MEDIA ADVISORY: Save Money, Lives, and the Earth by Combining Conservation and Family Planning, Say Experts at World Conservation Congress

Integrated Population-Health-Environment Programs More Effective, Efficient

Oct 09, 2008

BARCELONA—Conservation and health organizations should work together to support human development and protect biodiversity hotspots, said experts at the World Conservation Congress on October 8, 2008. An international panel sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Population Reference Bureau presented evidence that development programs combining population, health, and environment efforts can be more effective and less expensive than family planning or environmental programs alone—especially in remote areas with high biodiversity, like parts of the Philippines, Nepal, and Uganda.

"In the Philippines, food security is threatened by both poverty and population-environment dynamics," said Joan Castro of the Integrated Population and Coastal Resource Management (IPOPCORM) Initiative. "Results showed that IPOPCORM improved the majority of the reproductive health and conservation indicators we measured, supporting our hypothesis that integrated approaches to population and coastal management have a greater impact."

Sabita Thapa of World Wildlife Fund-Nepal quoted a community forester working to preserve Nepal's threatened Terai region: "Now we work hard to conserve forest resources and are encouraging everyone to use alternative energy and family planning so there will be forest left for future generations."

Uganda's Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka described how her innovative program, Conservation Through Public Health, seeks to conserve endangered mountain gorillas and improve the quality of life for families living near Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

"This panel demonstrates the necessity of stepping out of our environment, health, and population silos and working together to conserve natural resources, support livelihoods, and build peace," said Gib Clarke of the Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program.

The Population Reference Bureau informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to advance the well-being of current and future generations.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds, engaged in the study of national and world affairs.

Since 1994, the Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program has explored the connections among environmental challenges and their links to conflict and security.

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