Millennium goals: the score so far (FEB)

18 February 2008

Media Releases 2008

Population, peak oil and climate change will be hot topics in Canberra next month.

Scientists and politicians from the UK, Philippines, New Zealand and Australia will

speak at the conference “Population, Peak Oil and Climate Change: their impact on

the Millennium Development Goals”.

The conference will be at Rydges Lakeside Hotel on 14 &15 March.

Professor John Guillebaud of University College London will deliver the keynote

address by videoconference link.  “The Report of the UK All Party Parliamentary

Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health came to a very stark

conclusion,” says Professor Guillebaud. “The MDGs failed to take into account the

population growth factor. The Report leaves no doubt: they will be difficult or

impossible to achieve with current levels of population increase in the least

developed countries.”

Speakers at the conference include Hon Bob McMullan, Parliamentary Secretary on

International Development Assistance; Hon Andrew McNamara, Queensland Minister

for Sustainability, Climate and Innovation; Ms Jill Pettis, Chair of New Zealand

Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development; and Dr Mal Washer,

current Chair of Australia’s PGPD.

The conference is organised by Sustainable Population Australia. SPA National

President, Dr John Coulter, sees major problems in achieving the Millennium

Development Goals.

“Even eradicating hunger is going to be almost impossible,” he says. “Seventy-six

million more mouths to feed every year, changing weather patterns and extreme

weather events, rising oil prices and competition for land to grow biofuels, are all

making it harder to grow enough food. As food supplies become scarcer, people are

forced to find other areas to farm for food or to grow biofuels for sale. In the process

they cut down virgin forests and exacerbate biodiversity loss.  This is totally at odds

with MDG7, namely, environmental sustainability,” says Dr Coulter.

Australia is a signatory to the Millennium Development Goals that were adopted by

189 nations during the Millennium Development Summit in 2000. There are eight

goals and include the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, improving maternal

health and ensuring environmental sustainability.

Further information:  John Coulter 08 8388 2153

Jenny Goldie 02 6235 5488 (conference organiser)

Nick Goldie – 02 6235 9190 (media inquiries)

See attached brochure or


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