Why Population? Why Audubon?
The world's forests, rivers, oceans, and wild creatures are perishing at the hands of people. Across the globe, wildlife habitat is being destroyed by chainsaws, bulldozers, and chronic pollution. Much of the destruction of the natural world we see across the globe today is "fallout" from the human population explosion that has occurred over the last 50 years.
During the last 100 years, the world's population has quadrupled even as per capita consumption of natural resources has skyrocketed. At current birth rates, world population could double in the next 60 years. Even with rapidly declining birth rates, the population of the world is expected to increase by 50 percent in the next 50 years. To put it another way, the world will add more people in the next 50 years than existed in the world in 1950.
For over 100 years, Audubon has worked to preserve wildlife habitat. We know, however, that no environmental victory is permanent so long as population growth remains unchecked. That's why Audubon is committed to increasing support for international family planning and why we have worked on population and habitat issues for more than 25 years.
As one of the oldest and largest environmental organizations in the U.S., Audubon is a leading voice in the environmental community making the population and habitat connection.
While fertility has fallen in many countries and regions, demographic momentum means we are now adding a near-record number of people to the world's population every year. At present fertility rates, world population could double from 6 billion to 12 billion people by 2060.
A doubling of human population in the next 50 years is not yet a given, however. Over one billion teenagers are entering their most critical reproductive years. If these teenagers dramatically reduce their fertility, world population could stabilize by 2050 at far less than 12 billion.