Global speak out targets human population crisis

The Center for Biological Diversity announced today its participation in the second annual Global Population Speak Out, a month-long effort to publicize the crisis of unsustainable human population growth. The Center is speaking out as part of its overpopulation campaign, which addresses the devastating impacts of overpopulation on endangered species.

“The Center for Biological Diversity joins this year’s Global Population Speak Out to help raise awareness about this critical environmental issue and the endangered species and habitats threatened by human overpopulation,” said Randy Serraglio, a conservation advocate leading the Center’s campaign. “Unsustainable human population growth is the primary underlying factor driving the current decline and mass extinction of other life on Earth.”

The Center’s campaign, launched in February 2009, is a major educational initiative drawing attention to the close connection between the massive increase in human numbers and the rapid decrease in the planet’s biological diversity. “It is rare that an environmental group is willing to address the deep-seated problem of overpopulation,” said Serraglio, “but with more species going extinct today than ever before in our lifetime, we can no longer ignore our impact on the planet. We hope that many more conservation groups will join the conversation about population growth because it affects every environmental issue.”

As part of the ongoing campaign, the Center has created a Web site that illuminates the connection between burgeoning human population and accelerating biodiversity loss. “Most biologists agree that we have begun the sixth mass extinction event in the Earth’s history,” said Serraglio. “What separates this one from earlier events is that it is being driven by a single species – humans. All the direct threats to the earth’s biodiversity – land-use changes due to urban sprawl and commercial development, environmental contamination, competition for water and other resources, climate change, and so on – are driven by human overpopulation.”

The 2010 Speak Out promises to be larger than last year’s, as hundreds of individuals and groups have pledged to participate. This year’s sponsors include prominent conservation voices from outside the United States, where the subject of human overpopulation is less taboo, including the president of the European Section of the Society for Conservation Biology and the director of conservation at the African Conservation Foundation.

“As part of the GPSO this month and the Center’s overpopulation campaign, we’re planning to launch creative, multimedia education projects focused on protecting endangered species and our environment,” said Serraglio. “Our goal is to reach out to the public in new ways and help people understand how they can be part of the solution to curb runaway human population growth.”

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