Global urban population to be 6.3 billion by 2050

October 16, 2012 • Protection of Species, Daily Email Recap

The following story was recently published in the NY Daily News.

Global urban population to be 6.3 billion by 2050

Hyderabad, Oct 15 – The global urban population is estimated to be 6.3 billion by 2050, nearly doubling the 3.5 billion urban dwellers worldwide in 2010, posing a challenge in management of biodiversity, says a report by Convention on Biological Diversity here.

The total urban area is expected to triple between 2000 and 2030, while urban population is expected to nearly double, increasing from 2.84 billion to 4.9 billion, during this period.

“More than 60 percent of the area projected to be urban has yet to be built. Most of this growth is expected to happen in small and medium-sized cities, not in mega cities,” said the report.

The report ‘cities and biodiversity outlook’ was released here Monday during ‘cities for life’, a city and subnational biodiversity summit, organised in parallel to the ongoing 11th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP11) to the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD).

Mayors, governors and other officials from 90 cities, including 50 international cities are attending the two-day summit, to share their experiences and to discuss an action plan for reducing biodiversity loss.

Braulio Dias, executive secretary, CBD, called upon the subnational and local governments to draw an action plan and take steps to implement it for achieving the global biodiversity targets by 2020.

“The urban expansion will heavily draw on natural resources, including water, on a global scale, and will often consume prime agricultural land, with knock-on effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services elsewhere,” said the report.

It found that Africa was urbanising faster than any other continent. The overall urban population in 55 nations of Africa is expected to more than double from 300 million in 2000 to 750 million in 2030. The rate of increase in urban land cover is predicted to be the highest in any region in the world: 700 percent over the period 2000-2030.

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