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.

20 August 2020

Earth Overshoot Day: Five ways we can move the date

Every year, Earth Overshoot Day marks the day when humanity has consumed all the resources that the planet can produce over the entire year. This year it falls on 22 August. Global Footprint Network CEO Laurel Hanscom lays out five steps we must take to shrink humanity's ecological footprint.

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12 August 2020

Championing better choices: My work as a young population activist

The theme of this year's International Youth Day is "Youth Engagement for Global Action". Stella Wright, a member of the Population Matters London Local Group, is one of an increasing number of young people around the world concerned about the impact of global population growth. Here, she explains what motivated her to become an environmental activist. 

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Person eating burger
27 July 2020

Eating the planet: what our diets and population growth mean for the environment

A new report reveals that global adoption of current food consumption patterns in G20 countries would ruin our chance of meeting climate and sustainability targets, exceeding our food carbon budget by almost three-fold and requiring up to seven Earths to support.

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14 July 2020

World Population Day 2020 – sustainable development needs a sustainable population

Saturday 11 July marked World Population Day and for us it was the culmination of a series of digital events that we hope will encourage and inspire people to talk about population issues. This year our theme and activities centred around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Hitting the Targets - Population and the SDGs

Briefings and submissions
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Population Matters' response to the Dasgupta Review

Briefings and submissions

Response note to The Dasgupta Review – Independent Review on the Economics of Biodiversity Interim Report as commissioned by the UK’s HM Treasury.

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Sumatran rhino
9 June 2020

Human-caused mass extinction still accelerating

A new analysis shows the sixth mass extinction is accelerating, with more than 500 vertebrate species at risk of becoming extinct in less than 20 years – as many as were lost over the entire course of the last century.

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Rainforest
5 June 2020

Easing our impact on biodiversity and nature

On World Environment Day, conservationist and forestry expert Dr Edu Effiom explains why protecting biodiversity requires improving access to sexual and reproductive healthcare alongside more sustainable production and consumption patterns.

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Amazon River
21 May 2020

Population Matters demands action on biodiversity

To mark the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22nd, Population Matters is writing to governments across the world to demand action on human population. Our message is simple: continued mass extinction is inevitable unless we address human numbers. Our Head of Campaigns and Communications, Alistair Currie, explains more.

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Earth at night
14 May 2020

Empowerment or 'kicking down'? The truth about population concern

Population Matters Director Robin Maynard responds to environmental writer George Monbiot's denigration of population campaigners in a recent Guardian piece.

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