29 September 2010

Anglican church calls for sustainable population

THE ANGLICAN Church of Australia has warned of “catastrophic” consequences of global overpopulation and unsustainable levels of consumption by the rich.

The Church’s General Synod has released a carefully-worded statement from its meeting in Melbourne (18-23 September) calling on the Australian Government to adopt a sustainable population policy and “avoid any reliance on continuing population growth to maintain economic growth”. The statement says Australian Anglican Dioceses and individuals in general should “grow in understanding” of the role of population growth in contributing to environmental challenges.

“The Synod requests the Australian Government to recognise the role of population growth and unsustainable levels of consumption in contributing to global and national environmental challenges.”

The statement, endorsed without opposition on 23 September, further requested the Government to:

  • determine a sustainable population policy for Australia which is fair and just;
  • consider carefully any incentive aimed specifically and primarily at increasing Australia’s population, while continuing to support low-income families and sustainable immigration; and
  • contribute more generously to improving the welfare of people in the least developed nations, and other life in their environments, in particular by including support for family planning and women’s reproductive health programmes.

The Synod’s mission is described as “to assist the Church in its engagement with Australian society”. The full text of the Synod’s statement is available here. The Church did not announce the statement by media release, and a Google search has shown almost no reporting in the Australian media.