Wolf Photo courtesy of WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals)
Please click on name to connect
In 1961, the African Wildlife Leadership Foundation was founded at the height of the African independence movement to help newly independent African nations and people conserve their own wildlife.
Since then, this organization, now called the African Wildlife Foundation, has played a major role in ensuring the continued existence of some of Africa’s most rare and treasured species, including the elephant, mountain gorilla, rhinoceros and lion. They are presently working in Congo, Virunga, Samburu, Kilimanjaro, Maasai Steppe, Zambezi, Kasungula, and Limpopo. Regarding population, they have this to say:
For thousands of years, the wildlife and people of Africa co-existed in balance. In the 20th century, wildlife faced escalating pressure from a growing population and its effects, from habitat destruction to spread of disease, to overhunting. The balance was upset.
"There is no issue of importance to the environmental community that is not affected by the increasing number of humans on the planet. Unless we can limit population growth, we cannot achieve ecological stability."
Peter Berle, President, National Audubon Society
From “Why Population Matters” handbook, 1991
There are numerous environment groups that have tackled the population issue in the past, but few of them are still working at it. One is the National Audubon Society. They believe that population is one of the single largest factors contributing to the degradation of the earth’s environment, the alteration of its climate, and the loss of many plant and animal species. They warn that the dramatic and unprecedented reproductive success of our own species is now a major contributor toward worrisome and perhaps irreversible changes in that environment.
In their handbook, Why Population Matters, they say, “Homo sapiens, long thought to be the most intelligent life-form on Earth, is doing what few wild animals ever do: fouling its own nest.”
As the cartoon character Pogo observed, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
In 1969 the Sierra Club in the United States urged people to abandon population growth as a pattern and goal and to achieve a stable population no later than the year 1990. On 11 July 2008, when the Sierra Club promoted World Population Day, they continued their urgent plea for a reduction in population. They stated:
If we are to tackle global challenges like global warming, poverty, and population growth, the United States must rise to the challenge and show leadership by investing in sustainable development solutions—solutions that prioritize global health initiatives, including family planning. Slowing population growth and addressing the over consumption and inequitable distribution of natural resources, is key to long-term environmental protection.
They encourage people to make the population-environment connection and support voluntary international family planning programs that improve the quality of life of people around the world and ensure an improved environmental future.
The new kid on the block, Biodiversity First, is a newly formed environment group that is trying to revive the population issue in Canada. Formed in May 2008, this group provides an Internet forum for its members to participate in ongoing population/biodiversity discussions. Biodiversity First believes that biodiversity preservation is incompatible with our unsustainably high population. The group’s president, Brishen Hoff, explains that their mandate is to educate the public through articles and letters to media and government decision makers. Biodiversity First bases their outreach strategies on the following premises:
1.Biodiversity is defined as the quantity, quality and variety of native species.
2.Preserving biodiversity is essential to preserving our quality of life and survival.
3.Human population size and growth represents the biggest threat to biodiversity.
4.Earth’s human population is over ten times what is optimal.
5.Human overpopulation is responsible for hundreds of species extinctions.
6.Our unsustainably high population is incompatible with biodiversity preservation.
7.The more natural resources per capita, the higher our quality of life.
The AWA, founded in the 1960s, has from its beginnings recognized that the greatest threat to wild places and wildlife is the inexorable growth of human numbers and the resulting pressure on the environment to produce increasing resources for increasing numbers of people who produce increasing amounts of waste. AWA believes that society’s ability to deal with the issue of growth is fundamental to our success in achieving an ecologically sustainable future.
EngenderHealth is an international nonprofit organization that has been working for sixty years to make reproductive health services safe, available, and sustainable for women and men worldwide. Based in New York City, they have twenty offices in the field, and more than 70 percent of their staff work in countries across Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
Their staff of highly skilled medical personnel, health care trainers, and public health professionals works around the globe in partnership with local governments and nongovernmental agencies to help health care workers, administrators, physicians, hospital staff, and counselors deliver high-quality health care services in some of the world’s poorest countries. They estimate that their work has touched the health and lives of more than 100 million individuals in the ninety countries where they have worked.
Childfree groups began to form in the 1970s, most notably among them No Kidding! and the National Organization for Non-Parents. There are now numerous childfree groups around the world that realize that parenting is not for everyone. Parenting is a lifetime commitment, and many women, especially those who also want to pursue a career, have no desire to take on this commitment. They do not feel that it is fair to the child if they cannot give it their full attention and the kind of love that every child deserves.
“Childfree by Choice” is a group of adults who all share at least one common desire: we do not wish to have children of our own. We are teachers, doctors, business owners, authors, computer experts—you name it. We choose to call ourselves “childfree” rather than “childless,” because we feel the term “childless” implies that we’re missing something we want—and we aren’t. We consider ourselves childfree—free of the loss of personal freedom, money, time and energy that having children requires.
Childfreedom, according to the “Happily Childfree” website, is choosing not to create or raise children. It’s about wanting to devote one’s life to other objectives. For some that is their career, for others hobbies (or volunteer work). Most childfree people recognize that parenting is a stressful, time-consuming, and often thankless job, and would rather do something else with their lives.
As they point out, making the choice to be childfree is not something that is chosen lightly. In many cases childfree people have thought longer and harder about why NOT to have kids than their counterparts have thought about why TO have kids.
Of course, there are numerous other environment and related groups who have addressed the issue of population, and many continue to do so. Some of these groups are:
•Association Anti-Pollution 2000—Brussels, Belgium •Imagine a World of Unwanted Children—San Jacinto, CA, USA •International Network of Feminists IN/FIRE—Washington DC, USA
Without the presence of the many dedicated population groups around the world, we would be in even more dire circumstances than we are today. There are numerous groups who have tirelessly endeavored to foster public awareness of the connection between our high population densities and the dangers to which our environment is being exposed.
This is being achieved by means of lectures, conventions, publications, education programs, letter writing campaigns, coalitions, raising funds for family planning programs, press releases, conducting research, providing a population perspective on social and environmental problems, etc. Here I will list some of these groups.
This group, formed in the late 1980s, accepts the following premises:
1. Overpopulation is the chief cause of ongoing ecological damage.
2. Overpopulation is the fundamental cause of growing i insecurity.
3. Overpopulation is the prime reason that sustainable development remains beyond reach.
The Optimum Population Trust has two main aims:
1.To promote and co-ordinate research into criteria that will allow the optimum population of a region to be determined
2.To increase awareness, particularly among those who influence opinion, of the results of this research
They are especially interested in establishing the optimum population of industrialized countries. Of the very many possible criteria, they believe the three principal indicators for establishing optimum population are:
- The preservation of biodiversity
- The availability of fresh water
- The availability of land not only for agriculture, forestry, mining, waste disposal, building and recreation but above all for the conversion of renewable forms of energy.
In 1991 ZPG produced the “Priority Statement on Population”. They worked with a coalition of environmental groups who felt that what was needed was an affirmation of the relationship between population growth and environmental degradation and a call on public policy makers to address the issue.
The result of the core group’s work was the “Priority Statement on Population.” The first effort of its kind, the statement was endorsed by over 160 organizations and prominent individuals. From Nobel Prize winners to “Dear Abby” to national environmental, women’s, scientific, civic, and education groups representing millions of members, the endorsement list is impressive evidence of widespread concern about the environmental impacts of overpopulation.
The Population Media Center works worldwide using entertainment-education for social change. PMC’s programs encourage positive behavior change among the audience. This group was founded in 1998 by William Ryerson. In the ten years since PMC’s inception, the organization has been a pioneer in the use of new methodologies for informing people about reproductive health issues and promoting behavior change.
PMC works in underdeveloped nations that have a national television network. They work with local writers, actors, producers, etc., to develop soap operas in which family planning is part of the storyline. They have had demonstrated success in reducing fertility rates in countries where they have worked.
PMC works worldwide from its headquarters in Shelburne, Vermont (USA). It has representatives in California and Oregon, as well as overseas offices in Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, the Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Senegal, and Sudan.
William N. Ryerson, President
Population Media Center and Population Institute
Tel. 1-802-985-8156 USA
U.S. Mobile: 1-802-578-4286
The Hewlett Foundation embarked upon their funding program in 1967. Their mission remains essentially unchanged: to promote voluntary family planning and good reproductive health for all because of the benefits to individuals, societies, and the entire global community.
The Global Population Speak Out is a project that was initiated in 2009 by John Feeney, urging people to break down the barrier to public discussion of population issues during the month of February. The 2009 effort was a great success – including over 200 blog articles, 46 letters to the editors, 20 scholarly articles, and 24 news articles and radio interviews. For 2010 John Feeney will be teaming up with the Population Institute to help him expedite the 2010 GPSO, which is also scheduled for the month of February. Let’s hope that this effort becomes an annual event! To participate, you can contact the Population Institute at www.populationinstitute.org, or email them at email@example.com.
Links to information about population growth and its influence on the global environment.
"A Critical Decision" site poses a creative challenge to artists of all disciplines to create works that communicate the impact of overpopulation and wasteful consumption to motivate humanity toward positive change. The song "Changes in the Wind" by Jeanie Fitchen, answers that challenge.
Also, now available -- the updated version of "Saving Our Life-Support System: Understanding One's Decision Footprint" by William C. Gladish
The URL is: http://www.acriticaldecision.org/links/a-challenge...
Information on the relationship between human population and the environment. "Books, reports, articles, news analysis, maps, organizations, regional overviews, laws, bills, and court decisions, and much more from around the world...from the simple to the technical..."
"A national membership organization founded in 1972 to educate the American public and political leaders about the detrimental effects of over population on our environment and quality of life." Publications, educational materials and data are available online.
"Educational materials on interactions between population growth, environmental degradation and wasteful consumption of resources." Includes online fact sheets, videos and posters. A project of the National Wildlife Federation.
Principles that can guide effective population education. A publication from EETAP Resource Library. In pdf format.
The Critical Decision Foundation is an educational organization that encourages citizens around the world to study and question the influences large corporations have obtained over democracy, technology, religion, families, society, population growth, and the environment (our life-support system). Please enjoy our award-winning nature gallery and thought-provoking prose.
In just seven minutes, the animation illustrates population growth from 1 A.D. to 2030 by showing dots on a map. Viewers can select English or Spanish narration or select historical icons to jump to different points in history. The DVD includes a 12-page guide with discussion questions & hands-on activities. Recommended for grades 6 - Adult.
The URL is: http://www.populationconnection.org/education/cata...
The site contains a large, annotated database of population and environment related links (inlcuding syllabi), hosts cyberseminars, produces a bi-weekly What's New with publications of note, has a searchable memberdatabase with our 500 members from around the world. Would definately be useful for teachers in high school, and for high-school students.
World Population data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Includes world pop clock, an up to the minute estimate of world population.
The US Census Bureau is the preeminent collector and provider of timely, relevant, and quality data about the people and economy of the United States. On this web site, you can access information about human population estimates, projections, income, poverty, and housing.
Information on population growth, consumption, and sustainable development. Supplemental curriculum guides, resources for teachers using the site (including correlation of activities with National Standards), and a searchable resource library.
While they're getting up close and personal with earth’s six habitats, kids can also get the scoop on protected lands, biodiversity, urban sprawl, conservation and population.
The URL is: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geographyaction/...
JHU/CCP current projects in Ecuador & Indonesia, related to population and the environment. Site offers Population-Environment CD-ROM, Photos, POPLINE Document Search, Organizations Links, Posters, Pamphlets, and other Educational Materials.
Brief but well stated summary of population issues, from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
"POPIN is a decentralized community of population institutions organized into regional and national networks" around the globe. Resources include, world population trends, country profiles and population statistics.
I will not discuss every population-related group, but I have listed most of the major ones below:
•EcoPop (Ecologie et Population)—Zollikofen, Switzerland •Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America—USA •Ministry for Population Concerns—Glendale, CA, USA •Population Information Program, John Hopkins Univ.—Baltimore, MD, USA •Religious Consultation on Population—Washington DC, USA •Population Reference Bureau—USA •PopPlanet website •Overshooting Australia—Australia •Population Countdown—Internet Worldwide •Buffet Foundation •Tamara C. Fox Foundation