On this Environment Day – remember Stockholm
On this World Environment Day (June 5), Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) is calling on governments to remember what the declaration from the first UN Conference on the Environment held in June 1972 in Stockholm said about population growth.
It said: The natural growth of population continuously presents problems for the preservation of the environment, and adequate policies and measures should be adopted, as appropriate, to face these problems.
SPA National president Ms Jenny Goldie says the global population had doubled from 3.85 billion to 7.9 billion since the Stockholm conference and, while there have been some improvements in the state of the global environment, overall, it had got worse.
“Perhaps the most alarming evidence of environmental decline is that animal populations worldwide have declined by 70% over the last 50 years. Population growth is one cause – the others are human consumption, urbanisation, feral species and trade increases,” says Ms Goldie.
“Insect populations have declined by 40% globally, and one third are endangered. This has huge implications for food security since so many food crops are pollinated by insects.
“Indeed, we are in the midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction, losing 10,000 times more species per year than the normal rate.
“Humans are dependent on nature. It underpins the very functions and health of the planet and thereby the existence and health of humanity. Yet nature’s services to people are eroding and, for hundreds of millions of people, their basic needs, not least for food, are not being met.
“If we continue the path that we are on with continuing population growth of 80 million a year and a declining environment, we will see collapse of both vital ecosystems and human society.”
Ms Goldie says Principle 16 of the Stockholm Declaration states that Demographic policies which are without prejudice to basic human rights and which are deemed appropriate by Governments concerned should be applied in those regions where the rate of population growth or excessive population concentrations are likely to have adverse effects on the environment of the human environment and impede development.
“This applies just as much to population growth in high-consuming countries like Australia as it does to lower-consuming countries. We must end population growth everywhere,” Ms Goldie says.