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|Title:||World Population Day|
|Description:||“This year's World Population Day falls during a milestone year, when we anticipate the birth of the Earth's seven billionth inhabitant. This is an opportunity to celebrate our common humanity and our diversity. It is also a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for each other and our planet.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Message for World Population Day, 11 July 2011 |
The world population is presently standing at nearly 7 billion people and increases by three people per second, which is the equivalent of a quarter of a million people every day. The first national population census for South Africa, in 1904, recorded the country's total population as 5.17 million people. Just over a century later, South Africa's population is estimated at 50.5 million people.
For human progress, human equality and for sustainable living, all societies need a balance between natural resources and population. One may ask how can this be achieved when the United Nations has estimated that by the year 2025 the population will have risen to 8.5 billion people. It is evident that the more people there are, the greater the impact and demand on the Earth's resources. However, the human impact on the Earth is not only determined by the number of people. The amount of energy consumed, the way the planet‘s finite resources are utilised, and the amount of waste generated by each person all make a global impact.
Can solutions such as controlling the birth rate through a stipulated number of children per family, or improving health, education, housing and employment opportunities, lead to a 'controlled' population that can live sustainably on the Earth?
Debate the pros and cons of population control
World Population Foundation: www.wpf.org
Enviro Facts - www.un.org/depts/dhl/population/
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