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Famed Primatologist Encourages Population Control

March 24, 2010

British primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall, who in the 1960s completed landmark research on chimpanzees, has come forward and publicly called for humans to have fewer babies in order to better control the population.

“It’s very frustrating as people don’t want to address this topic,” Goodall, 75, told the AFP’s Nick Morrison in a March 24 interview. “It’s our population growth that underlies just about every single one of the problems that we’ve inflicted on the planet.”

“If there were just a few of us then the nasty things we do wouldn’t really matter and Mother Nature would take care of it — but there are so many of us,” she added. “We should be talking about somehow curtailing human population growth.”

Goodall is a member of the British organization OPT (Optimum Population Trust), a group that argues in favor of family planning and sex education programs, as well as voluntary caps of two children per family.

The group’s goal is to reduce projected population growth by more than half over the next four decades, which would result in a global population of eight billion by 2050 instead of the 9.1. that has been predicted by the United Nations Population Division.

Goodall, who is a well-known supporter of attempts to combat theorized climate change, also talked about the importance of improving the quality of life for women in developing countries, supporting reforestation efforts, and promoting sustainable use of tropical forests.

She is the author of the newly published book “Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued From The Brink,” in which she covers these and other conservation efforts. According to Morrison, “Goodall hopes the positive tone of her book will translate into practical action to help conserve the environment in the long term.”

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