Mr. Speaker, the global community recognized World Environment Day on June 5 and will recognize World Population Day on July 11.
Population growth has a significant impact on our environment as growing human activity around the world consumes the resources that all living things require. Clean freshwater and farmland are becoming more scarce. Fish are declining in the world's rivers, lakes and oceans. The loss of forests impacts biodiversity when habitats that shelter plant and animal species are destroyed. Billions of tonnes of topsoil are lost through erosion each year. Toxic chemicals in the environment especially threaten the health of children, the elderly and the urban poor. Our ecosystem and our health bear the brunt of these impacts.
My aim is not to dishearten but simply to raise awareness of the links between population, the environment and human health. By considering these links and the principles of sustainable development and by formulating our priorities, policies and laws we can make a great step forward.