Earth:‘The forever congested planet’
What is World Population Day?
It is an awareness campaign which is set on an international scale and is celebrated all across the world on the 11th of July. It is also a set platform that allows people to come forward and talk about the reasons for the ever-increasing population rate year after year. Things like mistakes and disasters are also discussed so that solutions on such a big platform may come forth. This day also marks the need to combat this issue, educate people and make them aware of the need for a global revolution.
This day was marked on the calendar by more than 90 countries in the year 1990 and also by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) when the global population hit 5 billion two years prior. By resolution 45/216 of December 1990, it was decided that observation of this day will be continued henceforth. The decision was made by the United Nations General Assembly to improve the awareness of this issue and improve the situation, including its relation with development and the environment. Since then the organisation named as United Nations Population Fund, previously known as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and various other organisations honour this day in collaboration with governments of the world.
Other than the issue of population, other related issues that are discussed are:
- The importance of family planning
- Gender Equality
- Right to education
- Girl child education
- Right to health
- Education on sexuality
- Gender sensitivity
- Child marriage
- Underage pregnancy
- Use of contraceptives like condoms and pills to avoid unwanted pregnancy
- Sexually transmitted diseases and a whole lot other that concern everyone on a global level.
It is deemed necessary that sexuality-related issues are discussed and solved for the youth especially for the age group of 14-18 years. The right and access to a safe elective family planning are important. This becomes a reason to lower poverty as it becomes central to women empowerment and gender equality. Decisions including investments for family planning are one of the ways to balance out population-related issues and doing so generates economic as well as other forms of gains that can be used for the development of other things.
The theme for this year's world population day is to address all the pending issues and decisions from the 1994 international conference on population and development.
The Nine standards that uphold the Human right to family planning according to the United Nations General Assembly are:
- Non Discrimination- information and services cannot be restricted to people on the basis of age, gender, race, sex, religion, political affiliation, economic status, marital status, sexual orientation, place of residence, disability status, etc.
- Available- countries must ensure that such services are readily available and accessible to everyone.
- Accessible- countries must ensure that such services are readily available and accessible to everyone.
- Acceptable- All these services including contraceptive and informative should be delivered respectfully and in a dignified way to people from all walks of life.
- Good quality- Family planning information and guidance should be communicated clearly and efficiently keeping in mind of the accuracy of the information provided.
- Informed decision making- Every individual is entitled to make their own reproductive decisions without any judgement, coercion and pressure.
- Privacy and confidentiality- Every person has the right to privacy and confidentiality while seeking information for family planning.
- Participation- Countries are legally obliged to ensure the participation of individuals in an active and informed manner with effect to every decision made including all health issues.
- Accountability- Leaders, health systems, policy makers and education systems must be accountable to all the people they serve in every endeavour to recognise the human right to family planning.
Population Day in Numbers.
The current population of the world is nearly 7,716,627,611 which translates to 7.7 billion people, including children, teenagers, adults and the elderly. Even though since the 1960’s there has been a decline in the fertility rate, approximately 82 million individuals are added to the world’s population every year. By 2100, it is estimated that there will be a population of 11.2 billion people on Earth. Europe has the lowest fertility rate of 1.6 births per woman whereas Africa has the highest 4.7 births per woman. By 2050, nine countries among which are Congo, India, the United States of America, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Tanzania and Indonesia will contribute to 50% of the world’s population growth. India’s population will take over China’s, Nigeria’s population will take over the United States of America, giving it the position of the third most populous country in the world.
According to John Wilmoth from the UN population division- “The population in Africa is known for its speedy rate of growth and it is predicted that over half of the global population from now and 2050 will take place in that region."
Facts to know on World Population Day.
- A decline in the Urban population in developed cities. Almost 33 percent of Western European cities and 40 percent in Japan’s cities have experienced a shrink in the population between the years 2012 to 2015. Cities in the United States are also expected to experience a minor dip in the population in the coming years although with the high fertility and good medical facilities may counter it.
- 2016 was the year when the population rate was the lowest in the past 80 years. The population rate sunk to 0.7 percent marking it to be the lowest since 1936 which was almost near the later years of the Great Depression in the U.S.
- Most of the population formation is because of the minority communities in the U.S. From the year 2009 to 2015, young adults of the 21st century who are a part of the minority in the U.S. were the major contributors of the population growth in both urban and suburban regions. But cities like Atlanta, San Jose and New York have experienced a rise in the minority part of the population. Hence America’s population will keep growing in a diverse manner in the future.
- America’s elderly population is damaging the federal budget. With the provision of good healthcare facility Americans are living longer than the expected age of mortality and are having smaller families. The elderly that are aged above 65 years of age make up 15 percent of the economy and this percentage is expected to rise to 21 percent in the next 20 years. This is directly affecting the expenditure on Medicare and Social security raising it to a higher level and inflating the Federal Debt.
How does one celebrate World Population Day?
This day is celebrated by organizing many activities all around the globe. Many of which are:
- Seminar discussions
- Sports activity
- Poetry Slam
- Round table conferences
- Debate competitions
- Street plays
- Slogan making competition
- Public competitions.
Many other health organisations do all these on a much smaller scale while coming up with strategies to tackle highlighted issues.
There are only limited sources which can feed limited mouths, but the number of mouths is increasing constantly and the resources are depleting at a booming rate. The world is already suffering from the crisis of water, food, and jobs and it is high time that we realize this ever-increasing growth in population needs to be controlled to provide a more resourceful life to our future generations. Let us take serious and effective measures to limit this growth and shape a more gifted future. It is on us to make this world a better place for the entire human race.