Primatologist Dame Jane Goodall has warned that human population growth is damaging the planet's future.
Goodall said that United Nations figures showed that in the last 50 years the global population has doubled to 7.8bn and is expected to increase to 11.2bn by 2100.
In a message to the 2019 Population Matters conference, she said: “I would encourage every single conservation organisation, every single government organisation to consider the absurdity of unlimited economic development on a planet of finite natural resources.
“We can't go on like this. We can't push human population growth under the carpet.“ Dame Jane added that empowering women and girls was key to addressing unsustainable population growth.
She said: “It's been shown all around the world that as women's education improves family size tends to drop.“
Population Matters campaigners want action to reduce human population growth by voluntary means included in the post-2020 Convention on Biodiversity.
Environmentalist Jonathon Porritt agreed with this. He told the conference: “Over the last 50 years, human population has doubled and wild animal populations have halved. Undoubtedly, if we'd taken steps to prevent that population explosion then, biodiversity would be in a less perilous state today.“
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