Report highlights population challenges

17 April 2012


Expert findings from Professor Sarah Harper have contributed to a new Royal Society Report highlighting population challenges.

Challenges to human health and our natural environment resulting from rapid and widespread changes in the world's human population, coupled with unprecedented levels of consumption are the focus of the Report, People and the Planet,

Professor Sarah Harper, Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, and a member of the Royal Society's International Working Group, will be presenting findings from the report onThursday April 26 at an event in London. Also present will be the Chair of the Working Group, Nobel Laureate, Sir John Sulston FRS and President of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse FRS.

The report is the result of a wide-ranging, international study. Findings highlight the challenges and the opportunities that changes in population, consumption and the environment will present for people and the planet. It will discuss the prospects for genuinely sustainable development.

Although a lot is known about these linkages between population, consumption, health and environment, they do not feature prominently in international debates about sustainable development. This report will offer insights and evidence in the run up to Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, taking place this June.

The Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, Secretary of State for International Development, will attend the launch to offer his thoughts on the importance of including population in sustainable development discussions.

The challenges of the world’s changing demographics was addressed by the recent Oxford Martin School seminar series, Is the Planet Full? Academics from the School addressed the challenges that we face in order to supporting our growing and changing population, including providing sustainable sources of water, energy, healthcare and food. Watch the webcasts from the seminar series here.