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The signs that we are living in the era of the Anthropocene* – a time where human impacts are transforming the planet – are piling up.  There has been a spate of recent reports on increased deforestation, pesticides, and the melting of the Arctic. Then there was the death of the world’s last white male rhino.  Coincidentally, that same week, a United Nations report found that biodiversity is declining everywhere.  And human-induced climate change is a major driver.
 
One way to address some of our major global challenges is to not ignore uncomfortable issues, such as population growth.  Read on for our new newsletter feature on why – and how – to talk about this topic.
 
*See Transition Earth’s factsheet for more about the Anthropocene.

Let’s Talk Population
 
We can’t change what we don’t talk about, and though population issues can be difficult, for a variety of reasons, it doesn't mean we should ignore the "elephant in the room."  We live in a world of 7.5 billion humans and still growing, and we all want healthy people and a thriving planet, and the two go hand-in-hand. The solutions to attain a stable and healthy population number are grounded in the principles of rights and empowerment. 


A good place to start, when discussing population issues, is understanding that the education, rights and reproductive health of women and girls are the key solutions to a better world.  Empowered women can better support themselves, their families and communities, take care of their local environment, and better adapt to climate impacts.

Even climate change experts understand the value of supporting rights for women and girls. In Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warmingeducating girls and investing in family planning are included in their top solutions to climate change.

Addressing women's needs for voluntary family planning and health services is a game-changer for women, their families and ultimately, the environment.  It is one way to frame the discussion and move forward.
Help Support Our Efforts for Population & Planetary Health!
 
Last year Transition Earth became a member of the Planetary Health Alliance, a consortium of universities, NGOs, government entities, research institutes, and other partners around the world committed to advancing planetary health, which can be described as “the health of human civilization and the state of the natural systems on which it depends.”

 
Transition Earth, along with several of our allies who also work on population, health, and environment issues, wants to promote and advocate for these issues within the Planetary Health Alliance. The PHA annual conference is happening in Scotland in late May and offers a great opportunity to interact with people who care about people and the planet but may not be looking at population and the links to health, environment and development.
 
We need some extra support to get there.  Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated!  To donate, please click here.
Transition Earth: Writer’s Corner
 
Our youth writer, Candela Vázquez Asenjo, has penned an article called Attaining a Sustainable Life Through Minimalism, on the value of simplicity in our every day life and how it can improve our well-being and help the planet.
 
Candela writes, “By cutting off excessive consumption and keeping what is essential, we are reducing our waste, our packaging waste, and consequently it is decreasing the amount of pollution that comes from our garbage and from manufacturing products that have an unethical, wasteful and unsustainable background.”
 
See also our blog Education Before Marriage: Give Girls a Fighting Chance and a little bit of good news on efforts to end child marriage.
ASRI Kids & Conservation: Update from Borneo
 
Speaking of simplicity, the ASRI Teens from Borneo engaged in an activity to learn about recycling.  Last month, for National Trash Awareness Day in Indonesia, the ASRI Teens of Bekantan group learned about the utilization of recycled used goods.  The youth spoke with a secondhand collection worker who gathered and sold plastic bottles, cans, and other items.  They learned how used goods were not just great for environment, but also for making money.
 
Afterwards, the ASRI Teens created posters on the value of recycling used items. Here is one youth's drawing on the need to recycle:
Image of the Month

Capitol Hill Days, Washington, DC – Population Connection’s education and advocacy conference was a big success and had a full house of 400 people, including mostly youth, ready and willing to take action on women’s rights, health, environment and injustice!

In support of people & the planet,
Suzanne
Copyright © 2018 Transition Earth, All rights reserved.


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