Source: Flinders University
Africa is projected to be home to nearly 3 billion people by 2100, but rapid population growth will cause widespread environmental degradation unless effective family planning becomes widespread policy, according to new research.
Researchers from Flinders University and the University of Helsinki have examined the environmental impacts of population density, variation in the distribution of wealth among citizens, and a country’s overall economic activity across the African continent.
“Our finding that the strongest predictor of environmental performance among nations in Africa is population density means that countries with the most people suffered relatively more environmental degradation on average,” says lead researcher Professor Corey Bradshaw, from the Global Ecology Laboratory at Flinders University.
“The result brings into question the reality of the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals because none of the targets mentions reducing human population size as a pathway to achieving their goals.”
“Dedicated family planning and government policies that attempt to limit population growth and promote economic development that does not compromise environmental integrity are needed to support sustainability across Africa.”