Population, Resource Use and Consumption

Photo: John Ganghan

The environmental campaigners Robin Maynard and Jonathon Porritt have been trying to find out how the UK’s main conservation and environmental NGOs are engaged with the social and environmental consequences of a growing human population.

They sent a series of population briefings to The Wildlife Trusts, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, National Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, and Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF-UK), to stimulate them to consider the issue. Then, they invited responses and assessed those that they received.

The results were published in February 2014. In the order, from ‘most encouraging’ to ‘most disappointing’, the approaches of NGOs to the responsible debate of UK and global population growth were ranked as follows:

1. Friends of the Earth
2. The Wildlife Trusts
3. CPRE
4. Greenpeace
5. RSPB
6. Wildfowl and Wetland Trust
7. National Trust
8. WWF-UK

Overall, The Wildlife Trusts were ranked second. A large contributor to this was The Wildlife Trusts' policy position published in August, 2013: ‘Position on Population, Resource Use & Consumption in the UK’. The Wildlife Trusts acknowledge that while an increasing population is only one contributor to the increasing impacts of human beings on our natural environment, the presence of more people will inevitably make nature’s recovery more difficult to achieve. 

If you have any comments please email enquiry@wildlifetrusts.org. Thank you.