The United Nations says easing poverty and conserving the environment will be the main challenges posed by the world’s burgeoning population.

The concerns were voiced after the announcement that Earth’s population will hit seven-billion in the next couple of days.

Elly Bradfield reports.


The UN says the increasing population is a challenge, an opportunity and a call to action.

Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, UN Population Fund Director: “Today’s Milestone that is the milestone of this report and the 7-billionth (baby) that we anticipate is a wake-up call. Now is a reminder that we must act now.”

A Brisbane demographer says it’s important to note the population growth rate has actually fallen in recent times.

Dr Elin Charles-Edwards, Qld Centre for Population and Research: “If we manage our consumption levels and if we have the technology, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to feed the extra two-billion (people) we’re going to have in population by 2050.”

QUT News contacted the Rome headquarters of Caritas, the world-wide Catholic aid agency, and they said there is enough food in the world, the trouble is getting it to the right places.

Caritas says that there are many issues that the international community need to address such as providing food and water to the places in need, providing infrastructure such as roads, wells, drainage and sanitisation and helping people to stay healthy and earn a living.

But a sustainability group say competing for non-renewable resources is a major problem, and distributing contraception and educating women in developing nations is vital.

Sandra Kanck, Sustainable Population Australia President: “It is actually a moral imperative to reduce our population because what we are doing is having births that are basically going to result in people dying.”

The U.N. Report says that if the rate of population growth continues at the same rate, there could be more than nine-billion people on the planet by 2050.

Elly Bradfield, QUT News.