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CIAO Focus, November 2007:
Population and the Environment

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Source: Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN

According to a recently published UN report, the world's growing population (currently at around 6.7 billion) and its demand for limited resources pose a serious threat to the environment, possibly beyond the point of no return.

The Global Environmental Outlook is the fourth such report issued by the United Nations Environmental Programme since 1997. It was prepared by 388 environmental experts. Climate change, the extinction of species, and unsustainable consumption are among the chief concerns raised in the report, which describes itself as "the final wake-up call to the international community."

The report states that while the planet's population and financial wealth have both grown by more than a third over the past two decades, the land available per person has shrunk by 2.02 hectares, or 5 acres (in 2005), down from 7.91 hectares in 1900. Scientists predict that this number will drop to 1.63 hectares by 2050.

This month CIAO examines population and the environment.


From the CIAO Database:

Linkages Between Environment, Population, and Development [PDF]

An Agenda for Population, Health, and Environment [PDF]

Environment, Population, and Health: Strategies for a More Secure World [PDF]

Commentary: Debating Environment, Population, and Conflict

Outside Sources: *

Global Environment Outlook: Environment for Development (Geo 4)

Optimum Population Trust

Environmental Change and Security Project Report

World Population Foundation


* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine.