Population, health and environment: Family planning & health
Many of the communities we work with live in remote areas of developing countries where there is poor access to health services, low awareness of how to prevent a variety of common illnesses, and lack of access to family planning. All this impacts their abilities to serve as effective environmental stewards.
Malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, lack of proper sanitation services, malaria and other health issues often force people to exploit nature.
With the support of USAID, Johnson & Johnson and other health and family planning partners, WWF is piloting the integration of health and population components in community conservation projects.
We are also undertaking population analyses to learn which approaches work best and how we can increase the scale of our existing work.
We recognize that community involvement is essential for successful long-term conservation results – and that is why partnering with local communities is a critical part of our approach to large-scale conservation.
While some of the population growth projected to occur by 2050 is due to momentum caused by the sheer numbers of young people reaching reproductive age, part is caused by an unmet need for family planning.
For example, 25% of people surveyed in Kenya want family planning options but do not have good access. This figure is 33% in Cambodia, 28% in Nepal and 17% in the Philippines (Abt Associates, 2005).