological knowledge that human numbers are already out of balance.”
Prof Aubrey Manning, zoologist
Two hundred years ago, there were less than a billion people on Earth. Today, there are 7.8bn and our population is still growing. According to the United Nations, unless we take action there is likely to be 30% more of us by 2050 and 11 billion people by 2100.
Every one of us places demands upon our planet—the very demands that have caused the changes that threaten us and the natural world we depend on.
We can and must ease the pressure on our world. As individuals and communities, we can take action such as buying less, reusing and recycling more, moving towards a plant-based diet and ensuring what we do use and consume is as sustainable as possible.
Above all, we can choose to have smaller families.
As long as our numbers are growing, the value of every other action we take risks being cancelled out by the demands and needs of new people joining the population.
Unsustainable global population growth is not inevitable. United Nations projections show that if we start taking action now, we can end it and actually start bringing our numbers down to a more sustainable level within the next few decades. Here's what we need to do:
2021 is a critical yeart for nature, as vital global meetings on biodiversity and climate change are taking place. Population Matters is working hard to get population on the global agenda.
There are things we all must do to address this crisis. Above and beyond that, action from global leaders is urgent and essential. They must do more on climate change, and they must start to give our extinction crisis the urgent attention it needs. Put pressure on them for action.
Call on your government to incorporate ethical, empowering population solutions in the new global framework for biodiversity conservation.
In April 2019, our public conference gathered experts from around the world to discuss the impact of population on biodiverity and extinctions.
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