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Unsustained Human Population Growth Puts Pressure on Natural Resources

Villagers must travel for over 1.5km every day

to fetch water for their daily requirements.

As the world urbanizes and industrializes, effects of climate change will intensify and environmental crises will increasingly devastate the lives, health, and livelihoods of people around the globe.

This article focuses on growing populations in particular, which are a major factor exacerbating our shrinking resources. For example, in developing countries—largely due to lack of family planning and contraceptive education—this growth will cause ever greater pressure on essential resources, endangering the quality of life for future generations.

We will need to produce 70% more food by 2050 to meet the demands of the

world’s massively expanding population. (The United Nations)

The United Nations’ World Water Development Report predicts that by 2050 there will be nearly

10 billion people—33% more than in 2011. Largely due to this exponential growth, the problem of natural resource scarcity will develop over the next few decades from serious to catastrophic.

A possible solution to these problems exists in education for girls and women in developing countries. Statistics and experience have shown that when women gain access to education and basic social services, the average number of births per woman drops precipitously.

Young women in these countries have had little access to sex education and contraception. Improving women's opportunities is one of the keys to rectifying overpopulation, thus helping to relieve that pressure on essential resources.

Done right, networked aid systems could bring women out of extreme poverty, even in countries where state-level governance remains abysmal.

Empowerment of women in developing countries is

pivotal to global sustainability

One major roadblock to getting this type of aid to women in need is the reinstatement and expansion of the very harmful Global Gag Rule to our foreign policy by the current Administration in Washington.

Originally introduced in 1984, it has been rescinded and reinstated several times over the past 3 decades, depending upon who was in office at the time.

This policy originally forced health providers to choose between receiving US global health funds and providing sexual and reproductive health care—at the risk of women’s health and lives, punishing those in already-challenging circumstances by putting life-saving services out of reach.

According to Pathfinder International (, under the current Administration this policy has actually been expanded—it now applies to all “global health assistance furnished by all U.S. government departments or agencies. Now, states Pathfinder, every effort that falls under global health assistance will be impacted.

Clearly, for our planet’s future and that of our descendants, we must move to fight this policy. Below I’ve listed several possible actions anyone can take.

  • Contact your members in Congress. Best way is by telephone. Go to for contact numbers.

  • Go to Lots of information on this website, along with a 6-minute video detailing the harmful effects of the Rule and seeking a permanent end to this policy regardless of who is in the White House. They also have presences on Facebook and Twitter.

  • has some great action tips including educating yourself and others.

  • Find and follow Planned Parenthood Action on Facebook or Twitter, and check out their action website,

For more information, Google “Fight the Global Gag Rule”

Learn - Educate - Act

Respectfully Submitted by

Judi Northen

GLOBE Environment Committee

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