What is the Optimum Population Trust?
The Optimum Population Trust is the leading think tank in the UK concerned with the impact of population growth on the environment. OPT research covers population in relation to climate change, energy, resources, biodiversity, development impacts, ageing and employment and other environmental and economic issues. It campaigns for stabilisation and gradual population decrease globally and in the UK. OPT is a registered charity and is financed by its members. It receives funding neither from the government nor from any political or business interests, and is not affiliated to any other organisation*.(*Except as a partner in the Global Footprint Network.)
Professor Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Population Studies, Stanford University
Jane Goodall PhD DBE,  Founder, Jane Goodall Institute, and UN Messenger of Peace.
Susan Hampshire OBE,  Actress and population campaigner
Professor John Guillebaud   Former Co-chair of OPT, Emeritus Professor of Family Planning and Reproductive Health, University College, London. Former Medical Director, Margaret Pyke Centre for Family Planning.
Professor Aubrey Manning OBE,  President of the Wildlife Trusts and Emeritus Professor of Natural History, University of Edinburgh
Professor Norman Myers CMG,  Visiting Fellow, Green College, Oxford University, and at Universities of Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, California, Michigan and Texas
Sara Parkin OBE,   Founder Director and Trustee of Forum for the Future and Director of the Natural Environment Research Council and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and Head Teachers into Industry.
Jonathon Porritt CBE,  Founder Director of Forum for the Future and Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission.
Sir Crispin Tickell GCMG KCVO,  Chancellor of Kent University, Director of the Policy Foresight Programme at the James Martin Institute, and former UK Permanent Representative on the United Nations Security Council
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Martin Desvaux PhD CPhys is a physicist experienced in life assessment techniques for power generation, petrochemical and plant, and formerly a director of ERA Technology. He now researches ecological issues.
Dr Pippa Hayes is a full-time general practitioner in Devon and mother of two teenage boys.
Roger Martin, CHAIR OF TRUSTEES, was a senior diplomat, resigning 20 years ago; becoming a leading environmentalist in the South-West and serving on many green NGOs and quangos.
Simon Ross is an established management consultant providing organisational strategy and performance improvement to the public and private sectors.
Sir Adrian Stott is a management consultant and former town planner, specialising in strategy and organisation.
Yvette Willey, Company Secretary, Treasurer and Membership Secretary. Yvette Willey has been with OPT since its foundation and is a businesswoman with treasury and accounts experience.
David Nicholson-Lord,   Former Environment Editor, Independent on Sunday, Deputy Chair of the New Economics Foundation and Chair of the Urban Wildlife Network.
HONORARY EDITOR, OPT JOURNAL
HONORARY EDITOR, JACKDAW (Members' magazine)
US RESEARCH FELLOW
Martin Chilcott,  Chairman & CEO, Meltwater Ventures & 2degrees.
Harry Cripps MA MSc DMS CEng CEnv,  Chemical engineer and process integration consultant
Patrick Curry PhD   lives in London and lectures in Religious Studies at the University of Kent. He is the author of 'Ecological Ethics: An Introduction', Polity, 2006.
Rosamund McDougall,  *See Policy Directors above.
Rajamani Nagarajah,  Health and development consultant to the European Commission and former Director of Population Concern
John Rowley,  Founder/Editor of www.peopleandplanet.net and former Editor, People magazine (International Planned Parenthood Federation)
William Ryerson (USA),  Founder and president of Population Media Center, William Ryerson has worked to promote population stabilisation for four decades, with an emphasis on social change communications.
Alastair Service CBE, former Chairman of the Family Planning Association
Valerie Stevens   former Co-chair and Chair of OPT, Valerie Stevens also worked in Friends of the Earth for 20 years, five of them spent as an elected member of the board of directors, and has long experience of political campaigning.
The Optimum Population Trust was founded in 1991 by the late David Willey, its first chairman. Its purpose was to collect, analyse and disseminate information about the sizes of global and national populations, and their relations with the carrying capacities of different countries and the quality of life of their inhabitants. It was intended that such information should help people to make informed choices about policies affecting their and their descendants' welfare. Special emphasis was given to the situation in the United Kingdom.
The need for this function was seen in the failure of UK governments to act on the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Population in 1949, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Science and Technology in 1971 and the Government Population Panel in 1973 to set up a mechanism for monitoring and policy guidance on issues affected by population changes - such as welfare, education, labour supply, population ageing, immigration and impact on the environment.
The need was also seen in a general neglect of the role of population pressure by bodies concerned with the relief of poverty and protection of the environment, and the consequent tendency of those bodies to promote ineffective or counterproductive policies. OPT was granted charitable status on 9 May 2006.
This website was launched in June 2002