CEESP NEWS - CEESP supports global campaign highlighting the importance of family planning to women and girls, and biodiversity conservation
On 11 July 2019, World Population Day, CEESP was proud to be one of the first 150 environmental or reproductive health organisations joining a first of its kind campaign: Thriving Together. The supporters of Thriving Together also include 41 IUCN Member organisations which similarly recognise that family planning is critically important not only for women and girls but also for the environment and sustainability.
The Thriving Together campaign highlights that successful biodiversity conservation requires taking people, our health, and our interactions with the natural world into account. Increasing human pressures are among the many challenges facing planetary health, and by harming ecosystems, people undermine food and water security and human health, and threaten habitats and species. Ensuring family planning is available to all who seek it is among the positive actions organisations must take to lessen these pressures.
The United Nations projects that global population will rise from 7.7 billion today to 9.7 billion by 2050. Future population growth is uncertain however, and highly sensitive to small changes in the average number of children per mother. If the physical, financial, educational, social and religious barriers to people using family planning services were removed and the average number of children per mother was just 0.5 lower than the UN population projection which is most commonly used, global population would peak at 8.9 billion in 2050, rather than 9.7 billion.
This is all possible, by enabling the exercise of a well-recognised human right, that people should be able to decide for themselves, whether, when, how often and with whom to bring children into the world. Family planning contributes to women’s empowerment, improves family and general health, advances education and life opportunities and, by slowing population growth, eases pressures on wildlife and ecosystems.
CEESP Steering Committee Member, Meher Noshirwani, explained, “In joining this campaign, CEESP is in good company. Collectively, the supporting organisations work in over 170 countries. Other supporters range from Conservation International and Marie Stopes International, to Nature Uganda and Reproductive Health Uganda. In the era of the Sustainable Development Goals we are going to see much more of this cross sector collaboration.”
The Thriving Together campaign is spearheaded by the Margaret Pyke Trust, which has over 50 years’ experience of family planning and is the only IUCN Member with this expertise. CEESP member and Chief Executive of the Trust said, “The existence of barriers to family planning is the most important ignored environmental challenge of our day. This changes now. The Thriving Together campaign encourages cross-sectoral support between health and environmental conservation organisations, showcasing that when people can choose freely whether and when to have children it is for the benefit of both people and planet. Barriers to family planning are not only relevant to those who are passionate about improving health, gender equality, empowerment and economic development, but also to those who are passionate about the conservation of biodiversity, the environment and sustainability.”
The Margaret Pyke Trust’s Thriving Together campaign is informed by its paper ‘Removing Barriers to Family Planning, Empowering Sustainable Environmental Conservation’, which sets out how and why family planning is important for the environment.
Check out the Thriving Together website: http://thrivingtogether.global/