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On Friday 18 October 2013, 1 000 men in 25 countries will dedicate their vasectomies to Mother Earth. It’s thought that the impact of these men’s sterilisations will mean a reduction of man’s carbon footprint by some 1 million metric tons. That’s more than 20 000 lifetimes of recycling, reducing, or reusing.

The operations form part of World Vasectomy Day which is all about starting a global conversation about why men are reluctant to get involved in family planning and questions if avoiding unwanted pregnancy should be included in environmental policies. Africa’s population will more than double to 2.4 billion within 40 years. In many ways this is great news, as much of the growth is down to improved healthcare but population growth on this scale can only have a devastating impact on biodiversity.

This means environmentalists need to start looking more at education, women’s rights and family planning improvements as having environmental aims, not only being crucial in themselves.

Dr-Doug-Stein

World Vasectomy Day events will be taking place on every continent. In South Africa I’ll be hosting the African premiere of a new documentary by Oscar nominated and Emmy-Award winning director Jonathan Stack, “The Vasectomist”. The Vasectomist follows Dr Doug Stein, a urologist who believes the best way he can help save the planet is to perform as many vasectomies as possible. He’s performed over 30 000 so far, that’s more than anyone else.

There are over seven billion of us on the planet right now, but as Doug says, “Could this planet support more than 8 billion people? Sure it could. Could it support 12 billion people? Probably could. But it can’t really support 12 billion people as well as biodiversity. I think vasectomy is win, win, win for the people, for the societies, for nature.”

The premiere of The Vasectomist will be held at midday on Friday 18 October 2013 at the FADA Auditorium of the University of Johannesburg’s Bunting Road campus, Auckland Park. Admission is free and will be followed by a Q&A session. It’s time for a global discussion to start, that’s the purpose of World Vasectomy Day, so if you are in Johannesburg on Friday come along and find out more.

You can read more about the South African events forming part of World Vasectomy Day here.

Kafunta Safaris
David Johnson

David Johnson has a focus: the impacts of human population and consumption growth. “It’s the growing number of us humans and the amount we consume which is the greatest threat to maintaining healthy ecosystems. You can worry about climate change mitigation, but when there are twice as many of us, can those mitigation measures be effective? For marginalised rural communities the situation can be worse, they often rely on healthy ecosystems for food, water, medicines, fuel and livelihoods” he says. With the population of Africa expected to double by 2050, David believes a new approach to conservation is needed. In partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust and NGOs specialising in voluntary family planning, women’s rights, early childhood development and job creation, David is seeking funding for a new style of integrated programme, which will lead to greater community and environmental benefits than had those organisations acted alone. You can read more of his work on his website and follow him on Twitter: @DavidJohnsonSA