The world will reach the milestone of 7 billion people in 2011. The population is continuing to grow mostly in poor countries. Demographers are reasonably confident that by the second half of this century we will be ending an era in history- the population explosion- and entering one that will level out or fall.
By 2045 it is projected that the population will be 9 billion.
The question is can the planet sustain that many?
If the billions of people who want to boost themselves out of poverty follow the path blazed by those in the wealthy countries, they too will step hard on the planet's resources. How will 9 billion of us cope?
The National Geographic in association with the Wallace Global Fund is offering an exploration of these these areas during the year. Tutors will supply you with the articles on request.