03 October 2009
Nature abhors excesses, like an inordinate population growth rate which exacerbates climate change and the deterioration of the environment.
The recent tragic flooding of many areas in Metro Manila and the provinces attests to this verity.
A smaller population would avoid (1) habitation of river banks and conversion of former river beds into residential subdivisions; (2) minimize the volume of solid waste which clog waterways and drainage systems; and (3) reduce the denudation of forests by lowlanders seeking shelter and livelihood in forested areas, all of which contribute to flooding.
In 2004, Conservation International-Philippines, the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) conducted a much needed study entitled “Mapping Population-Biodiversity Connections in the Philippines” (MPBCP) which examined the interrelatedness of rapid population growth and the continuing deterioration of our environment.
The study confirmed that a ballooning population is central to the problems of air and water pollution, loss of biodiversity, depletion of agricultural land and animal habitat, global warming and many other crucial environmental issues.
The British medical journal Lancet recently underscored the connection of population dynamics, reproductive health and rights and climate change. It asserted that reducing unmet need for family planning “could slow high rates of population growth, thereby reducing demographic pressure on the environment.”
Lancet also cited a British report which says family planning is five times cheaper than usual technologies used to fight climate change. According to the report, each $7 spent on basic family planning would slash global carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1 ton as opposed to at least $32 spent on green technologies.
Typhoon “Ondoy” is an eye-opener on the critical immediacy of enacting the reproductive health bill on family planning, responsible parenthood and population development, which is principally authored by Rep. Edcel C. Lagman.
Promoting both the natural and artificial methods of family planning is truly cost effective in protecting the environment from the onslaught of population explosion.
The UNICEF has prescribed that “family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race.”