Population Dynamics and Environmental Change Seminar Series: The Bottleneck and the Breakthrough
The Bottleneck and the Breakthrough: the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and the Future of Wildlife in the 21st century, with an example from tiger (Panthera tigris) conservation

Eric W. Sanderson and Joe Walston, Wildlife Conservation Society

The demographic transition is leading toward population stabilization on a global scale for the first time in humanity’s history. Many demographers believe that peak human population could be reached in the twenty-first century, and scenario-based extrapolations suggest that it could occur as early as the 2060s or not until 2100 or beyond, at peaks that vary between 9 billion and 12 billion people. These large and significant differences in global population trajectory depend in turn on national and international policies related to migration, education, gender equity, and particularly, urbanization. These factors have huge significance not only for humanity, but also all the other residents of this Earth, plant and animal, and for global changes to ecosystems, ecosystem services, and the climate. In this talk, we will discuss what human population stabilization, poverty alleviation and urbanization mean for the historical arc, and modern day practice of, conservation, then illustrate with a specific example drawn from examining the implications of the shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) for tiger conservation. Conservation absolutely requires the continued protection and restoration of habitat, but also must enlarge its focus to include sustainable urbanization, market-based approaches to conservation, and political efforts to place the health and welfare of planet Earth at the center of human affairs.


Friday 1/31/2020 12:00-1:30pm
Population Council
One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
New York, NY 10017
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