The letter below is PIC President Madeline Weld’s submission to Population Matters’ campaign to call on government leaders to discuss population at the UN Summit on Biodiversity on September 30th. We urge everyone to support the Population Matters campaign; the more signatures, the more weight it places on governments to address the population issue at the summit.

Lend your voice by filling out the form provided by Population Matters with your name, email address, country of residence and a message of what you wish to say (a standard form letter is provided, if you wish to use it).

A final thought: once you have signed and submitted, consider sharing the link on your social media channels to encourage others to participate (Population Matters gives you the chance to do this automatically after you submit your form). We need your help to get population on the discussion agenda for the September 30th Summit!

Here is PIC President Madeline Weld’s submission letter:

Dear Mr Wilkinson

As you know, Heads of State from around the world will be attending the UN’s Biodiversity Summit on 30 September – an event which seeks to address urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development. It is an opportunity to raise the profile of biodiversity on the global stage. As one of your citizens, and president of Population Institute Canada, I urge you to use our government’s influence to push for content that addresses human population.

As is widely understood, most of the Convention’s existing Aichi biodiversity targets will not be met. While there are many reasons for this, their failure to address human population growth is certainly among them. Multiple scientific papers and authoritative reports establish this. The most significant of these is from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the scientific body established to advise governments on this issue. Its global assessment, published in May 2019, identifies population growth as one of four “indirect drivers” of biodiversity loss, and its policy recommendations are absolutely clear: “changes to the direct drivers of nature deterioration cannot be achieved without transformative change that simultaneously addresses the indirect drivers.”

In the run-up to the Summit, I hope that the Government of Canada will consider embedding the ethical and empowering population solutions already in Sustainable Development Goals 1,3,4 and 5 into the Post-2020 Framework. These measures, which include advancing gender equality and improving access to quality education and family planning, are the most effective ways to slow population growth and thereby play a key role in ending the current extinction crisis.

Thank you for considering this request and I look forward to hearing that you have taken action.

Yours sincerely,

Madeline Weld

President, Population Institute Canada

PO Box 59045

Ottawa ON K1G 5T7

Tel. 613-833-3668