Presentation on theme: "John Guillebaud (Gil-boe) Emeritus Professor of Family Planning and Reproductive Health, University College, London Trustee, Margaret Pyke Trust, London."— Presentation transcript:
John Guillebaud (Gil-boe) Emeritus Professor of Family Planning and Reproductive Health, University College, London Trustee, Margaret Pyke Trust, London Surgeon, Elliot-Smith Vasectomy Clinic, Oxford Cambridge 25 th June 2008
Each dot = 1 million people
James Gasana, Rwanda's Minister of Agriculture and Environment in “In the report I wrote for the IUCN's Task Force on Environment and Security, I suggested that four lessons be learned from this tragic chapter in Africa's history: “First, rapid population growth is the major driving force behind the vicious circle of environmental scarcities and rural poverty. In Rwanda it induced the use of marginal lands on steep hillsides, shortening of fallow, deforestation, and soil degradation-and resulted in severe shortages of food”.
The 9/11 Commission Report “By the 1990s, high birth rates and declining rates of infant mortality had produced a common problem throughout the Muslim world: a large, steadily increasing population of young men without any reasonable expectation of suitable or steady employment is a sure prescription for social turbulence.”
The Pill is Mightier Than The Sword
Population growth Source: United Nations, World Population Prospects: The 2002 Revision (medium scenario), 2003.
CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS ARE HARD TO PREDICT OR QUANTIFY - but the poor are already suffering most!
1500 Barrels of oil/gas equivalent per second
Water “Per capita demand for water globally is estimated to exceed the available sources by about 2050” - Sir David King, Chief Scientific Advisor to UK Gov Aquifers emptying
The IPAT equation Environmental “IMPACT” has only 3 causes which multiply with each other: I = P x A x T Technology, its “green-ness” per person Affluence/effluence and consumption, again per person Population, the number of persons….
So, we want to REDUCE I = Impact? T = technology will help but almost all scientists in agreement, can’t do it all A = affluence/consumption OUGHT, globally, to go up: as the only way out of poverty is by ↑affluence of the very poor (happening in China now..) [Leave alone the problem of persuading the already affluent to reduce their per-person consumption! Let’s be honest, most of actions by Govts and individuals so far are token gestures….] P = Population is the only factor left! Yet it continues as: “the elephant in the room that no-one talks about”
Two factors Population: People feel they can’t talk about it – but there is a large unmet need for smaller family size – i.e. it is amenable to change. Consumption: People can talk about it – but there is no unmet need for reducing consumption. More difficult to change. Won’t, sufficiently... High time population stops being seen as a “given” to try to adapt to….
“ The world has enough for everyone’s need..1 But not enough for everyone’s greed!”…….. 2 But not enough for everyone’s greed!”…….. 2***************************** No 2 remains COMPLETELY true, BUT: No 2 remains COMPLETELY true, BUT: No 1 may no longer be true, because we probably now have too many ‘everyones’ if we want all on earth to live (let’s say) a ‘modest British lifestyle’ No 1 may no longer be true, because we probably now have too many ‘everyones’ if we want all on earth to live (let’s say) a ‘modest British lifestyle’ Humans currently utilise c 130% of world’s total biological capacity and by 2050 IUCN/WWF estimates we will need 200%! ** **Another planet? Or half as many of us? **Another planet? Or half as many of us? Mahatma Gandhi said:
Isn’t this THE most ‘Inconvenient Truth’? Planet finite…unending growth not an option….
Two sides of the same coin per person no. of persons Greenest energy is the energy you don’t use!
AN ABSENT HUMAN HAS NO FOOTPRINT
Population/Birth Planning has major relevance to all the following: has major relevance to all the following: Over-use of fossil fuels – and climate change Over-use of fossil fuels – and climate change More to die in each climatic or “Natural” disaster More to die in each climatic or “Natural” disaster Human rights/violence/genocide/terrorism Human rights/violence/genocide/terrorism Mass migrations Mass migrations Disease including HIV Disease including HIV Maternal mortality Maternal mortality Infant mortality Infant mortality Poverty, per head, even with ‘development’ Poverty, per head, even with ‘development’ Shortage of water and of food Shortage of water and of food Shortage of other basic resources (& energy) Shortage of other basic resources (& energy) Conserving biodiversity/habitats/the Natural World Conserving biodiversity/habitats/the Natural World
“Family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race” James Grant James Grant UNICEF Annual Report 1992
Aren’t these as much icons of the environment as her bicycle!
A DAMAGING MYTH …that any quantitative concern about human numbers on a finite planet is intrinsically: coercive - or exclusive - of other vital concerns [especially poverty and Northern over- consumption] ‘anti-human’
Good guideline: 2 offspring replace the parents
Isn’t it true that, in rural poverty (reinforced by culture): 1.“Every mouth has two hands” ? (Chairman Mao): to work for the family and supply a measure of ‘social security 2.High infant mortality needs to be compensated for ? Partly: but for starters no woman wants the biological maximum number of children! Plus so MANY conceptions are unplanned
There is a widespread unmet need for family planning Actual TFRs between 3 and 6 46
Successful family planning: Make as wide a range of fertility regulation options available as possible Use as wide a range of distribution channels (including private as well as governmental) as resources permit. REMOVE BARRIERS TO WOMEN
TFR Decline among Nations with Well Organized FP Programmes Contraceptives available + accessible; barriers ++ removed, misinformation corrected 67
Wild species now comprise only 3% of vertebrate flesh on planet earth!