Prince Charles for more active birth control measures
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Last Updated: Thursday, June 10, 2010, 20:54
London: UK's crown Prince Charles has advocated greater adoption of birth control measures in developing countries, as he blamed "cultural pressures" for resistance to such techniques and warned that it puts the planet at risk.

Speaking at the Sheldonian Theatre, in a lecture to mark the 25th anniversary of the Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies in Oxford, Prince Charles said the religious idea of sanctity of life needs to be balanced with the imperative to live within the limits of nature.

The traditional religious views, he said, are often used to oppose the use of condoms and other contraceptives. The world must "face up to the fact" that one of the biggest causes of high birth rates is cultural, he said.

"There has to be more honesty about the fact that cultural pressures kept the global birth rate high," he said.

The Prince said the population of Lagos in Nigeria had risen from 300,000 to 20 million during his life time.

"I could have chosen Mumbai, Cairo or Mexico city; wherever you look, the world's population is increasing fast," he said.

Although he acknowledged that long-term predictions were for a fall in the global population, the Prince insisted: "In the next 50 years, we face monumental problems" as the global numbers rise to nine billion.

He said Earth could not "sustain us all", particularly if a "vast proportion" was consuming natural resources at "Western levels".

The Prince called for a balance between "the traditional attitude to the sacred nature of life" and religious teachings that urged humans to "keep within the limits of nature's benevolence and bounty".

He said it was a "tragedy" that traditional Islamic crafts were being abandoned and called upon Muslims to use their heritage to protect the environment.


First Published: Thursday, June 10, 2010, 20:54

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