Fewer Children, Fewer Climate Risks? Niger Ponders A Controversial Option

Nigerien non-profit representatives listen to a presentation on family planning and climate change at the Niamey offices of Young Volunteers for the Environment, in Niger, on September 16, 2019. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Sebastien Malo

By Sebastien Malo

In a country with the world’s highest birth rate per woman, hers is an uncommon move and, to some, a controversial one.

But environmentalists and youth activists in Niger hope it is one more families will embrace, to help reduce threats from the destructive effects of a changing climate.

Climate change has meant Niger has seen a swift rise in temperatures and less abundant water flows in rivers, in addition to more intense droughts and floods, said Issa Lele, a meteorologist with the United Nations Development Programme.

That is a growing threat to food and water supplies – and the pressures heighten as the nation’s population booms, with each woman having on average 7.6 children, said Sani Ayouba, the director of the environmental group Young Volunteers for the Environment…Read more>>


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