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'I  am the youngest of 6 girls and was raised in a culture that favoured a  male heir. Growing up in Apartheid South Africa, access to opportunities  was limited, while being part of a large family meant resources were  even scarcer. I understood early on how one’s quality of life could be  improved in smaller families.

The  present planetary burden is caused not only by too many people, but  excessive consumption driven by a capitalist economy. A slowdown in  population growth is already apparent with declining fertility rates.  This is largely because women and girls are getting better access to  education and autonomy over their bodies and choices. But we have a long  way to go.

While  a high human population strains the Earth resources, it isn’t populous  poorer countries that have contributed most to planetary degradation or  the highest carbon emissions, but the rich minority driven by greed and  supported by economic structures that favour the wealthy. Here is where  real effort for education and reform is needed to restore environmental  balances and bridge the inequality divide.'

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