What happens when the population in a particular area grows at a massive accelerated rate? It depletes all the natural resources, destroys habitats, promotes poverty and causes famine and widespread disease. These are just a few problems that arise from overpopulation and there are many more that affect the world over.
As we marked World Population Day 2020 on July 11, we take a look at what the day is all about and how it came into being.
World Population Day came about in 1989 and was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme. Its main idea was to raise awareness among the public about the detrimental effects of overpopulation not only to humans but to the environment as well. It also highlights the health problems faced by child bearing women and the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.
Too much of anything is not good for health, and the same applies to our planet Earth where population is concerned. A population is defined as being the number of organisms of the same species living in a particular area with the capability to interbreed. In this case we are talking about the number of human beings who stay in a city or town, region, country or world.
As per reports, there were an estimated 7.8 billion people living on Earth as of March 2020, and with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with couples locked in their homes for months, the number is expected to rise due to unplanned pregnancies. Population size fluctuates at differing rates in differing regions, and Asia is the most populous continent, with China and India together constituting about 36 per cent of the world’s population. With such a huge population, problems are bound to arise.
The World Population day came about in 1989 when it was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987, the approximate date on which the world’s population reached five billion people. The United Nations General Assembly decided to continue observing the day through its resolution 45/216 of December 1990.
The day is significant because it highlights the problems of overpopulation, raises awareness about the effects of overpopulation on the environment and development. It also talks about the health problems faced by child bearing women and the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.
Theme of World Population Day 2020:
The theme this year is based on safeguarding the health and rights of women and girls around the world especially during the time of COVID-19 pandemic. A recent UNFPA research highlighted that if the lockdown, even partially, continues for 6 more months till end of this year, and there is major disruption to health services, then 47 million women in low and middle-income countries might not have access to modern contraceptives. This would in turn lead to 7 million unintended pregnancies without any facilities of abortions. Apart from that, it could see a rise in gender-based violence, female genital mutilation and child marriages.
So as we celebrate World Polpution Day with a heavy heart, here are some quotes and sayings below from influential figures and learned men and women that can help raise awareness about overpopulation.
- Use a lid have just one kid.
- The greatest threat to human existence is our own lack of ability to control our own growth.
3. By improving health, empowering women, population growth comes down. (Bill Gates)
- A finite world can support only a finite population; Therefore, population growth must eventually equal zero. (Garrett Hardin)
- Our human population continues to expand at such a scary rate – it’s unbelievable. (Bindi Irwin)
- Population growth is the primary source of environmental damage. (Jacques Yves Cousteau)
- Deciding not to have kids is not selfish, it’s sensible.
- We all worry about the population explosion, but we don’t worry about it at the right time. (Art Hopp)
- We control the growth Of every other species, except our own.
- When the family is small, whatever little they have they are able to share. There is peace. (Philip Njuguna)