Restoring the earth means ending population growth
For this year’s Earth Day, Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) has called for an end to population growth nationally and globally as the first critical step towards the restoration of our gravely diminished natural landscapes and biodiversity.
“Together, We Can Restore Our Earth” is the theme of the 2021 Earth Day which is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. On this day in 2016 more than 120 countries signed the Paris Agreement which brought into force the climate protection treaty.
According to SPA, protecting the climate from dangerous climate change, while critical, is by no means the only environmental issue.
SPA National President, Ms Sandra Kanck, says one of the other major crises facing the Earth is loss of the diversity and abundance of other species.
“According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), habitat loss is the number-one threat to biodiversity worldwide,” says Ms Kanck.
“Vertebrates are particularly affected by habitat destruction, fragmentation and modification,” says Ms Kanck. “In many parts of the world, where human population density is high, most of the original habitat has been destroyed. Australia’s environment, too, has suffered grievously under the impact of never-ending human encroachment.
“There are many reasons why habitat is lost, but nearly all relate to providing food and shelter for an ever-growing human population. Logging and land clearing for agriculture, housing, water projects, livestock grazing and roads affect many more species than other threats such as invasive species or disease.
“Globally, we add more than 80 million people to the Earth each year. Nationally, over the decade before Covid restrictions on travel, Australia’s growth was averaging 375,000 annually or a 1.6 per cent growth rate, which is more than twice the OECD average.”
Ms Kanck says that ending population growth would at least help take pressure off the ecosystems of the Earth.
“Let us not forget that the world is in overshoot, that is, we have exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet, and we must pull back from the brink.
“According to the Global Footprint Network (GFN), the world would need 1.7 Earths to support its current demands on renewable, natural resources. You can and should cut back on demand from the wealthiest, but there are still two billion people who must be lifted out of poverty.
“If we are to lift those people out of poverty but restore the Earth at the same time, we need to end population growth as soon as possible.”
For more information regarding Earth Day, click here
For more information on the launch of the over-population documentary ‘8 Billion Angels’ Earth Day launch, check out SPA events