Thursday, October 30, 2014

Family Planning Could Help the Environment, but Not in Our Lifetimes, Researchers Say

Families wait for a food delivery in the malnutrition-prone Sahel region of Africa.  (Credit: EC/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie) Click to enlarge.
This week, a group of researchers promoted a different kind of global approach to addressing climate change:  voluntary family planning.

Though their proposal may raise eyebrows, researchers at the Population Reference Bureau and Worldwatch Institute say what they are advocating will both empower women and preserve the environment.  They recently formed a joint working group of health, climate and population experts from around the world.  They are drafting a report on how family planning could be incorporated into governments' environmental policy.

With an estimated global population of over 7.2 billion people, there is increasing concern that finite natural resources will no longer be able to keep up with increasing demands. According to a 2013 U.N. report, the global population is expected grow to 9.6 billion by 2050 and 10.9 billion by 2100.

Reducing population growth and lowering fertility will improve communities' resilience and adaptive capacity in the short term, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  In the long term, population reductions could reduce the risk of climate impacts, according to the working group.
Researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia found that even dramatic population reductions would not be enough to have much of an environmental effect for most of the 21st century.

They published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday.

Read More at Family Planning Could Help the Environment, but Not in Our Lifetimes, Researchers Say

No comments:

Post a Comment