The Inconvenient Reality – Population Growth and Resource Consumption
We do not need data and statistics to know that human population growth is an underlying issue impacting the sustainability and quality of human life. However, this appears to be a reality that we humans seem reluctant to confront and deal with.
The Dorobo Fund for Tanzania recognizes that sustainable livelihoods, quality of life and healthy environments will not be possible without also grappling with the issue of population growth and the correlating problem of increased resource consumption. With its integrated approach to facilitating community's sustainable use of natural resources, UCRT attempts to make the issues of growth and limits more recognizable to communities as it must be a part of an overall solution. Many village land use plans have incorporated immigration policies and regulations as a result. However, the issue of internal population growth has been and continues to be a difficult cultural and religious issue. Yet it is one that cannot be ignored.
The Dorobo Fund for Tanzania has made a commitment to make family planning awareness and services a part of all of its programs. It recognizes that the education and empowerment of women are crucial steps in this process. However, it also believes that when population growth and family size are linked to the basic issues of life – land, resources and social services – all people, regardless of culture and belief systems, will understand the links and become willing participants.
At the moment, UCRT is identifying sympathetic politicians, leaders and community organizations in an effort to collaborate on effective programs that will provide the necessary education and family planning services. The Dorobo Fund for Tanzania will be linking with organizations to find the necessary funding. Fortunately, there is a new donor-funded program starting up in Tanzania lead by John Hopkins University, which the Dorobo Fund hopes can provide the necessary platform to get started.
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The Dorobo Fund for Tanzania also recognizes that the individual consumption of resources is the other side of the problem. We, as individuals have an incredible freedom to choose what and how we consume. People like the Hadza help us to understand the difference between basic needs and wants. We must learn to limit our consumption and to choose resources and technologies that have the least impact on our environments.