Summer Population UpdateIt's been an exciting summer in the world of population and reproductive health. Yesterday, on World Population Day, country governments and private donors from around the world gathered in London and committed to provide 120 million women with lifesaving contraceptives. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah spoke on the United States' commitment, stating that "To support the aspirations of the London Summit, the United States commits the power of its voice and example, as well as resources, technical support and leadership that will lead to new and innovative ways of substantively reducing unmet need for family planning." This inspiring new dedication of funds will improve the lives of women and their families, promote community health, and ensure a sustainable planet for generations to come.
We've been hard at work over the past few months with these same goals in mind. Find out what the Global Population and Environment Program has been up to below.
Rio+20: UN Conference on Sustainable Development
Photo above: GPEP Program Director Kim Lovell and volunteer Suzanne York at a family planning clinic in Rio de Janeiro.
In June, we traveled to Brazil for the 20th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20. We co-hosted a side event on youth sexual and reproductive health and rights and their connection to the environment and sustainable communities. We also participated in a week of events and panels highlighting the important links between women, gender, contraceptive access, population, development, and resource management. We visited a family-planning clinic in the favelas around Rio, and wrote a series of blog posts on the conference proceedings. Although we were disappointed that the final negotiated document neglected to include reproductive rights, there were many positive outcomes that you can read about here and here.
Summer Activist Training on Population
Photo above: Sarah Hodgdon talks with population volunteers in San Francisco.
Early this summer, 25 Sierra Club volunteers from around the country gathered in San Francisco for a Population Activist Training. They learned about population-health-environment connections, networked with other volunteers, and planned events and activities to bring attention to these interconnected issues at the chapter and group level. Vicki Swier, a volunteer from Nebraska, and a group of California activists were the winners of a small grant to implement population and reproductive health activities in their home communities. We also hosted our first formal diversity training for the population activists, in keeping with the Sierra Club's commitment to diversity.
Ensuring the sustainability of the Global Population and Environment Program
Photo above: 2012 Global Population and Environment Fellows in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.
We have worked hard this year to ensure that environmentalists understand the importance of population growth and reproductive health access to human and environmental health and sustainable development. Help us continue our work with young people, environmental and reproductive health volunteers, and Sierra Club activists around the country by donating to the Global Population and Environment Program. Your gift will be matched by a generous donor. Details and a link to donate online are available here.
Want to get more involved with the Global Population and Environment Program? Visit our website at www.sierraclub.org/population, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @SCPopEnviro.