ارتفاع عدد سكان الأرض الى سبعة بلايين نسمة
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The UK's Royal Society is launching a major study into human population growth and how it may affect social and economic development in coming decades.
The world's population has risen from two billion in 1930 to 6.8 billion now, with nine billion projected by 2050.
The society acknowledges it is delving into a hugely controversial area, but says a comprehensive and scientific review of the evidence is needed.
It is led by Nobel laureate Sir John Sulston who told the BBC that this is a topic that "appears to be moving back up the political agenda now".
The burgeoning human population is acknowledged as one of the underlying causes of environmental issues such as climate change, deforestation, disappearing water resources and loss of biodiversity.
In the 1970s, with disastrous food shortages taking place in parts of Asia and Africa, the world's inability to feed its rapidly growing population was an issue high on the political agenda.
In addition, some people in developing countries argued that western nations raised the issue as a means of distracting attention from the rising and unsustainable consumption in the west.
Recently, however, population has started to re-emerge as an issue of discussion among people working on environment and development issues.
However, some economists and policymakers consider population growth a good thing, as it produces a swelling workforce capable of producing more goods and continued economic growth.
Jonathon Porritt, founder and director of the UK think tank Forum for the Future and a member of the Royal Society's working group, suggested the review could shed some objective light on the issues under dispute.
"What it can do is shed some light on the different interpretations that people draw from the underlying trends," he said.
Policymakers needed such objective studies, he said, in order to make effective choices - for example, deciding whether and how to support family planning policies in the developing world.
The Royal Society's study is launched on World Population Day, and is expected to conclude in early 2012.
What do you think can be done to deal with the world's rising population? Write to us in English! برأيك ما الذي ينبغي القيام به للتعامل مع ارتفاع عدد سكان العالم؟ اكتب لنا بالإنجليزية
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