I don't believe that it's the rising worldwide population that is leading to the environmental problems we are facing today. While I have to acknowledge that population growth plays a small role in it, I believe that most environmental degradation comes from the behavior of that population. Especially concerning is the behavior of the few developed countries that contribute much more to global degradation than the less developed ones.
Having that in mind, I can appreciate the United Nations- sponsored World Population Day coming up tomorrow, July 11. According to the UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund:
"This year's World Population Day reaffirms the right of people to plan their families. It encourages activities, events and information that will help make this right real - especially for those who often have the hardest time getting the information and services they need to plan their families, such as marginalized populations and young people.
When people can plan their families, they can plan their lives. They can plan to beat poverty. They can plan on healthier mothers and children. They can plan to gain equality for women. "
There are many reasons why family planning is important: It could save women's lives and help them participate in the labor force, as well as give them the opportunity to choose when and how they want to establish their family.
To read some of the environmental implications of the lack of family planning, read this. If you are interested in doing something in your community, the UN web site offers some good suggestions.