Thursday, July 20, 2006

World Population Day the Youth Surge

Tuesday June 11, 2006 2-4 PM

Opening Remarks: Richard Griffis VP of Programs UNA-NCA
Lester Brown, Founder, President and Senior Researcher, Earth Policy Institute
Carl Haub, Senior Demographer, Conrad Taeuber Chair of Public Information, Population of Reference Bureau
Professor Laurie Schwab Zabin, Population and Family Health Sciences, Bloomberg School of Public Health, John Hopkins University
Mushahida Adhikari, LL.B. LAWA Fellow-South Africa, Leadership Advocacy and Women in Africa Program
Moderator: Lawrence Smith, Jr., Ph.D. President, Population Institute

In the 1900s the world population was 1.6 billion; now it is 6.1, the same numbers but reversed “how convenient is that.” What we can say is the world is never going to be the same again senior researcher Lester Brown kept echoing. There is a crucial interrelation between food, water, and energy supplies. Water will have higher value than oil, and armed conflicts over water resources is already taking place in Pakistan and other conflicts and later it will emerge for food and other limited resources. In fact, we have only two choices left: stabilize population, higher mortality or lower fertility rates. Developed countries do not have significant population problems. It is the developed countries that account for 87% of the global population growth. It is alarming that it occurs in most failed states. Mr. Brown asked how many failed populations does it take to make a failed globe. It is the developed countries that have the precedence of knowledge and means to help developed countries understand the threats of overpopulations on sustaining economic development, food security, and stability. Also, to save our civilizations, political, religious, and economic leaders should have an understanding of the impeding crises of overpopulations. On the civil engagement part, people should choose political candidates that are concerned with saving the human civilization.
Carl Haub explained the demographic aspect of the current and the projected population in 2050. Dr. Laurie Zabin started by defining health to WHO in which health “is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Youth in developing countries constitute 3 billion of the world population; we need to give them education and hope. She added, “hope is the best contraceptive”. Adolescents should be provided with the knowledge of self-protection.
Mushahida is from South Africa. The main purpose of her speech was to describe the challenges she faces everyday trying to take her role in educating adolescents and friends about the importance of contraception and control over fertility rates and also to protect themselves.

by Youmna Diri

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