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On 8th October, Population Matters hosted Boom or Bust, our first-ever hybrid in-person and online conference. Addressing the intersection of population and economics, with a focus on how societies can flourish with a smaller, more sustainable population, a truly global cast of speakers – beaming in from Taiwan, Spain, Ghana, France, the US, UK, and Kenya – brought a wide variety of fascinating perspectives and areas of expertise.
Population Matters' Robin Maynard and Monica Scigliano report.
A new UN report measures the progress made towards gender equality across all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Due to lack of investment and major setbacks precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall picture is bleak, with many indicators worsening instead of improving.
A major new report by Population Matters busts the myth that a declining birth rate and ageing population spell economic disaster. Silver linings, not silver burdens reveals the benefits of fewer people being born, and identifies the common-sense policies that will meet the challenges of a society in which more people are older.
As we mark World Contraception Day on September 26th and International Safe Abortion Day on September 28th, grassroots providers of sexual and reproductive health services continue to face unprecedented challenges in ensuring access to contraceptives and comprehensive abortion care for the world’s most vulnerable women and girls. Population Matters’ Empower to Plan Coordinator, Catriona Spaven-Donn, explains what we are doing to help.
From 3-10 September, Population Matters attended the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Marseille. Postponed from last year due to COVID-19, the Congress brought together a range of stakeholders, including governments, NGOs, scientists, business, representatives of indigenous people and the public, to discuss the state of nature and how it can be protected. Senior Campaigner Andrew Howard reports how PM made its presence felt.
A comprehensive new assessment of the conservation status of all trees reveals that 30-60% of species are at risk of extinction, mainly due to habitat destruction for agriculture.
A recent study shows the continued conversion of land to agriculture to feed growing populations in Europe will have devastating impacts on key species including wild bees, plants and earthworms. While this damage can be reduced by selecting less biodiverse areas and incorporating sustainable farming practices, limiting additional population growth is the only long-term solution for feeding everyone without destroying ever more nature.
The Sahel region of Africa is on a dangerous trajectory of rapid population growth and catastrophic climate warming. Empowering women in this area is key to saving and improving countless lives. We spoke to Alisha Graves, Population Matters Expert Advisor and Founder and Executive Director of OASIS, which delivers crucial work to advance education and choice for women and girls in the Sahel.
A major UN climate report was published last week, providing a dire warning about the worsening climate crisis. With the UN Secretary-General calling it a “code red for humanity”, the report highlights the undeniable human impact upon our planet and shows we must drastically cut emissions within the next few decades to have a chance of averting catastrophic warming.
Updates to two landmark environmental studies were published in recent weeks: one examines the accuracy of the Club of Rome’s predictions in their bestselling 1972 book ‘Limits to Growth’, the other is a reiteration of the 2019 ‘Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency’. Needless to say, neither update offers good news – we must act fast to avert disaster.
Today is Earth Overshoot Day, the date on which humanity has used up all the natural resources the Earth can regenerate within a year. Despite urgent calls to avoid a return to our destructive pre-pandemic status quo, we are still hurtling in the wrong direction. It is high time for those in power to confront the uncomfortable truth, explains Population Matters' Senior Communications Officer, Olivia Nater.
We’ve been committed to raising the profile of population and our collective impact on Earth since 24 July 1991, and though a cynic might consider it counter-intuitive for us to celebrate, that cynic would be ignorant of our unerring dedication to help create a better world for people everywhere, and the positive difference we are making. Robin Maynard reflects on Population Matters' work on our 30th birthday.
Last week, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity published the first draft of its new plan to combat global biodiversity loss. Population Matters Senior Campaigner Andrew Howard examines whether population issues are sufficiently dealt with.
On World Population Day, 11 July, the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh released a worrying new draft population policy that would include incentives for sterilisation and punishment for couples who have more than two children, echoing aspects of India’s unethical population control history.
To mark World Population Day 2021 on 11 July, Population Matters gave awards to individuals and organisations across the globe for their effective and brave work promoting reproductive rights, defending the environment, and enlightening the public about the challenges we face and the solutions that are available.
An influential committee in the UK Parliament has called on the Government to do more to address population and overconsumption as drivers of biodiversity loss. Its comments, in a highly critical report on the UK Government’s action so far, reflect and refer directly to evidence submitted by Population Matters to its enquiry.
At the end of last year, we launched our Empower to Plan campaign with Family Medical Point to ensure that every woman and young person in their community in Uganda has free and safe access to sexual and reproductive healthcare. With your help, we raised £5,000, helping it to reach hundreds of young people. Moses Odongo, Team Leader at Family Medical Point, reflects on the impact of the programme.
Ever more people are adopting plant-based diets for the planet, which leads many to believe that our consumption of animal products must be decreasing. Sadly, the opposite is true, with demand for meat and dairy continuing to shoot upwards due to a rapidly expanding middle class. Medical doctor and environmental filmmaker Sofia Pineda Ochoa explains why all vegans should also care about our unsustainable population growth.
Choice matters, in more than one way. That is why we've launched a new Choice Manifesto allowing people from across the world to commit to celebrating small families and helping to empower others to have the same freedoms.
Is it really easier and quicker to reduce fertility rates than greenhous gas emissions, and what role does entertainment media play in achieving a sustainable population? Our Outreach Coordinator Florence Blondel interviews Bill Ryerson, Founder and President of the Population Media Center and Population Matters Expert Advisor.