Thankfully, there are achievable solutions that will enable future generations to enjoy a high quality of life and maintain a healthy natural environment. However these solutions must be implemented sooner, rather than later and will require great effort and investment on our behalf.
In 2000, 189 nations made a promise to free people from extreme poverty and multiple deprivations. This pledge became the eight Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. In September 2010, the world recommitted itself to accelerate progress towards these goals.
If these goals are achieved global population will stabilise by 2050 years and then slowly decline. Unfortunately, we are struggling to meet these goals and must accelerate progress towards them.
United Nations Millennium Development Goals
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development
Of these eight goals, goal number five is highly pertinent to achieving a sustainable global population. Goal five includes providing universal access to voluntary family planning and reproductive health services. There are over 100 million women in the world today who want to space or limit their pregnancies, but who lack knowledge of, or access to, modern methods of contraception. By educating and empowering women, and giving them access to family planning services, we can save lives, strengthen families, fight poverty, preserve the environment, and help achieve a world population that can live in harmony with the planet.
We have the mandate, we must now take action. As individuals what can we do? We must do all that we can to live sustainable lifestyles. We can help educate others about the impacts of continuing population growth and unsustainable lifestyles. We should support organisations that are working to achieve the millennium development goals. We can lobby our government, via our members of parliament, to increase their aid to UN organisations in particular the UNFPA. We can also lobby our government to be world leaders and endeavour to work towards a stable and sustainable population for New Zealand.