ECSP Author Haile Wins Population Institute Global Media Award

Report Cites Ethiopia's Inadequate Population Measures

Nov 08, 2005

Sahlu Haile, senior program advisor and Ethiopia country representative for The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, has won the Global Media Award for Best Population-Environment Reporting. "This [award] will make an invaluable contribution to our efforts to mainstream population and environment issues in the national development agenda," Haile told the award sponsor Population Institute.

Haile's winning piece, "Population, Development, and Environment in Ethiopia," published in the 2004 Environmental Change and Security Project Report, reports that Ethiopia's population growth has contributed to unsustainable farming and deforestation, thus degrading the environment and undermining development. The government's half-hearted attempts to stabilize Ethiopia's population growth have not stopped the de facto demolition of his country's natural resources. "While Ethiopia has developed a population policy to encourage such efforts, it has so far struggled to implement it due to inaction, disinterest, and ambivalence by senior officials," the report states.

Haile is one of 14 other journalists and media organizations to be honored for outstanding contributions to greater awareness of population, environment, and resource-related issues by the Washington, D.C.-based Population Institute's 26th Annual Global Media Awards. "The recipients of these awards have performed a significant service in informing the public of the consequences of rapid population growth—an issue that underlies virtually every major global problem today," said Werner Fornos, president of the Population Institute, in a press release. ECSP Report Managing Editor Meaghan Parker will accept the award on Haile's behalf at the ceremony on Nov. 29 in Mexico City.

Haile, who spoke in April to a Wilson Center audience that included representatives from the Ethiopian embassy, also attracted the attention of National Geographic and Voice of America, both of which interviewed him. In Ethiopia, local media and think tanks took note of the report, requesting additional information from the author.

In June 2005, the United States government issued a statement that "the rapid population growth in Ethiopia is a serious challenge to the development efforts of the nation"; Haile was interviewed for his take on this important statement.

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