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Growing pains for population

Head of UN Population on world's carrying capacity and why control is out of tune

Fifty years ago, the world's population stood at three billion - this year it's expected to pass the seven billion mark. The statistics are not in dispute, but there's plenty of argument over whether these numbers present difficulties or opportunities. This week, One Planet attends the year's biggest conference on population, to meet experts from around the world and ask them whether the planet has reached its carrying capacity.

We hear from Africa, India and China, plus Mike sits down with the new head of the United Nations Population Fund, Dr Babatunde Osotimehin. They discuss the controversial phrase 'population control'; Africa's youth bulge; and the need for some countries to actively promote raising their birth rates.

As ever, tune in, have a listen and then let us know what you think. Email the team at, or join in the conversation on our Facebook page - the link's below.

Available now

18 minutes

Last on

Mon 30 May 2011 15:32GMT


  • Fri 27 May 2011 18:32GMT
  • Sat 28 May 2011 03:32GMT
  • Sat 28 May 2011 23:32GMT
  • Sun 29 May 2011 18:32GMT
  • Mon 30 May 2011 10:32GMT
  • Mon 30 May 2011 15:32GMT

BBC World Service Archive

BBC World Service Archive

This programme was restored as part of the World Service archive project