The first steps to 8 billion: population pressures, adaptation, and climate change

Demographers predict the 7th billion person will be born on October 31st — today we begin walking towards 8 billion and beyond. As our global population grows, more people will be exposed to climate change impacts and the need to adapt.  Women and children in the developing world are disproportionately affected by these changes. Population Action International (PAI) suggests family planning as an opportunity to improve the health of women and children and also reduce the pressure on natural resources like water and energy, increasing our resilience to climate change.
We see this as evidence that climate change adaptation comes in many forms and that impacts on resources, especially water, are central to how we make decisions for ourselves and our families. For instance, a team of researchers led by Dr. Eugenia Kalnay at the University of Maryland have looked into the dynamic and complex relationship between climate, population, and shifting demands on resources. They suggest that addressing population growth in climate models eliminates “the elephant in the room,” and that family planning does not just contribute to women’s empowerment of their own reproductive health but also reduces the strain on resources and makes sense for the growth of the global economy. Check out a presentation on the study
here, created in part by Fernando Miralles-Wilhem, who was also interviewed on this site earlier this year.

Weathering Change below, PAI shares the stories of women living in Nepal, Peru and Ethiopia who are living with the realities of climate change and the need to adapt for themselves and their families. We encourage you to watch the video, share with your circles, and help us spread the message about the relationship between water, climate change adaption and empowering individuals to find solutions.

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