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Every eight seconds, somewhere in the world someone is born, and in every 13 seconds someone dies. On July 11, 1987 one newborn in Yugoslavia was declared to be the five billionth human alive on the planet. Now, every July 11 is celebrated as the World Population Day, to highlight the importance of addressing and finding solutions to population issues.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) partners governments and non-governmental organizations in 140 countries to promote population growth and reproductive health.

The theme of this year’s World Population Day is ‘Investing in Young People’. Today, 1.8 billion young people are forming social and economic realities and above all, they are building the foundation of the world of the future. The main goal of World Population Day is for all humans to be given the right to determine the number and timing of their children both responsibly and freely.

Currently, millions of people lack access to modern contraception. Another objective of world population day is to inform the world about population issues and the impact the large population has on the environment and development. However, the idea is to raise awareness in a productive manner, not by utilizing scare tactics.

World Population Day programs help to save lives, slow the spread of HIV also and encourage equal rights for men and women. This, in turn, helps to reduce poverty and stabilize population growth, creating more healthy and prosperous families, communities and a better world. Education is one key to stabilizing the world population. When girls have equal access to education and equal participation in the workforce, they don’t start families at such a young age and don’t have as many children when they do start families. Promoting equal rights for men and women benefits everyone, helps to reduce poverty and save lives.

Every minute, a woman in the developing world dies from treatable complications of pregnancy or childbirth. With better access to healthcare, half a million woman’s lives and seven million infants wouldn’t needlessly die. Better reproductive health services would help slow down the AIDS epidemic. Every day, 14,000 people, half under 25, are infected with HIV/AIDS. Family planning for the world’s poor is essential. The birth rate is highest in the world’s poorest places.

Some argue that there are two underlying issues with population growth and the environment. The first is that simply by the world population increasing, resources will become more limited. The second is that the world’s population is continuing to use these resources in inefficient ways. In 1970, when worldwide greenhouse gas emissions had just begun to transgress the sustainable capacity of the atmosphere, the world population was about 3.7 billion; today it’s about 7.2 billion, an increase of 89 percent. In that same period, worldwide emissions from fossil fuels rose from about 14 billion tons to an estimated 29 billion tons, an increase of 107 percent.

These kinds of situations have directly impacted to the world climate changing and it causes to occur disasters around the world very often. The first ten countries with the largest population in the world are China, India, United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Russia and Japan. Sri Lanka is in 57th place of country population index among 238 countries and areas.

The World Population Day is a time to remind our leaders about their promise to meet these goals. Media also have major responsibility to aware about issues of abnormal population growth frequently. Through great awareness celebration of this day, people are encouraged to take part in the event to know about population issues and they can apply remedies for those issues as well.