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State of World Population 2001

Footprints and Milestones - Population and Environmental Change

image of State of World Population 2001

Each year since 1978, UNFPA has issued a report highlighting new developments in population. Human activity is altering the planet on an unprecedented scale, the report points out. More people are using more resources with more intensity and leaving a bigger footprint on the earth than ever before. This report examines the close links between environmental conditions, population trends and prospects for alleviating poverty in developing countries. It finds that expanding women’s opportunities and ensuring their reproductive health and rights are critically important, both to improve the well-being of growing human populations and to protect the natural world.

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Health and the environment

Environmental conditions help determine whether people are healthy or not, and how long they live. They can affect reproductive health and choices, and they can help determine prospects for social cohesion and economic growth, with further effects on health. Changes in the environment—pollution and degradation, climate change, extremes of weather—also change prospects for health and development.

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