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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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Developmental levels and environmental impact

More people are using more resources with more intensity than at any point in human history. Fresh water, cropland, forests, fisheries and biodiversity all show signs of stress at local, regional and global levels. Increasing pressure on the environment is the result of, on one hand, increasing affluence—that is, more consumption, pollution and waste, and on the other persistent poverty— that is, lack of resources and the technology to use them, and lack of the power to change these circumstances.

English Spanish, Arabic, French, Russian

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