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7.9 Billion and Counting…

The world’s population has grown and continues to grow at an exponential rate. As we reach a world population of almost 8 billion people, we now face a number of issues that we must collectively endeavour to find solutions to. World Population Day, July 11, is the day dedicated by the United Nations to our growing population and the subsequent issues associated with ever-expanding growth.

As to be expected, COVID-19 has been flagged by the UN as one of the biggest threats faced by the global population for both 2021 and the foreseeable future.

Other issues recognised include climate change, poverty and access to health care. In promoting this day, governments and organisations hope to raise awareness and encourage international unity.

It has been recognised by many indicators, such as the Sustainability Development Goals, that solving these problems will only be achieved through global cooperation. Specifically, this year, division, rising tensions and uncertainty have created a less unified community.

With the news often bombarding us with stories of negative circumstances it is very easy to become desensitised to problems faced around the globe, particularly if they do not directly impact ourselves. Not only does this Day promote self-awareness but also a wider understanding of how our individual actions can affect others. However, it is important to also recognise that not all growth is negative - often it brings the promise of development and expansion.

Take Bribie for example. With recent rises in our population capita, we have seen the progression of infrastructure and businesses around our community. We have viewed the expansion of schools, restaurants and increases in tourist numbers. If properly understood and the appropriate resources are allocated, population growth can be achieved in a productive and positive way.

For us in Australia, population expansion is a result almost solely due to migration. As our country supports an older population we rely heavily on international travel and migration to ensure growth. It is yet another factor we have faced during the pandemic. Evidently, population growth holds both positive and negative aspects for a community, country and internationally but also helps push for innovation and creation.

In efforts to balance the environment with living needs, many new builds consider the environmental impacts and include amenities such as solar energy. These ideas are being implemented from cities to coasts, aiming to create a more sustainable relationship between expanding populations and the needs of the Earth. Ultimately, World Population Day promotes fostering relationships across the globe to help solve problems that impact us all.

We must endeavour to find an achievable relationship between ever-expanding numbers of people and the protection of the environment. Unity remains an important key.

Amelia Strazdins

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