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Population Connection Volume 46, Issue 3 September 2014

Inside This Issue:

Tonle Sap Lake: Cambodia’s “Beating Heart” in Trouble Because of Population Growth Special Tear-Out World Population Map

Population Spike Plays Big Role in Egypt’s Threatened Cultural Heritage

President’s Note

WASHINGTON — President Obama announced today that he is sending 130 U.S. military advisors to Denmark to deal with mounting unrest in that war-torn nation. Meanwhile, northern Vermont is besieged by thousands of unaccompanied Canadian children pouring across the border as gun-wielding gangs control many parts of that poverty-stricken nation.

Too many members of Congress fail to understand that altruism is pragmatism when it comes to birth control here at home and around the world. When we help women and couples from Baltimore to Baghdad plan their families, they have fewer children. This improves their lives. And it improves our lives as well.

No, Population Connection hasn’t become a satirical outlet. We’ll let The Onion do its job, while we do ours. But substitute Iraq for Denmark, Guatemala for Canada, and the news seems all too familiar. There is a very high correlation between rapid population growth and general tumult. At current rates, Iraq’s population will double before 2040, while Denmark will take several centuries to do so. And Guatemala has the most rapid population growth in the Western Hemisphere.

Some farsighted individuals support population programs primarily to reduce environmental damage caused by threats to oceans, endangered species, and our climate. Others see women’s rights as the key reason why we should help remove barriers to personal reproductive health. Both camps are correct. And, as it happens, the actions needed are exactly the same in either case: universal awareness of and access to affordable voluntary contraception.

Rampant population growth is a fact of life where civil strife, extreme poverty, and societal collapse are daily realities. And it’s not distributed evenly around the globe. By 2100, Africa’s population is projected to quadruple to 4 billion, while Europe may see a modest decline from 730 million to 640 million. I never cease to be amazed by those unfazed when population soars, but panicked at any prospect of slight decline.

Birth control is indeed a modern miracle. The need is great. The technology is there. And voluntary programs are ready to do what’s needed.

Looking at the global scene, President Obama is right: “Apparently people have forgotten that America, as the most powerful country on Earth, still does not control everything around the world.” Wisely, he successfully pressed for a 40-percent increase for international family planning upon taking office. The president clearly understands these investments are essential to avert some of the world’s worst problems. Yet further progress is blocked by a U.S. House majority that possesses neither charity nor common sense.

We just need to replace a few bull-headed politicians and, presto, we can move down the path to a better future. OK, that’s not so easy. And there is more to it than that—including educating the next generation. But our world really does need better headlines. So, let’s all get to work right now. The longer it takes, the harder it gets.

John Seager john@popconnect.org

In this issue, I’m proud to recognize members of Population Connection’s ZPG Society—a group intended to celebrate our supporters who have included our organization in their estate plans. Whether their ultimate gift will take the form of a bequest through a will, a charitable gift annuity, a trust, a retirement fund, or a life insurance policy, I’m proud to recognize these far-sighted members who want to ensure that Population Connection may achieve our mission of zero population growth. To each member of the ZPG Society: thank you.

Population Connection — September 2014

Population Connection Volume 46, Issue 3 September 2014

Board Chair

J. Joseph Speidel, MD, MPH President and CEO John Seager

Editor and Designer Marian Starkey


A Push to Save Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake


World Population Map

By Chris Berdik By ODT Maps

19 Egypt’s Population Boom Threatens Cultural Treasures

By Peter Schwartzstein


Editor’s Note


Letters to the Editor


Pop Facts


In the News

Annual membership ($25) includes a one-year subscription to Population Connection magazine. All contributions, bequests, and gifts are fully taxdeductible in accordance with current laws.


The ZPG Society


Washington View

Population Connection (ISSN 2331-0529) Population Connection 2120 L Street, NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20037 (202) 332-2200 (800) 767-1956 (202) 332-2302 fax info@popconnect.org


Field & Outreach


Skye Adams Contributors

Chris Berdik, Stacie Murphy, Peter

Schwartzstein, John Seager, Sydney

Speizman, Marian Starkey, Alexis Thom Population Connection is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth’s resources.

30 PopEd 32 Cartoon 33

Editorial Excerpts

www.PopulationConnection.org www.PopulationEducation.org http://twitter.com/popconnect www.facebook.com/PopConnectAction

Cover Photo

Kampong Phluk, Cambodia Photo: Paul Bannerman


September 2014 — Population Connection


Editor’s Note


hings move at a slower pace in the summer, especially, it seems, in Washington, D.C. Congress takes a monthlong August recess, staff are in and out of the office on vacation, and the oppressive heat and humidity make everyone feel like lazing in a hammock with a glass of iced tea. About the only thing that makes work in D.C. more lively in the summer is the inundation of interns from around the country and world, who descend upon the capital for a few weeks of hands-on job experience. We were fortunate to have six wonderful interns from Duke University join our staff for the summer, thanks to the generosity of long-time members Fred and Alice Stanback. These talented Blue Devils contributed their writing, researching, and graphic design skills for 11 weeks, during which time they completed projects that had been nagging at our permanent staff since last summer’s Dukies left. One of them taught a staff seminar on how to use a free online graphic design tool to create simple infographics. Another added hyperlinks to all of our online fact sheets. Young people keep our office, and this city, fresh. I try to keep our magazine content fresh as well, which can be difficult when I find the perfect article to reprint but have to hold onto it until I gather other materials on the same theme. So, this time I’m doing something a bit different. The focus of this issue is that there is no focus. It’s a random collection of items we wanted to share before they grew outdated. They are reprinted from a variety of sources (National Geographic, the New York Times, the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan, and ODT Maps) and point to the wide-ranging implications of population growth, from dwindling fish stocks to crumbling anthropological sites. The World Population Map—which is a tear-out centerfold—introduces a novel way of looking at our planet’s human population. And Pop Facts illustrates that the United States just may have passed “peak car,” a reminder of the 2

Population Connection — September 2014

good news that population growth doesn’t always have to lead to a growth in consumption. Indeed, population growth seems to touch almost every aspect of life on Earth. Just this morning, I was reading an article in the New York Times about wild dogs in Africa, in which Rosie Woodroffe of the Institute of Zoology in London was quoted, “I remember sitting on my kitchen floor thinking, ‘They’re going to go extinct.’ They have such a massive requirement for space in a world where human populations are only increasing.” Human population growth is often cited as a background factor in challenges to the environment, economic development, and human health. But even when it’s cited it’s usually not given the attention it deserves, especially when it comes to talking solutions. We keep adding a billion people to the earth every dozen years, and most people don’t want to talk about the additional financial and environmental costs associated with that burden. We hope that through dissemination of curriculum tools like our World Population Map—which is directed toward K-12 teachers and their students—and the mentoring of young people like our summer interns, population will become a more acceptable topic of discussion in policy and mainstream conversations. Young people who grow up learning about population issues are more likely to consider them when it’s time to vote and plan their own families. The long-term viability of our world depends on the decisions that today’s youth make. We at Population Connection are doing our best to make sure that we reach them with the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves and our planet.

Marian Starkey marian@popconnect.org

Letters to the Editor

Send correspo

I love what you are doing with your publication in the last several issues. Each issue shows the connection to overpopulation, and what we need to do to make it better. The population connection to the planet’s troubles is clearly the “elephant in the living room” and is a subject that has to be approached carefully. The issue on Food Scarcity/Climate Change presented the facts and the science behind them very clearly. The lead authors in the current issue have done an elegant job. Thank you for connecting the dots so beautifully. Fran Bodell Milbridge, Maine Your latest issue did not mention that the world is losing a lot of top soil. There are not many places in the world that have suitable climates and good land and topsoil for farming. Take the upper Michigan area as an example: There are a few little farms, but they are rocky, and they have had to cut forests of trees that have deep roots. The land is quite hilly in most places. We are running out of space for the world to be sustainable. Norma Friedemann Evanston, Illinois I read the article about the “New Era of Food Scarcity” with interest. Still, there was an elephant in the room. If the world population transitioned to a plant-based diet, the need for the diminishing grain supply would be lowered. If people ate the grain instead of feeding it to the animals, we would all be in a more secure food situation. Beth Palzet Wheeling, Illinois The June issue devoted to explaining why technical agricultural inventions won’t be enough to feed humans if population growth is ignored was very informative. An important addition to that information is that each of us can reduce our carbon footprint by moving toward a vegan (plant-based) way of eating. www.popconnect.org

ndence to marian@popc onnect.org. Letters are also accepted via postal mail. Le tters may be edited for clar ity and length .

Attn: Marian St Population Co


nnection 2120 L St., NW , Ste. 500 Washington, D C 20037

A study published in the journal Climatic Change is one of many reports that support this conclusion. Scientists analyzed the diets and dietary greenhouse gas emissions of 2,041 vegans, 15,751 vegetarians, 8,123 fish-eaters, and 29,589 meateaters. The results showed that the participants who were vegan produced dietary greenhouse gas emissions that were approximately half the levels of those who ate meat. The study authors noted that cutting down on animal-product consumption could benefit the environment, particularly by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Linda A. DeStefano Syracuse, New York I just completed a second reading of my June 2014 copy of Population Connection. I have to hope that my members of Congress receive copies (editor’s note: They do!). One of them, Rep. Steve Daines, responding to only one of half-a-dozen letters I’ve written to him about climate change and the need for positive action on it, wrote, in part: “As you may know, there is considerable debate as to whether human activities significantly contribute to climate change. While some believe increased levels of CO2 from human activities in our atmosphere are a major factor in planetary warming trends, others observe that there may be other factors.” Obviously, he’s more influenced by the propaganda of the fossil fuel giants who support him than by actual science. Nevertheless, I keep trying. I think it’s unlikely that he will accept the information contained in Population Connection, but perhaps his environmental aide just might “get it.” Norman A. Bishop Bozeman, Montana September 2014 — Population Connection


s e t a t S d e t i Has the Un t s a P d e r o t Mo ? ” r a C k a e “P


he distances driven per person, per licensed driver, per household, and per registered vehicle reached their

highest levels in 2004—four years prior to the beginning of the current economic downturn—and decreased by 5% to 9% by 2011. These reductions

likely reflect, in part, noneconomic changes in society that influence the need for vehicles (e.g., increased telecommuting, increased use of public transportation, increased urbanization of the population, and changes in the age composition of drivers).

Distance Driven Rates 25,000

per household

annual vehicle mileage rate



per licensed driver per registered vehicle 10,000

per person

19 8 19 4 8 19 5 8 19 6 8 19 7 8 19 8 8 19 9 9 19 0 9 19 1 9 19 2 9 19 3 9 19 4 9 19 5 9 19 6 9 19 7 9 19 8 9 20 9 0 20 0 0 20 1 0 20 2 0 20 3 0 20 4 0 20 5 06 20 0 20 7 0 20 8 0 20 9 1 20 0 11



Population Connection — September 2014

Absolute Distance Driven




19 8 19 4 85 19 8 19 6 8 19 7 8 19 8 8 19 9 9 19 0 91 19 9 19 2 9 19 3 9 19 4 9 19 5 9 19 6 9 19 7 9 19 8 99 20 0 20 0 0 20 1 0 20 2 0 20 3 0 20 4 05 20 0 20 6 0 20 7 0 20 8 0 20 9 1 20 0 11

miles driven by light-duty vehicles (millions)




Because the onset of the reductions in the driving rates was not the result of short-term economic changes, the 2004 distance-driven rates have a reasonable chance of being long-term peaks as well.

Estimates of the 2011 Annual Distance-Driven Rates Per Person


Per Licensed Driver


Per Household


Per Registered Vehicle

{ =1,000 miles Source:


Michael Sivak The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute July 2013 Design by Rebecca Dodelin




Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby The Supreme Court ruled in June that closely held, for-profit companies whose owners object to birth control on religious grounds do not have to provide insurance coverage for such services in their employees’ health care plans. The justices ruled 5-4, with all three women dissenting. Hobby Lobby, one of the companies that filed the suit against the federal government, “only” objects to emergency contraception and intrauterine devices (IUDs). But the court’s ruling allows companies to deny coverage for any form of birth control to which it objects. The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014, otherwise known as the “Not My Boss’ Business” bill, which was written to restore employers’ responsibility to provide contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act, was defeated in a procedural vote in the Senate, 56-43. The bill needed 60 votes to pass.

Obama Administration Proposes Revisions to Contraceptive Coverage Rule In response to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case and a separate action allowing a religiously affiliated college to opt out of the existing accommodation, the Obama administration has proposed new rules to ensure 6

Population Connection — September 2014

that women working at companies and non-profit institutions get the full range of birth control options covered. Currently, objecting organizations are required to notify insurance companies directly that they refuse to provide contraceptive coverage themselves. Some organizations argue that even doing that much makes them complicit in facilitating access to drugs that they condemn. The government will decide whether to make the rule final once a 60-day public comment period has passed.

Iran Criminalizes Permanent Birth Control Iran’s parliament voted in August to ban permanent birth control (vasectomies and tubal ligations) except to save a person’s life, in order to increase the birth rate among its women. Violators of the new law will be fined.

Supreme Court Rejects Massachusetts Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone The Supreme Court in June ruled unanimously against a 35-foot buffer zone outside Massachusetts abortion clinics—buffer zones that kept protesters at bay and allowed patients to enter clinics safely and undisturbed. The law had been in place since 2007. Similar buffer-zone laws around the country were quickly struck down in the wake of the ruling.

In the aftermath of this court decision, a new bill, signed by Gov. Deval Patrick, allows police to order protesters (in groups of two or more) who block access to clinics to move and then remain 25 feet away from the entrance for eight hours or until the clinic closes for the day.

Access to Birth Control Should Be Easy As ABC In July, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act (S.2625). The bill ensures that women are able to obtain their birth control prescriptions at pharmacies, regardless of pharmacists’ personal opinions about the acceptability of using contraception. If the prescribed drug is not in stock, the bill requires the pharmacy to either order it, refer the woman to another pharmacy that has it in stock, or return the prescription to the consumer so that she can go elsewhere—whichever option the woman chooses. The late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced the bill five times before his death last year. It currently has 21 co-sponsors.

Contraceptive Attacks Worst for Poor Women Sure, it may be beside the point, but many women can afford to purchase their own birth control. Many, however, cannot. According to new data from the Guttmacher Institute,

the number of women who need publicly funded birth control is growing. Since the year 2000, the number has grown from 16.4 million to 20 million, or by about 22 percent. At the same time, the number receiving publicly funded services dropped by 9 percent. Between 1991 and 2006, while rates of unintended pregnancy were plummeting for those with incomes over 200 percent of the poverty level, rates for those in lower income brackets increased steeply. Population growth is most certainly part of the story behind the increase in women who aren’t getting services they need, but attacks on contraceptive access are also to blame.

New Injectable for Developing Country Consumers A new injectable contraceptive has recently been released in Burkina Faso, West Africa. It’s called Sayana Press and is a low-dose form of Depo-Provera that is much easier to inject than the original drug. Sayana Press uses a Uniject device, which is a plastic bubble with a short needle attached. The system is easy for community health workers to use, and future doses can even be left with consumers so they can inject themselves without having to visit a provider. It can only be used once, which limits the possibility www.popconnect.org

Mississippi Abortion Clinic Wins Right to Remain Open

of needle reuse (and the risk of disease transmission). It will be released in three other African countries later this year (Uganda, Senegal, and Niger), and in Bangladesh through a social marketing project run by USAID.

Colorado Teen Birth Rate Drops 40 Percent The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that the state’s teen birth rate dropped 40 percent between 2009 and 2013. Gov. John Hickenlooper attributes this great success to a program in which 30,000 IUDs and implants were offered to young women at low or no cost at 68 family planning clinics. IUDs quadrupled in popularity among young women at the participating clinics during the study period. The $23 million initiative was funded by an anonymous donor, and the funding is scheduled to run through the end of 2015. Gov. Hickenlooper’s office declared that in 2010 alone, the initiative saved the state $42 million on health care costs associated with teen births. He said during a related news conference, “When families are planned and women have children when they’re ready and want them ... it’s really a better situation for everyone.”

The last remaining clinic in Mississippi that performs abortions, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, won an important victory in July that allows doctors to continue providing services without hospital admitting privileges. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit voted 2-to-1 that closing the state’s sole abortion clinic would impose on neighboring states to ensure the constitutional right women have to seek abortion before a fetus is viable. “A state cannot lean on its sovereign neighbors to provide protection of its citizens’ federal constitutional rights,” Judge E. Grady Jolly wrote.

Alabama Clinics to Remain Open An Alabama law passed last year requires that all doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of their clinics. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that law unconstitutional and blocked it from going into effect. This case is similar to what occurred in Mississippi.

To read the original articles from which these summaries were taken, see www.popconnect.org/news. September 2014 — Population Connection


The ZPG Society We are pleased to recognize the following benefactors as members of the ZPG Society—an honor roll of those supporters who have named Population Connection in their estate plans. They represent some of the most far-sighted and committed advocates for stabilizing world population, and we are deeply grateful to each of them for their support.

If you believe your name should appear on the list below but don’t see it here, please let us know! We’ll print a correction in the next edition. If you prefer that we not list your name here, please also get in touch. We’ll be sure to honor your wishes in the future. Contact Shauna Scherer at shauna@popconnect.org or (202) 974-7730 to make corrections. Sharon Allen Mahmood Anwar Phil Arndt Ginger and Fritz Bachem Sally Beers Robert and Gayle Behm Janey L. Bergman Lynn Bertucci Rose S. Bethe K.J. and Jo Ann Bierman Tom Bimmermann Barbara Bird Kathleen Blumenthal John and Dorothy Brandt Mark C. Brucker Leonard N. Butters Diane Carlin Margot Q. Cassedy and William Cassedy John Chamberlain David and Lynne Chelimer James R. Christensen Michael F. Cieslak Harriett Clark and James Clark Audrey Clement Melvin Cohen Carl Coleman Matthew and Dawn Cooper Kalya Cotkin Guy E. Dahms Allan and Kendra Daniel Ginny Darvill Linda De Stefano Richard and Diane Dennison Debbie Dill Raymond H. Dominick 8

Julian and Katharine Donahue Fay Dresner Richard M. Dubiel Lyn DuMoulin Lee and Tharon Dunn Jeanne W. Eisenstadt Nancy Farrell-Rose Bill Foster Arthur R. Friedenheit Robin R. Friedheim Doug A. Gardels Don C. Gentry Susan Gerber Paul and Barbara Gerhardt Ivan C. Getting Forrest Gilmore Armand F. Girard James Griffith Gary Harrold Dwight and Anna Heath Nancy Heck Mary Hedblom and Keith Berg Dan Heisman and Shelly Hahn Dianne Herman William W. Hildreth Regina Holt Alfred Hoose Agnes Hughes and Gunther Fonken Stephen Hunter John Hutcherson Michael Ihlenfeldt Heidi Johnson Cheryl Jurrus Paul H. Kaser

Population Connection — September 2014

Vicky and Grant Kemp Hunt and Linda Kooiker James E. Kunz Merle K. Lewis Mr. and Mrs. John Lochhead Douglas Longman Dwight and Kimberly Lowell Norman Mandelbaum Craig Mandsager Nancy Marvel Christopher and Catherine Mathews T. D. Mathewson David and Sandra Matteson Elaine McAuliffe Landon B. McDonald Guy Merckx G. Robert Miller Larry D. Miller Peter Mitchell Emmet V. Mittlebeeler Russell Moffett Phillip S. Morse Mary Moses Barbara Q. Myers James P. O’Callaghan Ruth W. Page Mariette and Arthur Parent Ronald G. Parker Bob Pettapiece Frank and Judy Pezzanite Helen M. Pitts Felicity Pool Denise Powers Gladys Powers Penelope Purtzer Curtis C. Ridling

Carrie Robertson Holly H. Sanchez Judith Scott and Paul Thomas Jamie Shaw and Christopher Cope Harry and Charity Sherrington William L. Shuman Leon G. Siegel Ken and Kathy Smith John Solso Victor G. Soukup Otto H. Spoerl and Lyne Erving Bella Starmountain-Sweet Richard Stein Guy W. Stoye Lawrence E. Stueck Charlotte B. Swartz Merrily Swoboda Rowland W. Tabor Cynthia A. Terra-Starr Jan van Heurck R. V. Wakeland William Warburton Robert and Beatrice Wehle Frederic C. Weihmiller David R. Weindorf Margaret Welke Louis Wenckus Jay R. West Jo Lynne Whiting Charles F. Wilkey Steve and Elizabeth Willey Alice Wolfson Wayne Wright Names in italics are In Memoriam.

In Memoriam Stuart R. Abelson George Abraham John M. Alexy Marion E. Altenderfer Cecile E. Atchison Marguerite Baker Ruth N. Barber Carl B. Bassler Erwin and Peggy Bauer Martha H. Beach Ruth Berlin William H. Best, Jr. Hans A. Bethe Marjorie G. Betzer Malvina Botley Charles and Mary Bowers James L. Bowes Helen T. Bradley Arden L. Bricker Arthur Bruck Forrest C. Bucher Arthur P. Butler, Jr. Jill Caire Dorothy Calingaert Janet D. Cancell Christopher Canino Robert A. Carley Phillip Carlson Martha P. Carlton Shirley M. Carson Robert J. Cassity Charles Milton Clark Don and Ruth Cluster Marie P. Coe Sigmund S. Cohn Jean M. Collins Warren E. Compton Leo A. Crispi Sr. Dorothy H. Davis Edward Holmes Defandorf Edith A. Digate Dorothy Dimont Arthur R. Dornheim Gertrude Drake Mary C. Drazy Alan Dunn Lois A. Dunton Steven J. Edelson Terry Ehrich Nels Ekroth Patricia H. Ellin Sarah Ellington William Emker Harry and Elinor Emlet Howard Lee and Charlotte H. Erickson Robert M. Farley


Austin Farrey John J. Feeley L. Frederick Fenster Martha E. Ferguson Blanche W. Ferris Ellsworth F. Filby Mary Braddock Fisher Harold L. Floyd John C. Folz Henry Z. Friedlander Anne Friend Douglas L. Frith Elizabeth B. Gillespie Margaret W. Gillette Barbara Kitchel Girdler Dorothy J. Gore George A. Graham Jr. Barbara G. Grant Eleanor Grass Charles F. Grotenrath Leah Gunnarsen E. Hawley Haig Roland C. Halper Ruth B. Hamilton Kenneth and Yola Hanan Jack and Kay Hansma Lou Harrison Mr. and Mrs. Roger Haushalter Raymond and Florence Hay Vera C. Hefley Warren J. and Shirley C. Heiman Dorothy Hermansdorfer Mary C. Hess Julius and Ruth Heuscher Julius E. Heuscher Frieda Hirschmann Gertrude A. Hochgraf Berenice Gates Hopper Lawrence Howard Catherine G. Huber John V. Hummel Henry N. Ingwerson, Jr. Mildred F. Irons Michael Z. Irvin Gabriel Isakson John D. Ismond Jay Ittleson George S. Johansen Jean L. Johanson Mildred M. Johnson Ken Johnston Eleanor Jones Betty B. Joyce Vicki Julian Jack Kamzan Roya Katzer Robert L. Kehoe

Ella I. Kennell Marian Kerr E.J. Key Anita Kingan Lawrence R. Klein Charlotte F. Klock Frederick Whiton Knapp Sheila Knop Helen L. Knopp Robert Knox Catherine Russell Knox Jack A. Kyger Robert and Lexey Lambert David E. Lane Clarence Larson Louise E. Lee Eloise R. Lehnert Charlotte Leland Alex Lincoln Walter B. Little Mary S. Mantle Vera Way Marghab Douglas I. Martin Elaine H. Martin George W. Martin Andrew Marvel Bernard H. McKenna Marjorie Batchelder McPharl Cornelia Mendenhall David M. Merriell Harry E. Miller Mary G. Miller Stanford Miller William Miller Mason F. Moore Christine Morgan Gloria Morse Virginia L. Natwick John M. Neal Joyce Nordehn Nielsen Deane Oberste-Lehn Virgil and Meta Osborn Byron Osterweil Morton A. Packel Lawrence Page Edward J. Pastroff Hedwig Paterno Gerald R. Pearsall Walter R. Pepper Gerald E. Peterson Terence A. Pollard Sally Reahard Casey Reno Robert N. Riley Rose Mary Romano Barney and Sally Rosenblatt Norman and Roselyn Rubin

Lowell Russell Martha Baker Russell Gerda Schild Helen F. Schmieg Victor E. Schmidt Marie W. Schoch Marjorie R. Schoch Cabot Sedgwick Jean Seeker Maurice Seltzer Lucia Shapiro Jeffrey Shedd Robert Shorer Thomas W. Sibary Marybeth M. Smith William A. Smith, Jr. Robert J. Smutny Marguerite L. Snyder Alice Gardiner Sowerwine Abraham Stein Barbara B. Sterrett Kenneth Stockhoff Russell D. Stompler Victor J. Stone John E. Swisher Robert L. Tanner Mr. and Mrs. Roy W.H. Tess Frederick Gordon Tice Barbara V. Tufts Jean R. Uhler Samson Ullman Kenneth A. Ungermann Dale Uppinghouse Louis R. Van De Velde Hedy Voigt Ingrid E. Voss Virginia M. Waters Adrian Weinberg Leon Weiner Dorean H. Wert J. Elizabeth White J. Arthur Widmer Della Wiegand James J. Wilhelm Robert W. Willet Alice L. Williams Mary W. Wills Gordon Wilson Mary Winer Paul Wing Roderick W. Wright Marguerite Yourcenar Rose A. Zachowski Sigmund Zakrzewski

September 2014 — Population Connection


Of Fish, Monsoons, and the Future A Push to Save Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake By Chris Berdik

10 Population Connection — September 2014


s the sun rises on Tonle Sap Lake, fishermen head out from floating villages like this one, past half-submerged mangroves and flooded shrub land, to check their nets, much as they have for centuries. Every year, the lake yields about 300,000 tons of fish, making it one of the world’s most productive freshwater ecosystems. That and the floods that pulse through it in monsoon season, swelling it to as much as five times its dry-season size, have earned the lake the nickname “Cambodia’s beating heart.” But the Tonle Sap is in trouble—from overfishing to feed a fast-growing population, from the cutting of mangrove forests that shelter young fish, from hydroelectric dams upstream, and from the dry seasons that are expected to grow hotter and longer with climate change. Keo Mao, a 42-year-old fisherman from Akol, says he hopes his five children can find a way out of the life that has sustained his family for generations. “The lake now is not really so good,” he said. “There are too many people.” Now an international team of researchers has joined local fishermen in an ambitious project to save the Tonle Sap. The scientists are building an intricate computer model that aims to track the vast array of connections between human activity and natural systems as they change over time. Begun in 2012, the model will take several years to complete, while threats to the Tonle Sap continue to mount. But the hope is to peer into the lake’s future to predict how different developmental, economic, and regulatory choices may ripple through this interconnected and fast-changing ecosystem, and to plan a sustainable way forward. www.popconnect.org

Charting a Changing Cambodia

Henri Mouhot, the 19th-century French explorer who crossed the Tonle Sap on his way to Angkor Wat, said the lake resembled a violin lying diagonally across Cambodia. At its neck, a tributary flows southeast to the Mekong River. On the laptop of Roel Boumans, an ecologist who helped develop the modeling project, the lake and its flood plain are divided into 16 watersheds that he fills with shades of green, yellow, and brown, based on vegetation and land-use data from satellite images. “The model tells us stories,” he said, “and it tests the stories we, as scientists, tell about how the different parts of the system work.” Along with attributes like soil composition, elevation, and vegetation, the digital Tonle Sap will soon have what the scientists call “agents,” including fish and people. Agents make choices. They change the lake and react to those changes, depending on factors like when enough fish swim into an area to attract predators and fishing boats. Local fishermen are critical to the Tonle Sap modeling project. They have been collecting fish from small research nets, jotting down their species, lengths, and weights, and snipping tails for DNA testing. They will also take part in other fieldwork, including water and sediment sampling, household surveys, and economic research. Cambodia’s population is growing rapidly, at a rate of nearly 2 percent a year. Many rural Cambodians, including subsistence farmers displaced by land grants to large agribusinesses, have migrated to the Tonle Sap from upland areas. Others come after selling their farmland to pay off debt. From 1998 to 2008, the most recent period studied, the number of

full-time Tonle Sap fishermen grew by 38 percent to 38,200, and the number of lakeside farmers, many of whom fish part time, increased 33 percent to 520,800. The computer model does not yet account for the surging population, but it already has years of data on water levels. By sending blue pulses across the map on his laptop to simulate flooding, Dr. Boumans can calculate where floodwater sediments, shown in oranges and reds, are likely to settle. He developed the modeling approach a decade ago with Robert Costanza, an environmental economist now at Australian National University. They called it Mimes, short for multiscale integrated models of ecosystem services. It is among the most ambitious of several models to emerge from the movement among ecologists to assign economic values to nature and its processes. Critics warn that such models can lead scientists to discount important data that disagree with their forecasts; others say focusing on “services” puts price tags on nature, undervaluing things like biodiversity that aren’t bought and sold. The idea’s supporters, however, say it aligns nature’s interests with our own. “In the past, it was a conservation and environmental argument pitted against the economic argument,” said Lewis Incze, a marine ecologist and oceanographer at the University of Maine who is not part of the Tonle Sap project. “You can still argue about valuation and importance, but these models recognize that this is not one class of argument against another, but a whole family of processes that need to be recognized and accounted for together.” Dr. Boumans said the Mimes model

September 2014 — Population Connection 11

“lets you explore the decisions you’re making about a landscape and seascape, showing you what’s gained and lost over space and time.” One set of decisions involves the big dams planned upstream of the Tonle Sap, often portrayed as a trade-off between electricity and food. Fewer than half of Cambodians have reliable access to power; blackouts are common, and costly electricity slows business development and job growth. But tropical dams typically generate power for just a few decades, while the Tonle Sap has been feeding Cambodia for centuries. Fish are carved in the walls at Angkor Wat, and they supply three-quarters of the animal protein in a country where nearly 40 percent of children are chronically malnourished. About 60 percent of Cambodia’s inland fish catch comes from the Tonle Sap, which also supports migratory fish caught upstream, said Chheng Phen, acting director of Cambodia’s Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute, which is taking part in the modeling project. “If the Tonle Sap does not function,” he said, “then the whole fishery of the Mekong will collapse.”

The Coupling of People and Nature

Traditionally, ecologists have viewed humans in an ecosystem as something of a nuisance—contaminating samples, skewing data, and clouding scientific analyses. “But the human aspect of an ecosystem is crucial,” said Jianguo Liu, who leads the International Network of Research on Coupled Human and Natural Systems, or Chans-net, a network of 1,300 ecologists, economists, and sociologists. 12 Population Connection — September 2014

“The central message of Chans is that humans and nature are coupled, just like husband and wife,” says Dr. Liu, director of the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at Michigan State University. “They interact, work together, and the impacts are not just one way. There are feedbacks.” The Tonle Sap project is designed to capture those interactions and look for their consequences, often unintended. For instance, increased fishing could actually lead to more fish in the lake, at least for a while. Kevin McCann, an ecologist at the University of Guelph in Ontario, says that if fishermen take everything they bring up in their nets, the species that suffer most will be the larger fish that grow and reproduce slowly. With fewer big fish eating the fast-multiplying, small fish, the results will be more fish over all, but reduced biodiversity. www.popconnect.org

over the whole year, so adaptation to a change will be more difficult.”

Over the past decade, data suggest that the lake has been losing its biggest fish—quarter-ton catfish, stingrays with six-foot wingspans, Siamese carp bigger than the fishermen who caught them— while the catch of the tiny trey riel, or money fish, has risen slightly. (They are used primarily for prahok, the fermented fish paste that is a staple of Cambodian cooking.)

1.5 Million Depend on the Lake

Climate models forecast longer, hotter dry seasons for Southeast Asia, and more intense monsoon floods. Both changes could disrupt the migration and spawning patterns of Tonle Sap fish, said Sovan Lek, an ecologist at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France, who is a native of Cambodia and a principal investigator in the Tonle Sap project. “In Europe, the water can go from very cold to very warm from winter to summer,” he said. “Here, the temperature is stable

Thol Thoeun, a 27-year-old Tonle Sap fisherman, sat on the floor of his floating house and recounted how rats devoured his vegetable garden, how all his money goes to home repairs after monsoons, and how his rickety fishing boat continually takes on water. His family came here in 2002, fleeing hard times inland, but times are hard here, too. More than 70 percent of households earn less than $1,000 a year, and many fishermen are in debt, owing nearly $780 on average, according to the Cambodian fisheries administration. “Everyone faces difficulties,” Mr. Thoeun said. “Everyone is suffering.”

September 2014 — Population Connection 13

The 1.5 million people who depend directly on the Tonle Sap, mostly fishers, farmers, and their families, are one of the biggest factors in forecasting the lake’s future. They can’t do much about the dams, most of which are planned beyond Cambodia’s borders, nor can they stop global warming. But how they react to changes on the lake will be critically important. If fish catches were to drop by a third, for example, fishermen might have to spend even more time on their boats, or venture into illegal “no take” waters, or turn to rice farming. Each choice would affect the ecosystem in different ways. Evan Fraser, a geographer at the University of Guelph, will explore these sorts of scenarios with Tonle Sap

14 Population Connection — September 2014

residents in surveys, interviews, and workshops, to begin later this year. His findings will become part of the model. A food-security expert, Dr. Fraser has studied some of history’s worst famines, as well as those prevented by tactics like stockpiling food and distributing drought-resistant seeds. His research suggests that no matter how the Tonle Sap changes in the coming years, the right adaptive strategies could mean the difference between a tolerable transition and a disaster. “The policy and development challenge is one of managing the transition,” he said. “There’s no way to stop it.”

June 10, 2014 © The New York Times Company. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this content without express written permission is prohibited. Travel for this article was funded by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Photo credits: (page 10) A girl and a snake in a washtub; Anne Roberts (page 12, top) Floating school; Gaston Batistini (page 12, bottom) Boat lady, Kompong Khleang Floating Village; Bob Lawlor (page 13) Floating fishing village; Gaston Batistini (below) Daily life, floating fishing village; Gaston Batistini

The World Population Map is a population cartogram providing a unique view of the earth; the size of each country is shown in proportion to its population, rather than its land mass. The original World Population Map was published in 2005 and included 6,428 squares to represent the global population at that time—6.4 billion people. Jumping ahead a decade required the cartographers to expand the map by an additional 813 squares to represent our current population of 7.2 billion people (7,241 squares) for the 2015 edition. A 35” x 50” wall poster of the cartogram, along with an electronic PopEd activity guide, is available for $15 at www.popconnect.org/map. Several additional formats are available for purchase at www.popconnect.org/ODT.


September 2014 — Population Connection 15

TOTAL WORLD POPULATION = 7.2 billion 1 grid square = 1 million people Countries with more than 10 million people have their populations labeled on the map. Countries with fewer than 1 million people are shown with a star.






CANADA 35 million

UNITED STATES 322 million PORTUGAL 11 million

MEXICO 119 million

SPAIN 48 million

Bahamas CUBA 11 m JAMAICA

PUERTO RICO (U.S.) Antigua & Barbuda

HAITI 10 m

NETHERLANDS 17 million BELGIUM 10 million

GERMANY 81 million


RUSSIA 136 million


10 million

Luxembourg CZECH



SYRIA 23 million

ISRAEL LEBANON 3 TUNISIA St. Kitts & Nevis 11 million Dominica WEST HONDURAS SA BANK St. Lucia St. Vincent and ARA LIBYA GAZA STRIP Barbados GUATEMALA ALGERIA The Grenadines 2 15 million MAURITANIA Grenada 37 million CHAD NICARAGUA MOROCCO JORDAN 12 m EL SALVADOR TRINIDAD EGYPT 33 million MALI Cape & TOBAGO NIGER 88 million COSTA RICA VENEZUELA 16 m Verde SENEGAL BURKINA 19 million Guyana 14 m FASO GAMBIA Suriname COLOMBIA PANAMA 19 m 47 million GUINEA-BISSAU GUINEA ERITREA 12 million Djb GHANA ECUADOR SIERRA SUDAN NIGERIA 27 m 16 m 39 million LEONE 184 million BRAZIL COTE ETHIOPIA 212 million LIBERIA PERU D'IVOIRE 103 million SOUTH 30 million 23 m SUDAN TOGO BENIN BOLIVIA 10 m CAMEROON CENTRAL 11 m Equatorial 21 million AFRICAN PARAGUAY UGANDA Guinea REPUBLIC 40 million K Sao Tome & ARGENTINA 46 DEMOCRATIC Principe 43 million GABON REPUBLIC OF RWANDA CONGO CHILE CONGO 13 million 79 million BURUNDI 17 million 12 million TANZANIA URUGUAY ZAMBIA 46 million 16 million ANGOLA 20 million MALAWI 18 million MOZAMBI NAMIBIA ZIMBABWE 25 millio BOTSWANA 14 million SOUTH AFRICA SW 48 million Belize



Sources: U.S. Bureau of the Census, International Data Base 2015 population estimates; The South Sudan Center for Statistics, Census, and Evaluation; Tibet Information Network; Free Tibet Campaign

16 Population Connection — September 2014


NORTH KOREA 25 million SOUTH KOREA 49 million

CHINA 1,362 million (1.362 billion)




TAIWAN 23 million Bhutan VIETNAM 94 million LAOS


MYANMAR 56 million INDIA 1,252 million (1.252 billion)

PAKISTAN 199 million

IRAQ 33 million

TIBET NEPAL 32 million

THAILAND 68 million


AUDI ABIA 28 million N YEMEN 27 million


BANGLADESH 169 million

CAMBODIA 16 million

PHILIPPINES 110 million



Marshall Islands Micronesia



A n


SOMALIA 11 million

Kiribati Solomon Islands Tuvalu


KENYA 6 million

INDONESIA 256 million






Samoa Fiji Tonga





© 2014 ODTmaps.com. Cartography by Paul Breding


September 2014 — Population Connection 17

014 014

100,000 years ago

Birth of Christ (0 CE)

SCALE: Each square = 100,000 people

SCALE: Each square = 1,000 people Africa




AD 1650





AD 1900

Cartography by =Paul Breding SCALE: Each square 1 million people © 2014 ODTmaps.com

SCALE: Each square = 500,000 people Africa













AD 2150 (projected)

SCALE: Each square = 10 million people Africa






All images © 2004, 2014 ODTmaps.com. Cartography by Paul Breding. Design by Rebecca Dodelin. Used with permission of ODT Maps, Inc. Amherst, MA, 1-800-736-1293.

18 Population Connection — September 2014

www.populationconnection.org Cartography by Paul Breding

EGYPT’S POPULATION BOOM THREATENS CULTURAL TREASURES Surging demand for housing and services puts historical sites at risk.

1 By Peter Schwartzstein; Published April 18, 2014 in National Geographic. Reprinted with permission from National Geographic Creative.


n a blustery February morning, residents of Alexandria’s Wabour el Maya district woke to the din of bulldozers and power drills tearing into the decorative brick portico of the historic Villa Aghion. Within hours, much of the celebrated modernist mansion was in ruins; one of the great relics of the Mediterranean city’s cosmopolitan heyday had been toppled to make way for an apartment tower.

as a key casualty of its fast-growing excavations of Cairo’s earliest Islamic settlement in the ancient Fustat quarter. population’s demand for housing. Alexandria designer Mohamad Aboelkhier, a co-founder of the Save Alex cultural campaign, has seen his city’s population swell from about one million in the aftermath of World War II to roughly 4.6 Nearby mango plantations have been million today. He concedes that “without ripped up to make way for new buildings, new housing, you don’t satisfy the people’s according to local landowners, while the needs. lesser known Layer Pyramid, which is also known as the Ahram Medawar, has disap- “But some of this is just crazy,” he says. peared into the urban morass. The Pyramids at Giza were once isolated in the open desert, but they’re now surrounded on three sides by Cairo’s encroaching sprawl and an illegal cemetery.

The villa’s owner, Mohamed Hosni Hamed, was unmoved by howls of outrage from conservationists. Little appears safe from the consequences of an unremitting demand for land. “If it were illegal, we wouldn’t have done it [in plain sight] during the daytime,” he Two years ago, a group of French archaetold the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper. ologists went away for an extended summer break, and returned to find that Egypt’s cultural heritage has emerged eager developers had built upon their www.popconnect.org

The Perils of Growth

There are many forces behind Egypt’s apparent inability to safeguard its heritage, but population pressures, as well as the political and economic woes associated with poorly managed growth, have played a big role.

September 2014 — Population Connection 19

2 Egypt is now home to some 86 million projections, and compromised the state’s people, an increase of more than 13 mil- capacity to care for its treasures. lion since the 2006 census. Illegal buildings sprang up across the That’s a huge spike for a country whose country after the popular revolt against numbers totaled a little under 20 million then President Hosni Mubarak in in 1948. But the boom continues: Egypt’s 2011, when police and regulators largely Institute of National Planning projects disappeared. Egypt will hit 150 million people by 2050 if current trends endure. Frequent changes in government personnel since then—the most recent of which Government officials recognize the perils saw the resignation of the interim prime of such untrammeled growth. “Egypt faces minister and the replacement of many a widening gap between resource demand top ministers in late February—have furand domestic supply,” said Nabil Fahmy, ther imperiled Egypt’s prize monuments Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a lecture in by paralyzing key departments, including those responsible for reining in the counearly March. try’s birth rates. But the last few years of revolution, election, chaos, and coup have emp- Government Paralysis tied the treasury, left the country “In the past, there was a lot of care for 8 percent behind its long-term economic family planning and it was easy to meet people and level out obstacles,” says Sofia 20 Population Connection — September 2014

Hanna of DKT International, which provides subsidized contraception. “But it’s more difficult at the moment, because everyone’s afraid to make decisions.” Hanna’s organization is currently grappling with the Ministry of Health to overcome a long delay in registering new contraceptive products. Now, with popular frustrations intensifying and state services stretched far beyond capacity, effective family planning practices may be needed more than ever. Egypt added 1.7 million people in 2010 and 1.8 million in 2011; its increase of 1.9 million people in 2012 was equal to the rise in population in France, Spain, and Italy combined. Measures taken to combat the disorder that accompanied the military’s overthrow

Egypt added 1.7 million people in 2010 and 1.8 million in 2011; its increase of 1.9 million people in 2012 was equal to the rise in population in France, Spain, and Italy combined. of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last of the necropolis wielding bags packed July are expected to help push those num- with what looked suspiciously like tools. bers higher still. One of them, a youngish man who gave “Every day, I see more babies. My friends his name as Mohamed, smiled coyly when at other hospitals and clinics say the same asked if he was digging for treasures. thing,” says Salima, a doctor at a Cairo hospital who declined to give her sur- “I’m not, but you couldn’t blame people if name. She added that her overstretched they were,” he answered, before ducking behind a small ridge and out of sight of ward was reeling from additional work. the army detachment perched on the edge “The [dusk-to-dawn] curfew should have of the plateau. a definite effect on fertility rates this year, just as it did after the revolution in 2011,” Giza’s famed monuments are swamped says Iris Boutros, a senior program special- with security, compared to Egypt’s less ist at the Cairo office of the International accessible sites. Development Research Center. The few guards to patrol Abydos, one of “People were stranded in their apartments the great pharaonic settlements, are paid for months. What else were they supposed for by New York University, while the more distant reaches of Luxor’s tomb- and to do?” temple-laden valleys appear to have been largely abandoned to treasure hunters. Stolen Sculptures The Ministry of State for Antiquities is even more bogged down than most in this Recently, on April 10, two small lion-head sculptures were stolen from the Luxor mire of post-revolutionary politics. Temple enclosure. Its payroll has climbed from 30,000 to 40,000 employees since 2011, when Visitors there have complained of lax Mubarak’s minister allegedly promoted security in the past. 7,000 part-time workers to full-time status in what appeared to be an attempt “It’s bizarre that something that size to appease angry workers during the throes was left hanging around,” says Nigel of the revolution. (A ministry spokesper- Hetherington, a Cairo-based archaeoloson could not be reached for comment; gist. “Something that portable is supposed an assistant in the press office insisted the to be secured.” ministry was “understaffed.”)

tombs in a vast cemetery called the City of the Dead. With historical sites everywhere in the old city, any attempt to improve services can have unforeseen consequences. An effort to connect the cramped and crowded neighborhood of Darb al-Ahmar to the city water supply, for instance, went badly wrong when officials hooked up main thoroughfares but refused to run pipes into the narrow alleyways where 80 percent of locals live. Spurned residents paid the police small bribes to look the other way as they laid their own pipe and haphazardly hooked their apartment buildings to the mains. The inexpert work, coupled with high levels of leakage elsewhere, raised groundwater levels and seriously damaged the foundations of dozens of Ottoman-era buildings. Resident Sara Madbouly is unapologetic: “We needed water, and if the government couldn’t provide for us, we knew we had to do it.”

Cutting Corners

Some developers and landlords apply this flexible attitude to their interpretation of construction regulations.

Between 1992 and 2013, collapsing buildings in Egypt killed 1,566 people and Yet despite the large numbers of person- Greater Cairo ranges across several gov- injured more than 28,000, according to nel on the books, security at key sites is ernorates, so its population is hard to pin the Shadow Ministry of Housing, an envilacking. down, but around 20 million people is a ronmental activist group. In 2012-2013 good estimate. alone, 468 buildings collapsed. One day in January at the Giza Pyramids, two locals were wandering the far reaches Many residents live among centuries-old Not all of the fallen buildings were shoddy

Living Among the Dead


September 2014 — Population Connection 21

22 Population Connection — September 2014

3 new construction. One was a palace of Muhammad Ali, the 19th-century founder of modern Egypt. City land values have risen so fast in the face of elevated demand from population growth that developers can make big profits by knocking down historically significant mansions and building tall tower blocks. “Developers have to build higher to recoup their investment,” says David Sims, an economist and authority on Cairo’s urban plan. Villa Aghion was the most recent of Alexandria’s landmarks to topple, but with 36 buildings struck from the historic registry over the past few years, and another 90 pending court approval for destruction by developers, it won’t be the last. “The whole building environment is deteriorating, because there’s just no vision,” says Aboelkhier of the Save Alex campaign. First settled by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C., Alexandria has been particularly plagued by accidents resulting from sloppy work. This past March, a cement wall bordering a row of businesses collapsed and killed six people.

The Islamist Effect

Swaths of Alexandria, including parts thought to have the highest birth rates, boast strong Islamist support, and some secular residents have been quick to blame religious conservatives for recent spikes in population growth. They’re not entirely wrong. A decline in effective family planning practices took hold in the dying years of Mubarak’s 30-year dictatorship, and family planning deteriorated further under Morsi, a leader of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi’s divisive year-long rule and ostensibly Islamist agenda provided a fertile environment for ultraconservative allies from the Salafist movement—those who aim to emulate the customs and beliefs of an early era of Islam—to espouse their views. Many Islamists see current demographic trends as politically beneficial, and oppose measures that might restrict soaring growth—particularly in their strongholds in rural Upper www.popconnect.org

September 2014 — Population Connection 23

There are many forces behind Egypt’s apparent inability to safeguard its heritage, but population pressures, as well as the political and economic woes associated with poorly managed growth, have played a big role. Egypt, where birth rates are estimated at ouster detonated a car bomb outside a But most private-sector businesses, often strangled by red tape and corruption, are around 4.5 children per woman. nearby security installation. not well placed to boost hiring. And the “Our big population is the source of The damage to the collection “isn’t as government already employs 6.4 million Egypt’s strength,” said popular Islamist bad as we feared,” cultural heritage people—out of a total workforce of 27 politician Hazem Salah Abu Ismail in expert Yasmine Dorghamy told National million—according to Egyptian governGeographic at the time, but “they’re esti- ment statistics. 2011. mating that 20 to 30 percent of the Sadly, looting appears to offer an easy and Although Al-Azhar University, Sunni artifacts will need restoration.” increasingly tempting way to earn a living. Islam’s highest seat of learning, judged The pyramids have been unaffected by frecontraception permissible as far back as 1953, some Egyptians insist family plan- quent clashes between police and Morsi Mass of Trash ning casts doubt on God’s capacity to care supporters in the poor neighborhoods Other dangers—including those to the near the Giza plateau, but tales of unrest lone tourist attraction in one section of for his creation. have deterred visitors. the desperately deprived Ezbet Khairallah Conspiracy-minded Islamists suspect district south of Cairo’s downtown—can there’s more than altruism fueling inter- Vital Tourist Dollars be tied directly to Egyptian government national interest in controlling population Some Egyptians make the case that the policy. growth in the Middle East. country has more crucial concerns than its historical legacy. “People’s living con- The 200-year-old barrack, marooned on “Why would America care about our pop- ditions matter much more,” says Sara a ridge high above the Nile, was built by ulation? Because they’re trying to reduce Madbouly in Darb al-Ahmar. Muhammad Ali to protect the Citadel’s the number of Muslims,” says Mohamed water supply from the river. Now local Mahmoud Saleh, one of the faith- Yet it’s Egypt’s history that has attracted residents use it as a place to burn garbage, ful attending prayers at Cairo’s Mostafa tourists, who have long helped bolster the and two corners of its imposing walls are Mahmoud Mosque recently. (The secu- economy—accounting for more than 11 charred and crumbling. rity services see the mosque as a hotbed percent of Egypt’s gross domestic product of Morsi support, and policemen parked (GDP) and about 12 to 14 percent of total For decades, a group of Coptic Christians outside carefully eye its congregants as employment. known as the Zabbaleen provided a cheap, they stream out after Friday prayers.) efficient, and environmentally friendly Some cultural sites use ticket sales to fund garbage-collection service in the area: The Muslim Brotherhood’s charitable the maintenance of their facilities, while They fed organic waste to their pigs and networks, usually so assiduous in provid- most tourism employees depend on tips sorted, crushed, and sold almost everying for their supporters’ needs, declined to supplement their meager salaries (civil thing else. to offer contraception in their now- servants moonlighting as taxi drivers are shuttered health centers. common in Cairo). But in 2009, Mubarak’s political party ordered the culling of Egypt’s entire pig Terrorism and Turmoil “I had to get out,” says tour guide Hossam herd. The government said it was actPower struggles in Egypt also left more Ali Hassan. “I had no work after the ing to halt the spread of swine flu, but the Zabbaleen said it was appeasing the immediate scars on the country’s heritage. revolution.” Muslim Brotherhood, who oppose the Cairo’s Museum of Islamic Art sustained Hassan was lucky to have sufficient savings sale of pork. significant damage in January, when an to open a restaurant catering to residents Islamist terror group opposed to Morsi’s of the affluent Dokki district when the “The impact is that you see garbage all tourist economy slumped. over the streets of Cairo,” says Suzie 24 Population Connection — September 2014


Greiss, a former parliamentarian and head of the Association for the Protection of the Environment, which campaigns for Zabbaleen rights. “There was a cycle, and when you remove or break that cycle, the system breaks down. The pigs played an important part.” Foreign firms hired to gather Cairo’s waste in the Zabbaleen’s stead have been a failure due to their unwillingness to collect garbage door-to-door. Many residents now deposit their refuse on street corners. The Masalla section of Al-Matariya district, which contains one of Egypt’s few remaining freestanding obelisks, has become a dumping ground for bustling eastern Cairo districts, while inhabitants of the new neighborhoods at the foot of the pyramids have clogged the centuryold irrigation canals with their trash. www.popconnect.org

Silver Lining

Photo credits: 1. Pyramids at Giza; Gabriel Morris 2. City of the Dead, Cairo; Jim Shannon 3. Pyramid View from Hilton Ramsis; Saleh Alkouh 4. City of the Dead, Cairo; Garrett Palm

It’s a bleak picture, but not all the news is bad: The recent years of revolutionary bloggers calling for an inquiry into the fervor appear also to have energized the demolition. conservation movement. Much of historical and architectural value Demonstrators have sometimes pro- has been lost—and more will be—but not tected Egypt’s heritage. During the chaos every developer is getting his way. that accompanied Mubarak’s overthrow, protesters in Cairo grouped together to Fouad El Debakey has spent a lot of protect the Egyptian Museum from loot- time plotting artful ways to demolish his ing after an initial break-in. Similar crowds colonial-era villa, which is listed on the surrounded and protected the Library of historical register and is located in a leafy Alexandria. Cairo district just steps from the Nile.

In subsequent months, activists led “I want to build an apartment tower here,” several street-cleaning and garbage- the medical supplies importer says wistcollecting campaigns. fully, gazing out of a window at nearby high-rise buildings. Last summer, the destruction of an Ottoman-era gate prompted an outcry But so far he’s been blocked by officials at across Cairo, with conservationists and every turn. September 2014 — Population Connection 25

Washington View

Bad Decisions and Dueling Budgets By Stacie Murphy


t was a busy summer for family planning advocates, with a big decision coming from the Supreme Court and heated debate on international family planning in the House and Senate.

Justices Get it Wrong in Hobby Lobby Decision

On June 30, the Supreme Court released its decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. case. It was deeply disappointing; in a 5-4 decision that split in the usual way, the court ruled that some for-profit businesses can claim a religious objection to covering contraception. This decision could have profound implications for access to affordable birth control for millions of women across the country. Although Hobby Lobby’s owners maintained that they only object to certain forms of birth control, the justices soon clarified that their decision was not limited in its scope—the for-profit companies covered under the ruling may choose to discriminate against any and all forms of contraception. Even more outrageous, the majority was careful to state that their decision should not be construed as setting precedent for other religious-objection claims, meaning that while it’s perfectly OK to refuse to cover something used primarily by women, 26 Population Connection — September 2014

religious objections to things like vaccinations and blood transfusions probably won’t elicit the same sympathy from the court. This decision is an absolute outrage. Allowing a corporation to use religion as an excuse to deny women basic health care is a step backward for women in terms of health, education, and liberty. For most women of reproductive age, birth control is the single most important health care need. In the past, the lack of insurance coverage of contraceptives was largely responsible for the fact that women between ages 18 and 49 spent 70 percent more than their male counterparts in out-of-pocket health care costs. The birth control benefit promises to help improve women’s health and their families’ financial stability. And, it offers great promise in helping to reduce unintended pregnancy. The good news is that in the wake of the court’s decision, birth control allies on the Hill fought back. In response to the outrage generated by the decision, Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO), and Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), and Jerry Nadler (D-NY) have jointly introduced the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference

Act (S. 2578/H.R. 5051, nicknamed the “Not My Boss’ Business Act”). The bill immediately gained strong support in both chambers, with 46 co-sponsors in the Senate and 159 in the House. This bill is intended to reverse the Supreme Court ruling and stop employers from being able to single out women’s health for discriminatory treatment. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) promised quick action on the bill and, only a week after its introduction, brought it to the Senate floor for debate. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans blocked the bill from getting an up-or-down vote. Only three Republicans—Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Mark Kirk (IL)— voted with Democrats to move forward with a vote on final passage. Once it became obvious the measure would not reach the 60-vote threshold, Sen. Reid switched his vote from “Yes” to “No”—a procedural move to allow him to bring the bill up again later, which he has vowed to do.

House and Senate Committees Advance Competing Funding Bills

June was a busy month on the appropriations front. Both House and Senate Appropriations Committees met to

finalize their versions of the Fiscal Year 2015 State Department/Foreign Operations funding bills. The House bill, unsurprisingly, is terrible. It slashes funding for family planning programs in the developing world by at least 25 percent—limiting funding for international family planning programs to “not more than $461 million.” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) offered an amendment to remove that cap on funding. The amendment failed by a vote of 20-26.

policy to double over that period. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) offered an amendment to remove the Gag Rule language from the bill and replace it with a provision to permanently repeal the Gag Rule. Again, the amendment failed, by a vote of 19-26.

On top of cutting overall funding, the bill also bans any U.S. contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) offered an amendment to remove that funding ban so that UNFPA can do its vital work. The amendment failed, again by a vote of 20-26.

Only two Republicans—Reps. Charlie Dent (PA) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ)—voted to support each of these important amendments. It was extremely disappointing that Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), who chairs the subcommittee that wrote the bill, voted “no” on all three. Rep. Granger, just last September, wrote an article in which she highlighted the importance of investments in family planning and reproductive health in promoting maternal and child health. Yet, when given the chance to actually do so, she chose to slash funding and undermine the programs she claims to support.

The bill also calls for a reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule. Experience shows how disastrous that would be; when the policy was last imposed (from 2001 to 2009), it caused clinics to close, services to be cut back, and contraceptive supplies to run dry. Researchers from Stanford University found that it caused the incidence of abortion in several African countries affected by the

In the end, there was only one bright spot in the House bill. The committee adopted, by voice vote, an amendment to remove the ban on abortion coverage for Peace Corps volunteers who have been raped or whose lives are endangered by their pregnancies. This vote means that Peace Corps volunteers will have the same coverage as other women who rely on federal insurance programs. This is an


important step forward in looking after people who are serving our country, and we salute the committee for doing one right thing. Fortunately, the Senate bill is much better. It provides a total of $643 million for FY 2015—mirroring the president’s request and topping the current funding level by $33 million. It did not include the Gag Rule provision, and when Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) offered an amendment to include the permanent repeal language, it passed 19-11 with bipartisan support. Additionally, it included the Peace Corps provision adopted by the House.

Looking Ahead

With the November elections looming, almost no one expects further work on individual appropriations bills. We anticipate that Congress will end up passing either an omnibus package or, more likely, a continuing resolution to keep the government running. Senate Democrats have also pledged to keep fighting to overturn the Hobby Lobby decision, so more action on the Not My Boss’ Business bill is also possible. We will be watching all these issues carefully and will keep you informed as events unfold.

September 2014 — Population Connection 27

Field & Outreach

Rebecca Harrington’s Call to Action By Alexis Thom, Mary Wohlford Field and Outreach Fellow


ebecca Harrington began college like most 18-year-olds. She was excited about everything she knew would happen in the coming years—classes, dorm life, and the annual “Puddle Jump” into a rectangular hole cut into the frozen lake on the Bates campus in Lewiston, Maine—but still unsure of what major she would choose and what would come after college. Then, as a curious freshman trying out a variety of introductory classes to see what moved her, she took Introduction to Women and Gender Studies. She was hooked. While she had always been a selfidentified feminist, Rebecca’s undergraduate years are when that identification turned to action. Her efforts were primarily focused on re-opening the Bates College Women’s Resource Center and organizing a Take Back the Night march. While working toward her bachelor’s degree, Rebecca had an opportunity to intern with a breast cancer clinical research study in her hometown of Boston. She interviewed women at different stages in the treatment process, and also sat in on consultations where doctors gave patients life-changing news. In one of these meetings, Rebecca recalls that she fainted at the patient’s diagnosis, while the woman facing a recurrence of her breast cancer did not. Following her experience on the

. ashington, D.C en’s Lives in W om W r fo ch ar egan at the M

r friend M

Rebecca and he

clinical side, she worked with the same cli- strangers—who really cared about and nicians on their new public health research were fighting for reproductive freedom study, which explored the barriers women and rights.” face in accessing breast cancer screenings. Despite her intentions to work on A Momentous March women’s issues, however, Rebecca’s first When asked to describe the moment job out of college was with learningwhen she knew that she wanted to spend disabled students at a Jewish day school in her career fighting for women’s reproduc- Maryland. It was a great experience, but tive rights, Rebecca recalls an experience she felt her heart being pulled in a differfrom her senior year of college. She and ent direction. She just needed a lead … a group of other students from Maine bussed down to Washington, D.C. for the And a Well-Timed Job Opening 2004 March for Women’s Lives. She cites A friend from Bates who was working at that march as the moment her “pro-choice Population Connection at the time told values were fully realized,” and recalls her that the organization was hiring a that it was empowering to be around so receptionist, and thus Rebecca began her many people—“friends, Bates alumni, a career with the organization. childhood best friend, and thousands of

28 Population Connection — September 2014

Like many members of Population Connection’s staff, Rebecca’s day job wasn’t the only place where she gave her time to the reproductive rights cause; her efforts didn’t end at 5 p.m. when she set the office phone to the after-hours answering system. In fact, she worked for two different D.C.-based organizations in her spare time. As a contractor at Girls Inc., Rebecca taught basic health courses to middleand high-school-aged girls throughout the Washington, D.C. area, focusing on under-resourced communities. She also volunteered with Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS), an organization that “promotes the health, rights, and dignity” of sex workers and drug users. Her role was on the “van team” that travels around the city from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. and offers free HIV testing and counseling, safe sex supplies and education, syringe exchange, and emotional support. The shifts were “exhausting but rewarding because of the receptiveness of clients, whom [she] came to know as real people—not just abstract statistics—who were faced with difficult circumstances.”

chance “to work with people, to learn from people, and to speak about such important issues.” Rebecca loves coming into the office, but her favorite thing about her job is that it gives her a chance to go out and interact with supporters, new and veteran to the issue, and not sit behind a desk all the time. Rebecca has been with Population Connection for a total of eight years, and is now the National Field Director, with a three-person team working under her. Her ultimate goal for the field department— other than to no longer have the need for a field department because millions of women around the world no longer lack access to reproductive health care—is to have an even larger grassroots network that is ready to take action at any moment.

After events like Capitol Hill Days (CHD), our annual advocacy training in the spring, Rebecca hears from volunteers who have met with their members of Congress and are fired up about the issues and confident in their lobbying skills. This year, a Rutgers University student teared up as she told field staff that CHD had been a life-changing experience. Rebecca After a year and a half with Population cites moments like these as the most Connection, a position opened in the field rewarding part of her job. department and Rebecca jumped at the opportunity. The biggest draw to mov- Clearly, Rebecca isn’t the only one who ing to field and outreach efforts was the feels that advocating for reproductive www.popconnect.org

rights is rewarding. Since she took over organizing Capitol Hill Days, attendance has increased from around 50 people in 2009 to nearly 150 this past spring. Watching the number of people “advocating and lobbying for basic health care and women’s freedom to choose their own reproductive destiny” triple in six years is one of her greatest sources of career pride. If you’re looking for meaningful volunteer work or opportunities for activism, there are many ways to join Rebecca: • • •

Become a member of Population Connection (www.popconnect.org/ donate) Join our Email Action Network (www.popconnect.org/action) Follow our sister organization, Population Connection Action Fund, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ PopConnectAction) Write letters to the editor of your local newspapers, urging readers to consider the effects of rapid population growth Join us at the next Capitol Hill Days!

If you would like help doing any of the above, please contact Rebecca directly at rebecca@popconnect.org or 202-332-2200 x7738. She looks forward to hearing from you!

September 2014 — Population Connection 29


Bringing the World Population Map to Life in the Classroom


population cartogram (see the World Population Map centerfold) is a powerful instructional tool for investigating population data and the variables that affect population size and growth in countries worldwide. In the classroom, it can serve as a launch pad for student exploration of global demographics and human development.

In the activity below, students are challenged to gather, evaluate, and interpret data on population growth, share of urban dwellers, and megacities. Though designed primarily for the secondary social studies classroom, the lesson plan is interdisciplinary, demanding students apply knowledge and skills from mathematics, English language arts, and science.

Land Use Squared Introduction

shows the relative size of the earth’s land The UN announced in 2010 that for the masses. first time in human history, over half of all people were living in urban areas. Since Discussion Questions 2010, the number of city dwellers has con- 1. Which countries are prominently featured on one map but not the tinued to soar. In fact, if projections hold other? true, in 2050, over two-thirds of the global 2. What is the significance of this? population will be urban. 3. Why is your observation important? 4. What does it mean for a country Student Objectives (land area, density, etc.) to be promi1. Demonstrate correct application of nently featured on the population data from a population cartogram map, but not the land area map? And and a land area map simultaneously. vice versa? 2. Create population diagrams to represent population and urban data for four countries. Part 2: Urban Areas and Megacities 3. Summarize and communicate the interconnections between population Using information from the World growth, urbanization, and the forma- Population Map and the data chart oppotion of megacities. site, guide students through the next set of questions.

1980 and 2015. (These should be done on graph paper and can be thought of as individual country population cartograms. Students should use the same scale as the World Population Map where 1 square = 1 million people.) Discussion Questions 1. How many countries experienced population growth between 1980 and 2015? 2. Is it possible to determine this change in size from the World Population Map? 3. Evaluate the difference in each country’s total population growth compared to the percentage of population increase. Which countries had the greatest variance?

Change in Urban Percentage Using the data chart, instruct students Part 1: Understanding the Map to calculate how much of each country’s The World Population Map provides a Change in Total Population snapshot of human population for the year Instruct students to draw population population lived/lives in urban areas and 2015, while a conventional land area map diagrams for each country in the years then determine the number of “urban 30 Population Connection — September 2014


1980 population (in millions)

% of people living in urban areas (1980)

% of people living in urban areas (2015)

Cities with over 10 million people (1980)

Cities with over 10 million people (2015)

Projected 2050 population (in millions)










Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta








United States




New York

New York, Los Angeles


population squares.” They should shade Discussion Questions the appropriate number of squares on each 1. Which of the four countries in the chart above had megacities in 1980? diagram. 2. Which of the four will have megacities in 2015? Discussion Questions 3. What are the potential advantages/ 1. How many countries increased the disadvantages of megacities? percentage of their population living 4. India’s three megacities all surpassed in urban areas between 1980 and 10 million people within the last 25 2015? years, and the country now has the 2. Have populations become more second most megacities on Earth. urban or less urban? Do either of these facts surprise you? 3. What may have caused the change? Evaluate and explain. 4. Less developed countries saw a larger increase in their urban populations while more developed countries saw Part 3: Class-wide Analysis less of an increase. Why might this How are population growth, urban popube? lation, and megacities interrelated? Megacities John Wilmoth, director of the Population Megacities are characterized by a popula- Division at the UN, says, “Managing tion of 10 million or more. urban areas has become one of the most www.popconnect.org

important developmental challenges of the 21st century.” What environmental and social challenges might these countries face in the year 2050? What changes might each country need to make in order to deal with those challenges? Consider: imports/exports, labor force, infrastructure (roads, schools, hospitals, etc.), and others.


“Land Use Squared” meets numerous standards from the C3 Framework for Social Studies, the CCSS, and objectives in AP Human Geography.

This abridged version of “Land Use Squared” is from the World Population Map Activity Guide, available from www.PopulationEducation.org.

September 2014 — Population Connection 31


Garrincha Editorial Cartoon used with the permission of Gustavo Rodriguez and the Cartoonist Group. All rights reserved.

32 Population Connection — September 2014

Editorial Excerpts

New York, New York


he full implications of the [Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby] decision, which ruled in favor of employers who do not want to include contraceptive care in their company health plans, as required by the Affordable Care Act, will not be known for some time. But the immediate effect, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted in a powerful dissent, was to deny many thousands of women contraceptive coverage vital to their well-being and reproductive freedom. It also invites, she said, other “for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faiths.” Nothing compels women to use their insurance on contraceptives. A woman’s choice to use or not to use them is a personal one that does not implicate her employer. Such decisions “will be the woman’s autonomous choice, informed by the physician she consults,” as Justice Ginsburg noted. There also is no requirement that employers offer employee health plans. They could instead pay a tax likely to be less than the cost of providing insurance to help cover government subsidies available to those using an insurance exchange. That did not convince Justice Alito and his colleagues on the court’s right flank, who bought the plaintiffs’ claim that providing health coverage to employees was part of their religious mission. Mr. Alito’s ruling and a concurrence by Justice Anthony Kennedy portray the decision as a narrow one without broader application, like denying vaccine coverage or job discrimination. But that is not reassuring coming from justices who missed the point that denying women access to full health benefits is discrimination. — June 30, 2014



he Supreme Court violated principles of religious liberty and women’s rights in last week’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, which allowed owners of closely held, for-profit corporations (most companies in America) to impose their religious beliefs on workers by refusing to provide contraception coverage for employees with no co-pay, as required by the Affordable Care Act. But for the court’s male justices it didn’t seem to go far enough. On Thursday, those justices approved a temporary order that appears to backtrack from assurances in Justice Samuel Alito Jr.’s majority opinion in Hobby Lobby that employees would still be covered for all forms of contraception through a process created by the Obama administration to accommodate religious nonprofit organizations beyond churches, which are categorically exempt. That process allows religious nonprofits to obtain an exemption by signing a short form certifying its religious objections and sending a copy to its third-party insurance administrator, which then is obligated to provide the coverage separately to employees without charge. Thursday’s order said no form or notification to insurance providers was needed … This prompted an angry response from the three female justices—Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan. “Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word,” Justice Sotomayor wrote for the three. “Not so today.” —July 8, 2014

September 2014 — Population Connection 33

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A Stellar Legacy: Marie Parker Coe Contributed by Sydney Speizman, Population Connection Intern A 1942 graduate of Case Western Reserve University, Marie Parker Coe served NASA as one of two electron microscope specialists at the Kennedy Space Center for nearly ten years. Also one of the first women working for NASA, she contributed toward the first manned mission to the moon. Her dear friend Ann Brodie recalls that Coe had close relationships with many of the astronauts, and they would often take specimens directly to her for examination after returning from space missions. Although it was rare for a woman to hold such a prestigious position at NASA at the time, Coe’s technical expertise, precision, attention to intricate detail, and scientific knowledge made her indispensable.

Brodie says of Coe, “She was one of the most giving people in love, funds, and enthusiasm. She made great endowments to the world while she was here and continues to endow through everyone that she has touched.” One of the ways Coe maintained her giving was by remembering Population Connection in her will. Coe’s gift of a lifetime ensures that her commitment to our one, small planet continues to make an impact today. Your bequest to Population Connection would ensure that your dedication to protecting our environment and defending women’s rights continues well into the future. Gifts of any size may be made through your will. Contact Shauna Scherer for more information, at (202) 974-7730 or shauna@popconnect.org.

Profile for Marian Starkey

Population Connection, September 2014  

Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia World Population Map Egypt's Threatened Cultural Heritage

Population Connection, September 2014  

Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia World Population Map Egypt's Threatened Cultural Heritage


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