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UK parliament committee backs population action to protect biodiversity

30 June 2021

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Environmental Audit Committee endorses focus and funding for family planning and reproductive healthcare to protect biodiversity (1)

Population Matters director, Robin Maynard, says:

‘‘It’s hugely welcome that the EAC recognises population growth to be a driver of biodiversity loss, and is calling for the restoration of UK aid funding for family planning in that context. This reflects the overwhelming evidence that empowering women and girls to make choices about their bodies and their lives through the provision of voluntary, human rights-based modern family planning enhances people’s lives and benefits our planet.

‘‘The Committee’s concerns regarding the UK Government’s 85% cut in funding for family planning through the UNFPA, and its call for UK Overseas Development Assistance for family planning and reproductive health to be protected, are significant steps in mainstreaming a holistic perspective missing from government policy. We’re delighted to see the report explicitly acknowledging our evidence on this subject.” (2)

Population Matters also welcomes the Environment Audit Committee’s emphasis on the need to tackle consumption as a driver of biodiversity loss. Robin Maynard continues:

‘‘Our patron, Sir Partha Dasgupta’s landmark report on biodiversity and economics for the Treasury (3), highlighted the need for ‘transformative change’ in our consumption patterns, as we emphasised in our evidence to the Committee. However, the UK Government’s position of seeking to address the UK’s environmental impact predominantly through process, efficiency and technological changes falls far short of any such ‘‘transformative change’’. Therefore, Population Matters particularly welcomes the Committee’s backing of our call for action to address the overseas environmental impact of UK consumption.’’

Contact: Alistair Currie, Head of Campaigns and Communications

E:; T: 0208 123 9170 (24hrs)


(1) The Environmental Audit Committee’s report, Biodiversity in the UK: bloom or bust? is embargoed until 00:01 on 30 June 2021, and will be available on the EAC website. Further media information and a copy of the release is available from Chloe Jago: / 020 7219 1034 / 07710 064 583.

(2) The EAC report addresses consumption and population from pages 88 to 93, and Population Matters’ evidence is on pages 89 and 92. Our evidence can be seen here.

(3) The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review, published in February 2021, can be seen here.

Population Matters is a UK-based campaigning charity, promoting a sustainable global population through ethical, choice-based means, to improve people’s lives and protect the natural world.

135-137, Station Rd, London E4 6AG

Charity no: 1114109


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