[audubon-news] FW: John Flicker Statement on UN Population Fund Support

  • From: "BIANCHI, John" <JBIANCHI@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'audubon-news@xxxxxxxxxxxxx'" <audubon-news@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 11:21:40 -0500

Dear subscibers - 

We have migrated this list to freelists recently - Due to my complete
technical incompetance, this mail and following three have been hanging in
the ether since last wednesday.  I apologize for the delay and thank you for
you patience.  Now, hopefully I can get that VCR timer to stop blinking... 

> Wednesday, February 27, 2002
> Statement of John Flicker
> President of the National Audubon Society
> On U.S. Funding for the United Nations Population Fund 
> Human population growth is one of the most pressing environmental problems
> facing the world.  So much of the environmental degradation seen across
> the globe today is fallout from the human population explosion in the last
> 50 years.
> International family planning programs have been proven to slow population
> growth, and Audubon urges the Bush Administration to end the delay and
> fully release the $34 million that Congress approved for the United
> Nations Population Fund.
> For thousands of years, birds have been one of our most important early
> warning systems. Birds have predicted the change of seasons, the coming of
> storms, the presence of land at sea and the rise of toxic levels of
> pollution in the food chain. 
> Now birds are telling us something is terribly wrong with the environment.
> Across the United States, warblers are disappearing, as are dozens of
> other songbirds.  Scientists say the demise of these songbirds is caused
> by the destruction of their habitat, brought about by rapid rates of human
> population growth. 
> Many of America's songbirds spend much of the year in the tropical forests
> of Latin America and the Caribbean. But these forests are being cut to the
> ground at record rates. In Central America, more than 40 percent of the
> forest canopy has been destroyed in the last 30 years, as the population
> of the region has doubled. 
> What's happening to birds is happening to wildlife all over the world --
> to the tigers in India, the elephants in Thailand, and the jaguars in
> Central America.  Though many of the world's creatures face peril now, the
> real trouble lies ahead. 
> Across the globe, more than a billion teenagers are entering their
> reproductive years -- the largest cluster of teens in world history. The
> choices these young people make in the next decade will determine the fate
> of our natural world for generations to come.   If birth rates remain at
> current levels, demographers say the world will add more people in the
> next 50 years than it has in the previous 500,000 years. 
> Population growth is about more than the environment, of course. It's also
> about the health of women, crushing unemployment and poverty rates, and
> rising levels of social and economic instability in the developing world. 
> We urge President Bush to act on what is a matter of life and death for
> wildlife, women and children the world over.  Voluntary family planning
> programs like those carried out by the UNFPA around the world are vital to
> slowing human population growth and the pace of habitat destruction.  

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