SUSTAINABLE POPULATION - GLOBAL
Population is a local and global issue. Like climate change, population requires local action in order to achieve global outcomes. Importantly, Sustainable Australia is opposed to coercive efforts to reduce fertility.
Australia should provide leadership and support to countries experiencing rapid population growth or overpopulation, in order to help stabilise global population at the United Nation’s low peak variant of around 8 billion by 2050.
To help achieve this Australia should:
- Tie foreign aid wherever possible to the improvement of economic and environmental sustainability, with a particular focus on female rights and education, including opportunities for women and couples to access reproductive health and voluntary family planning services to help prevent unwanted pregnancies.(1)
- Increase its total family planning and reproductive health services foreign aid from $50 million to at least $500 million immediately, and to at least $1 billion by 2020.(2)
- Use international diplomacy and positions of influence within international bodies to highlight the current choice between a global population of 7-8 billion versus 17 billion by 2100. This would include lobbying other nations and the United Nations in order to fully recognise and promote the impact global population growth has on resource scarcity, deforestation, overfishing, ocean waste, biodiversity loss, climate change, regional conflict, global insecurity and refugee migration.
- Encourage every country to take primary responsibility for its own population size.
- Support overpopulated nations/regions to transition to sustainable population levels, rather than moving people to lower density regions to relieve population pressures. The latter policy perversely facilitates net global population growth through likely further growth in both nations/regions.
- Some 222 million women who would like to avoid or delay pregnancy lack access to effective family planning. This accounts for a significant proportion of the world’s annual population growth of around 80 million. By stabilising their populations through voluntary family planning and empowerment of women, nations help protect their food, water and energy security, improve infant and maternal health, maximise resilience to climate change, avoid labour exploitation, and free up investment to build prosperity and develop (also see REFUGEES & ASYLUM SEEKERS policy).
- Australia’s foreign aid budget for 2012-13 was around $5 billion.
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