UN Agency Marks '7 Billion Day'

The Oct. 31 observance culminates the United Nations Population Fund's global campaign to raise awareness of the challenges presented by the world's population.

Now that there are 7 billion people alive in the world, the UN agency that is working to raise awareness of the number and its implications is observing "7 Billion Day" on Oct. 31. The United Nations Population Fund's 7 Billion Actions campaign and website sought to achieve two objectives:

  • Building global awareness around the opportunities and challenges associated with a world of seven billion people
  • Inspiring governments, NGOs, private sector, media, academia and individuals to take actions that will have a socially positive impact

"The world's population will top seven billion people in October 2011. This unique moment in human history represents both an achievement and a challenge, and will have an impact on every single person on the planet," the site announces. "A world of seven billion has implications for sustainability, urbanization, access to health services and youth empowerment -– however, it also offers a rare call-to-action opportunity to renew global commitment for a healthy and sustainable world."

Alvaro Serrano is listed as the manager of the 7 Billion Actions campaign (serrano@unpfa.org, phone 212-297-5036, cell 917-213-7307). The campaign is working with more than 160 partners in academia, NGOs, and the business community to build awareness around seven key issues: poverty and inequality; women and girls empowerment; reproductive health and rights; young people; aging population; environment; and urbanization.

Meanwhile, DuPont is sponsoring a free iPad app in collaboration with National Geographic magazine that allows users to download the magazine's related population coverage during 2011 for a limited time beginning Oct. 27. DuPont says they have been collaborating since last year. DuPont's answers to overpopulation problems involve science-powered innovations that provide more and safer food, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and protect people and the environment. It says the app, "7 Billion: How your world will change," explores the challenges and potential solutions with "informative videos, interactive maps, in-depth articles and stunning photography."

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