No. 12, October 14, 2011
In This Issue:
Thousands Rally Around 7 Billion Mark
These last several weeks have been inspiring: Thousands of you are helping jump-start a national conversation. The world population hits 7 billion this month, and people are talking about what that means for plants and animals around the world. As part of the Center for Biological Diversity's 7 Billion and Counting campaign, we're sending out 100,000 free, award-winning Endangered Species Condoms to distributors in all 50 states. I just spoke with a mother in Flint, Mich., who plans to bring the condoms to the local high-school homecoming events. A student in Texas is incorporating population growth into her school project, filming people's responses to the condoms. And hundreds of others will be going out into their community to start talking about this critical issue.
How are you planning to mark this global milestone? We've posted tips for hosting an event as well as a fact sheet you can hand out at your upcoming action or community gatherings. Join the thousands who have already signed up. Don't forget to post pictures, video and stories of your 7 Billion actions on our Facebook page or send them to us to share.
Take Action: Support the U.N. Population Fund
Last week the U.S. House of Representatives moved a bill (H.R. 2059) out of committee that would strip all funding for the United Nations Population Fund. The fund ensures that women around the world have access to birth control and reproductive-health services. These are basic human rights we need to protect, both for the women who want them and the planet that needs them.
The George W. Bush administration eliminated U.S. money for the international fund. President Barack Obama has since reinstated those funds; but now Republican lawmakers have put them in their sights again. Protecting women's access to healthcare and birth control is a key part of the Center's campaign; as plant and animal species continue to lose habitat because of our need for more and more of the planet's resources, we have an added incentive to support the important voluntary initiatives funded by the U.N.
We stand with our allies who are calling on Congress to vote against H.R. 2059 and urge you to write your representatives today. You can read more here. We'll keep you posted on actions you can take.
Bringing Biodiversity to the Table
I spent several days last week in Washington, D.C., meeting with other activists from around the world working on population-growth issues. The Population Media Center, which just launched its latest population campaign page, Population 7 Billion: It's Time to Talk, brought us together to discuss next steps forward. We all agreed that population's effects on plant and animal species have sped up the extinction clock and we need to act now.
Among those at the conference was Dr. Camilo Mora. We've mentioned Dr. Mora's work in the past few months in Pop X. He and other prominent scientists have been working on models to understand biodiversity hotspots around the world, particularly in ocean habitats. In particular, they've looked at how population affects efforts to protect species in some of those biologically rich areas. At the meeting, Dr. Mora gave a compelling presentation, saying the most important action we can take is outreach and education on the impacts people are having on the areas most likely to support species recovery.
Frogs, Turtles and Other Reasons to Talk Pop
A lot of people ask how we chose the six species featured on our Endangered Species Condoms. The coquí guajón frog ("Use a Stopper, Save the Hopper") gets a particular eyebrow raise from people who've never heard of this remarkable species. The Center has been working for years to get protections for the Puerto Rican frog. Just this week we learned that one of the coquí's cousins, the tiny coquí llanero, will also get protection under the Endangered Species Act. It's part of a landmark agreement the Center reached this summer that will speed up protection decisions for 757 species around the country.
Meanwhile another marine creature is in the news because of threats to its existence, including from people. A study just released includes coastal development as one of six major factors threatening sea turtles. With half the world population living within 125 miles of the coast, we know that the predicted urbanization of coastal areas does not bode well for marine species. After a petition by the Center and allies, the Obama administration recently designated the North Pacific loggerhead as an endangered species.
Less is more,
Overpopulation Campaign Coordinator
Center for Biological Diversity | P.O. Box 710, Tucson, AZ 85702-0710
This is an unmonitored email address, please do not reply. To sign up for condoms, click here. If you'd like more information on the Center's overpopulation campaign, visit our website. To make a donation, click here. Specific population-related questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow a few days for a response. To stop receiving Pop X, click here.
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Coquí llanero photo by Carlos Pacheco, USFWS.