Did you know why July 11 is an important day? Back in 1987, on this day, the global population reached 5 billion people. In 1989, this date was chosen by the United Nations to be World Population Day. It is marked on the calendar as a day that aims to raise awareness on population issues and their relations to the environment and development. These include but are not limited to family planning, gender equality, maternal health, human rights, environmental impacts of overpopulation and poverty.

Traditionally, the media only talks about global population topics when a milestone population is reached (another billion), but the world population grows by just under 100 million people annually. In fact, in 1987, there were 5 billion people on the planet, but according to the newest estimate by the United Nations, the population has now reached 7.9 billion. These rapidly increasing numbers bringing awareness to world population issues is more important than ever.

Every year on World Population Day, advocates from around the world are calling on world leaders, policymakers, and others to make reproductive health and rights not a luxury but a reality for everyone. Others are trying to shine a light on overpopulation issues and their impact on the environment. Overpopulation is also linked to a surge in crimes, gender inequality and human rights — things such as human trafficking and child labor are becoming normal in some parts of the world.

What can you as an individual do on World Population Day? As is mentioned above, this day is established to seek awareness of the issues, so the best thing you can do is educate yourself on those issues and spread the word. Also, be sure to take advantage of your privileges and take care of your family planning. Maybe you can look for ways to help those who are not as privileged and family planning is not within their reach. Discover more tips how you can protect the planet

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