Rally for Nature Tuesday 9th December 2014

According to a recently published United Nations study there is an 80 per cent probability that by 2100 the world population will increase from 7.2 billion to between 9.6 and 12.3 billion. A considerable amount of this increase is expected to take place in Africa, with two billion babies being born during the next 35 years, doubling the continent's population. The British Isles has also seen an increase in population. The south-east of England has witnessed the consequences of such population growth. Nature and the environment is under terrible threat. Protection of the Green Belt and planning controls are being relaxed. People are seeing the consequences as communities are being torn apart and the land is being concreted over. 

This is the backdrop that has brought together the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, The Wildlife Trusts, League Against Cruel Sports and Dr Mark Avery to organise the Rally for Nature in London on 9th December 2014. It has also gained support from other organisation such as Population Matters. The RSPB is Britain's largest nature conservation organisation which together with its partners, seeks to protect threatened birds and wildlife. They also play a leading role in a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

The Wildlife Trusts stand up for, and look after, natural and wild places close to where people live. There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK and the Isle of Man and Alderney. Together, The Wildlife Trusts are the UK's largest people-powered environmental organisation working for nature's recovery on land and at sea.

League Against Cruel Sports is a charity that brings together people who want to stop cruelty to animals in the name of sport. Established in 1924 they successfully use lawful investigations, campaigning and lobbying to make a difference in the UK and around the world.

Dr Mark Avery is a scientist by training and a naturalist by inclination. He writes about and comments on environmental issues. Mark worked for the RSPB for 25 years until standing down in April 2011 to go freelance. He was the RSPB's Conservation Director for nearly 13 years.

The aim of the Rally is to ensure that nature and wildlife protection is given precedence on the political agenda. This is a subject that applies to whatever part of the world that you live in. According to the recent Living Planet Report by the World Wildlife Fund, wildlife populations have halved in the last 40 years. The report states that "the biggest recorded threat to biodiversity globally comes from the combined impacts of habitat loss and degradation, driven by unsustainable human consumption". Global greenhouse gas emissions are also predicted to hit record levels this year, with a rise of 2.5 per cent above 2013 levels. This comes on top of research that shows that on current trends  world food production will not be enough to meet the needs of our growing population.

Meanwhile the best that so called world leaders and economists can come up with is the notion of continued population growth as a means of  securing economic growth. You hear it all the time, their notion of pyramid selling."we have an ageing population, so lets increase it and hope we can deal with the problems of population growth at some time in the future." A pyramid scheme is best described as an unsustainable business model that promises participants payment or services, mainly for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public. Well following this line of thought in global economic terms will mean that there will not be a sustainable future. 

It is now clearer than ever that an alternative growth model has to be found. One that needs to take measures to control the explosion in population growth that is now being experienced. All that is on offer at the moment is destruction and lowering living standards. It is time to grasp the nettle and look towards developing a new economic plan. One that offers a long term perspective of sustainability and using the worlds valuable resources to eradicate poverty and save this planet. 

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