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. > You are subscribed to Audubon-News. To unsubscribe, send email to audubon-news-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field. To adjust other settings (vacation, digest, etc.) please visit, http://www.freelists.org/list/audubon-news.