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The world’s population is growing and this is having an impact on our ability to reach the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs)

World Sustainability Collective
Let us look at the first 2 SDGs and the impact of population growth

High fertility rates can trap countries in poverty. The World Bank has warned that extreme poverty will not decrease in 2021 due to population growth eclipsing economic growth in the poorest nations.
Large family size and poverty often go hand-in-hand. People living in deprived areas are usually not empowered to choose the number of children they have and in some cases feel the need to have many so they can be provided for in their old age.

When people are poor and have many children, they cannot invest enough in each child which often leads to kids not being able to attend school and girls getting married off as child brides.

Women are also less able to gain financial independence when they have many children to look after at home. Ensuring everyone is empowered to choose small families is key to eradicating poverty.

In June 2020, the World Bank forecast that the three countries which between them have a third of the world’s poor – Nigeria, India and the Democratic Republic of Congo – will not grow their economies faster than their populations.

Feeding the world without destroying more nature will become increasingly difficult and eventually impossible under sustained population growth.

According to the World Resources Institute, the calorie requirements of a population of 10 billion are 56% higher than current total crop production.

Agriculture is already a leading cause of environmental degradation and further conversion of land for farming purposes will have devastating consequences for biodiversity and our climate.

A landmark 2019 report by the EAT-Lancet Commission states “Healthy diets from sustainable food systems are possible for up to 10 billion people but become increasingly unlikely past this population threshold.”

Our population is projected to exceed 10 billion in the second half of the century. When population growth exceeds development progress, past achievements are quickly undone – the number of people suffering from hunger has increased again over the past three years.

Experts have warned that vulnerable areas like the Sahel face catastrophe unless action is taken to reduce fertility rates

Do you agree that population growth is a major problem facing mankind?

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