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MARCH 2008 VOL. 40, ISSUE 1

International Family Planning: a Troubled Landscape


from the president

Calls for change have long been part

Contraception is cheap compared to

Where I live in Pennsylvania, our

of our quadrennial electoral dance.

most things. But for the one billion

school district just completed construc-

This year, however, the talk seems to

people who live on less than one dollar

tion of a new high school at a cost of

be about little else. Not coincidentally,

a day, it’s too often out of reach.

$90 million. The $461 million the U.S.

it’s only the second time in 80 years

For decades, the United States led

now spends worldwide for international

that no one who has served as presi-

the way when it came to support for

family planning is equal to just five

dent or vice president is running for

international family planning. In recent

such schools. Spending one billion

the White House.

years, U.S. funding has been slashed

dollars on international family planning

by almost half. These cuts would have

would be a wise and judicious act in

some sort or other. But, as the late

been even deeper if George Bush had

a world where rampant population

Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

his way. And Bush has done everything

growth is a root cause of environmental

asked in her memorable 1992 speech,

in his power to block needed programs

destruction, human misery and global

“Change: From What to What?”

with his Global Gag Rule and refusal to

instability.

So, we’ll have change in 2008—of

Which brings us to the point of this issue of The Reporter. Is there any

fund UN family planning (UNFPA). The damage done by George Bush is

As we explain in this issue, this simple act would change the world for

program, any initiative, where simple

astonishing. The $195 million in con-

millions of people. It would help slow

change could accomplish so much, so

gressionally appropriated funds that he

deforestation and species loss as well

fast as family planning?

has refused to release to UNFPA since

as help expand long-term efforts to

2002 could have prevented nearly a

deal with global warming.

We all make plans every day—from

In that 1992 speech, Rep. Jordan

lists of mundane household tasks to

quarter of a million maternal deaths

insuring our financial futures.

and enabled 68 million women to

quoted William Allen White, the

delay or avoid pregnancy. The U.S. is

famous century editor of the Emporia,

people will ever make is often

the only nation ever to have withheld

Kansas Gazette: "Reason has never

unplanned. In our own wealthy land,

funds from the UN in this fashion.

failed man.” Our own efforts to

one half of pregnancies are unplanned.

Even the beleaguered nation of

achieve zero population growth are

Globally, that figure exceeds 30%.

Afghanistan donated a symbolic $500

based on science and reason. We try

to UNFPA. That’s $500 more than the

to get the facts right. And the facts

U.S. under Bush’s “leadership.”

point clearly toward population growth

Yet the most crucial decision most

In this world of 6.5+ billion people, there is no single explanation for all human behavior; we are a complex and curious species. But for tens of millions of women and couples in the poorest places on earth, this failure to plan their families

We can change all this. And it won’t

as the major cause of virtually every

break the bank the way craven, foolish

environmental challenge—and many

practices have fractured some financial

others besides.

institutions lately. We need to start by doubling the

starts with a simple and profound lack

money we spend on family planning to

of resources (spelled M-O-N-E-Y).

one billion dollars a year. If that sounds

Education and empowerment matter

like a tall order for Americans to take

greatly as well, but extreme poverty

on, it amounts to an additional $1.80

overwhelms all else.

per citizen per year (about half the cost of a latte for you Starbucks fans).

We’ve seen what happens when facts are suppressed, when science is ignored. It really is time for a change.

John Seager john@popconnect.org


Volume 40, Issue 1 March 2008 Cover: Once forested with baobabs, the deforested western part of Madagascar now sees them as “sentries� posted at each corner of a rice paddy. Photo: Lisa Folda/Photoshare

Pg. 5 Family planning and access to safe and legal abortion are vital to safeguard the environment By Joseph Speidel, M.D. and Richard Grossman, M.D.

Pg. 16 Voices of Hope on a Crowded Continent By Marian Starkey

Pg. 10 Kenya in Peril By Jamaica Corker

D E PA RT M E N T S

COLUMNS

2-3

PopPourri

18-19 Washington View

4

In the News

20

15

Development

22-23 PopEd

21

Plan B 3.0

Field & Outreach

Excerpts 24

Remark

Printed on recycled paper


24% of married women in sub-Saharan Africa have unmet need for contraception. Population Reference Bureau

A mother of four in Nepal carries her children in a very uncomfortable way. In the background, a father happily leads one child. Photo: www.nepalfoto.com, Courtesy of Photoshare

The reproductive and Child Health Alliance in Cambodia organizes a community meeting to discuss family planning and reproductive health with rural residents. Photo: Marcel Reyners, Courtesy of Photoshare

PopPourri Shortly after the reinstatement of the Gag Rule, shipments of U.S.-donated condoms and contraceptives completely ceased to 16 developing countries, primarily in Africa. Population Action International

Lack of access to family planning results in 76 million unintended pregnancies each year in the developing world alone. Population Institute

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The Reporter — March 2008


Today, an estimated 82 million girls in developing countries who are now between the ages of 10 and 17 will be married before their 18th birthday. UNFPA

One quarter of American women who use prescription contraception receive care from a publicly funded family planning clinic. Guttmacher Institute

A homeless, pregnant, adolescent girl walks her infant son in Romania. Photo: Mike Jay Browne, Courtesy of Photoshare

A woman receives a shot of the contraceptive Depo Provera from a community based distributor in Papua New Guinea. Photo: Kingston Namun/Mark Munguas, Courtesy of Photoshare www.popconnect.org

March 2008 — The Reporter

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In the News Volume 40, Issue 1 March 2008

A Change is in the Air

FY2009 budget, increasing abstinence-only

By Erin Zimmer, Population Education Program Assistant

federal funding by $28 million, ballooning

More than 10,000 people from 180 coun-

total funding to $204 million per year.

tries came together in Bali last December for the UN Climate Change Conference.

nence is the only way to prevent pregnancy,

Contributors Lester Brown, Crystal Campbell, Jamaica Corker, Shelley Davis, Richard Grossman, Rebecca Harrington, Laura Martin, Stacie Murphy, John Seager, Joseph Speidel, Marian Starkey, Mae Stevens, Erin Zimmer

The goal of the conference was to formally

and deliberately misconstrue information

launch an agenda for long term climate

regarding the effectiveness of contracep-

change negotiations, focusing primarily on

tives such as condoms. Not surprisingly,

reducing emissions and deforestation

condom use has dropped since 2003.

Graphic Artist Marian Starkey

cause—human actions—was evident. The

however, the percentage of teens who are

connection between human population and

sexually active has actually risen since 2001.

Population Connection

the imminent consequences of climate

Overpopulation threatens the quality of life for people everywhere. Population Connection is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth’s resources.

around the world. As possible solutions were assessed, the

Abstinence-only programs have grown over the past seven years. At the same time,

In tandem with the rise in teen fertility,

change was articulated by the chair, Yvo de

the overall abortion rate dropped to 19.4

Boer, “Early in the year, scientific evidence

per 1,000—the lowest since 1974, one

of global warming, as set out in the fourth

year after the Supreme Court legalized the

assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel

procedure.

on Climate Change (IPCC), put the reality

The Guttmacher Institute reports that

of human-induced global warming beyond

more women are both using contraception

any doubt.”

or carrying births to term.

The Reporter (ISSN 0199-0071) is published by Population Connection, 2120 L Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20037

posed immediate action, “We are all part of

number of clinics offering surgical abortion

the problem of global warming. Let us all

decreased 8% from 2001. This decrease

Phone: 202-332-2200 or

be part of the solution that begins in Bali.

was partially offset by doctors who are now

1-800-767-1956

Let us turn the climate crisis into a climate

offering medical abortion (mifepristone).

Fax: 202-332-2302

compact.”

Overall, facilities offering abortion of any

Email: info@popconnect.org

References: http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_13/items/4049.php. http://www.un.org/webcast/unfccc/2007/?go=05071215.

Website: www.popconnect.org Board Chair Patricia Burke President John Seager

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon pro-

Teen Births; Failed Policies By Rebecca Harrington, Administrative Associate

According to statistics released in December by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the teen birth rate in the United States rose 3% in 2006. From 1991 to 2005, teen fertility declined a total of 34%, dropping every single year. Just two months after the CDC released its report, the president submitted his

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“Ab-only” programs teach that absti-

Managing Editor Marian Starkey

The Reporter — March 2008

Guttmacher further indicated that the

type decreased by 2%. More than one in five pregnancies still ends in abortion, indicating the need for increased prevalence of family planning. References: Rob Stein, “Teen Birth Rate Rises in U.S., Reversing a 14-Year Decline” The Washington Post, 12/6/07. Gardiner Harris, “Teenage Birth Rate Rises for First Time Since ’91” The New York Times, 12/6/07. Mary Carmichael, “Better Prevention or Changing Attitudes?” Newsweek Web Exclusive, 1/16/08. Rebecca Wind, “U.S. Abortion Rate Continues Long-Term Decline, Falling to Lowest Level Since 1974; More Effort Still Needed to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy” Guttmacher Media Center, 1/17/08. Rachel K. Jones, et al, “Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services, 2005,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2008, 40(1):6–16.


People clear land for agricultural development in Indonesia. Photo: Komang Kertyasa, Courtesy of Photoshare

Family Planning and Access to Safe and Legal Abortion are Vital to Safeguard the Environment By Joseph Speidel, M.D. and Richard Grossman, M.D.

larming signs of environmental deterioration include

A

global warming, extinction of species, waning forests and cropland, the collapse of ocean fisheries

and decreasing fresh water supplies. Yet, little attention is paid to the connection between

North America appeared to have limitless resources to the new European immigrants in centuries past (who ignored the needs and stewardship of their indigenous predecessors). More recently, tapping the energy of fossil fuels has allowed us to better master time and space. Harnessing

these tragedies and their most fundamental cause: overuse

highly productive plants such as potatoes and hybrid corn,

of the planet’s resources due to the large and still rapidly

along with other agricultural advances, have increased pro-

increasing number of humans and our excessive consumption.

ductivity to the extent that one farmer can produce food for more than 100 people, allowing the rest of us to focus on

Contraception Volume 76 Issue 6 - December 2007 - pages 415-417 Speidel, et al, “Family Planning and Access to Safe and Legal Abortion Are Vital to Safeguard the Environment”Reprinted by permission from Elsevier Inc.

other activities. Fortunately, most people no longer believe that the earth’s resources are limitless. But how does one determine when these limits are reached? One valid way of quantifying our

www.popconnect.org

March 2008 — The Reporter

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Terrace farming near Lake Bunyonyi in southwestern Uganda. Farmers clear hillsides for every available parcel of land in order to raise enough food for consumption, and in some cases, to sell for supplemental income. Photo: Andrew Haugen, Courtesy of Photoshare

use of resources is by calculating our ecological footprint* (EF).1

This concept is based on the understanding that all

Ecological footprint can be calculated by using readily available figures for a country’s population, its gross pro-

human activities require space—to live on, to grow food on,

duction and utilization of key resources or by using the EF

for developing resources, and for disposal of waste. Some

website (www.ecofoot.net), which provides information on

people have much larger footprints than others.

the EF of individuals in many countries, as well as the means

The amount of surface area on the earth is fixed and the planet’s entire surface is not equally useful. If one leaves a

to calculate one’s own EF. Using these calculations, we find that people are using an

small proportion for the benefit of other animals and plants,

average of 2.2 hectares (5.5 acres) of the planet’s resources

there remain about 11 trillion hectares (28 trillion acres) of

per person, a full 0.5 hectares (1.1 acres) more than our fair

“bioproductive” land and water. Since there are 6.6 billion

share. The overuse is much more marked in richer countries

people on the planet, the allotment for each human is about

such as the United States, which has the largest EF. The

1.8 hectares (4.4 acres).

worldwide overshoot of 30% helps to explain environmental deterioration.

* Ecological footprint is a measure of the load imposed by a given population on nature. It represents the “land” area necessary to sustain a current level of resource consumption and waste discharge by that population. It reveals how much of the globe’s surface area is needed to support any specific lifestyle indefinitely. Therefore, it is a steady-state measure, not an annual or other time frame measure.

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The Reporter — March 2008

The recent UN-sponsored Millennium Ecosystem Assessment examined the effects of ecosystem change on human health and well-being.2 It found that humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively over the


past 50 years than during any other period, primarily to

More than 200 million women in developing countries

meet increasing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber

would like to delay their next pregnancy—or stop bearing

and fuel. Sixty percent of ecosystem services—the benefits

children altogether—but rely on traditional, less effective

people obtain from ecosystems—are being degraded or

methods of contraception (64 million) or use no method

used unsustainably.2

because they lack access or face other barriers to using

The more people there are and the more each consumes,

contraception (137 million).7 These barriers include cultural

the worse the deterioration. Ultimately, the condition of

values that support high fertility, opposition to use of

the planet may reach a level at which it will be unable to

contraception by family members, and fears about health

fully support the human population, causing deaths by

risks or side effects of contraception.8

starvation, disease and conflict.3 Because our children and grandchildren will suffer, limiting

In contrast to almost all other developed countries, the United States—the world’s third largest country—is experi-

human numbers and consumption have become moral

encing rapid population growth of nearly three million each

issues, if not issues of life or death. Fortunately, many cou-

year.9 The United States is projected to grow from 303

ples want to limit their childbearing far below their current

million in 2007 to nearly 350 million in 2025 and to 420

fertility. What is missing is access to good family planning.

million by 2050.10 An estimated 1.4 million of 4.1 million

In recent years, the field of reproductive health has

annual U.S. births result from unintended pregnancy. The

focused on the worthy goal of ensuring that family planning

other 2.7 million are largely offset by the 2.4 million annual

programs are voluntary, respond to the needs of individual

deaths.11 Even with immigration contributing more than one

women and men and address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Less

million people annually, unintended pregnancy is the source of

attention has been paid to the consequences of rapid population

about half of annual population growth in the United States.

growth for the environment and economic development, stemming in part from the political dominance of a largely

1. We must improve access to family planning and safe,

antiabortion and antienvironmental administration and

legal abortion

Congress in the United States. The substantial decline in world birth rates over the past

According to Dr. Malcolm Potts: “All societies with unconstrained access to fertility regulation, including abor-

50 years is a family planning success story, but it has lulled

tion, experience a rapid decline to replacement levels of

our sense of urgency toward increasing annual population

fertility, and often lower.”12 The development and

growth. In 1950, the world’s population was 2.6 billion; the

introduction of modern contraceptives and the establish-

lifetime average number of children per woman (total fertility

ment of organized family planning programs have helped

rate, or TFR) was 5.3; and annual population growth was

reduce the TFR of developing countries by half, from 6.0

48 million.4 Since then, the TFR has decreased to 2.6, and

in 1960 to 3.1.13 But a high unmet need for family planning

death rates have declined. This is good news. Unfortunately,

and safe abortion services persists.6

world population has increased to 6.6 billion, and about 78 million people are now added to the world each year.4 Most of worldwide population growth will be caused by population momentum—resulting from large numbers of people entering their childbearing years—and by unintended or unwanted pregnancy.5 Of 210 million pregnancies annually worldwide, 80 million (38%) are unplanned, and 46 million (22%) end in abortion.6

2. International challenges Recent increases in assistance for HIV/AIDS are welcome. Unfortunately, donor funding dedicated to family planning activities decreased in absolute dollar amounts from $723 million in 1995 to $442 million in 2004, while funds for STI/HIV/AIDS increased 22-fold to $2.7 billion. Family planning assistance in 2004 reached only 9% of a 2005 $5 billion annual target.14-17

www.popconnect.org

March 2008 — The Reporter

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3. U.S. challenges

There is almost no governmental support for research on

Unintended pregnancy remains a major problem in the

abortion technologies, and governmental support for

United States, especially for low-income women.

research on contraception has decreased in the last decade.

Comprehensive sexuality education—which could help

Even the pharmaceutical industry and private foundations

prevent pregnancy and is favored by a majority of parents

have decreased or stopped funding in these fields.

and educational experts—is being replaced by ineffective

4. An agenda for action

“abstinence unless married” programs. Inflation-adjusted funding for Title X—the nation’s only distinct, federally funded family planning program—has declined by half since

1980.18

With 17 million women

We need to: • Fully fund and strengthen reproductive health programs, including programs that address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. • Provide comprehensive information about human sexu-

reliant on publicly funded contraceptive services, an annual

ality and affordable, high-quality family planning and

expenditure of about $3.5 billion is needed.14,19 But in

safe abortion services for all, including young people

2001, public outlays were only $1.26 billion—about one

and the unmarried.

third of the total required.19

• Invest in research on contraceptive and abortion technologies to overcome issues relating to effectiveness, safety, cost, acceptability and side effects that hamper use of current methods. Better reproductive health care and decreased population pressures will not suffice to preserve the environment. There is also an urgent need for people—particularly in the United States—to reduce consumption of critical natural resources and decrease the resulting waste and pollution. We also need to change our concept of economic progress that is seemingly based upon ever-expanding consumption. Redefining Progress (www.redefiningprogress.org) and Brown20 provide other economic models that deemphasize production of material goods and place greater value on ecological services and preservation of natural resources. The health and other welfare benefits of preventing unintended pregnancy are felt most keenly by individual women, men and their families. At the same time, increased access to family planning in all countries, combined with measures to reduce consumption in wealthier nations, offer a powerful strategy for helping ensure environmental sustainability.14, 21 J. Joseph Speidel Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Bixby Center for Reproductive Health Research & Policy, University of California, San Francisco, Box 0744, San Francisco, CA 94143-0744, USA E-mail address: speidelj@obgyn.ucsf.edu

A mother with her child attends an awareness rally on safe motherhood and family planning in Kolkata, India. Photo: Sudipto Das, Courtesy of Photoshare

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The Reporter — March 2008

Richard A. Grossman Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Colorado Durango, CO 81302, USA E-mail address: richard@population-matters.org


A community health worker in Ethiopia gives a talk about family planning to a group of women. Ethiopia has a very high fertility rate and one of the lowest contraceptive use rates in Africa. Virginia Lamprecht, Courtesy of Photoshare

11 Finer LB, Henshaw SK. “Disparities

in rates of unintended pregnancy in the United States, 1994 and 2001.” Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2006;38:90–96. 12 Potts M. “Sex and the birth rate.”

Pop Develop Rev. 1997;23:1–39. 13 Population Division of the

Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. World population prospects: the 2004 revision and world urbanization prospects: the 2003 revision. Available at: http://esa.un.org/unpp/ Accessed June 20, 2005. 14 Speidel JJ, Weiss DC, Ethelston S,

References 1 Wackernagel M, Rees W. Our ecological footprint. Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers; 1996. 2 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystems and human well-

Gilbert SM. “Family planning and reproductive health: the link to environmental preservation.” University of California, San Francisco, Bixby Center for Reproductive Health Research & Policy. Available at: http://crhrp.ucsf.edu/ publications/files/Speidel_FamilyPlanning_2007.pdf. 15 Speidel JJ. “Population donor landscape analysis for review of

3 Lovelock J. The revenge of Gaia. London: Penguin Books; 2006. 4 Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social

Packard Foundation international grantmaking in population, sexual and reproductive health and rights.” The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. September 6, 2005. Available at: http://www.packard.org/

Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. World population prospects: the 2006 revision. Available at: http://www.un.org/esa/population/

assets/files/population/program%20review/pop_rev_speidel_030606.pdf Accessed July 13, 2006.

publications/wpp2006/wpp2006.htm Accessed March 20, 2007.

16 United Nations. Flow of financial resources for assisting in the

5 Bongaarts J. “Population policy options in the developing world.”

implementation of the programme of action of the International Conference on Population and Development, Report of the SecretaryGeneral to the 40th Session of the Commission on Population and Development. New York: United Nations; 2007.

being: synthesis. Washington, DC: Island Press; 2005.

Science. 1994;263:771–776. 6 Alan Guttmacher Institute. Sharing responsibility: women, society and abortion worldwide. New York: Alan Guttmacher Institute; 1999. 7 Singh S, Darroch JE, Vlassoff M, Nadeau J. Adding it up: the bene-

17 UNFPA, UNAIDS, NIDI. Preliminary publication of the data to be

fits of investing in sexual and reproductive health care. New York: Alan Guttmacher Institute; 2003.

published in the Financial Resources for Population Activities Report (FRFPAR). Resource Flows Project. Available at: http://www.resource

8 Carr D, Khan M. The unfinished agenda: meeting the need for fami-

flows.org/index.php/articles/c87/ Accessed January 11, 2007.

ly planning in less developed countries. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau; 2004.

18 Alan Guttmacher Institute. Fulfilling the promise: public policy and

U.S. family planning clinics. New York: Alan Guttmacher Institute; 2000.

9 U.S. Census Bureau. Statistical abstract of the United States: 2007.

19 Sonfield A. “Preventing unintended pregnancy: the need and the

Available at: http://www.census.gov/prod/www/statisticalabstract.html Accessed February 12, 2007.

20 Brown LR. Plan B 2.0: rescuing a planet under stress and a

10 Population Reference Bureau. 2006 world population data sheet.

civilization in trouble. New York: W. W. Norton & Company; 2006.

Available at: http://www.prb.org/pdf06/06WorldDataSheet.pdf Accessed January 11, 2007.

21 Speidel JJ. Environment and health: 1. “Population, consumption

www.popconnect.org

means.” New York: Alan Guttmacher Institute; 2003.

and human health.” CMAJ. 2000;163:551–556 March 2008 — The Reporter

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Kenya in Peril By Jamaica Corker, Population Services International

Kenya’s previous success in tackling population growth is jeopardized Once viewed as a major success story for its work to slow population growth and its political stability, Kenya today faces enormous problems on both fronts. Recent political violence that has killed more than a thousand people since December has put this East African country of 36 million at the center of the news. But since 2004, another disturbing trend has faced Kenya: an increase in the fertility rate is leading to a more rapidly growing population. Kenya’s Stall and Reversal In the last quarter of the twentieth century, Kenya experienced one of the most remarkable drops in overall fertility rates in world history, going from an average of 8.1 births

A pregnant adolescent sells mangos. Photo: Arzum Ciloglu/CCP, Courtesy of Photoshare

per woman in 1978 to 4.7 births per woman in 1998.1

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The Reporter — March 2008

Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in the last decade show that Kenya is now experiencing a “fertility stall”—an unexpected and startling plateau in its once-declining fertility rate. Rather than continuing to decrease as had been expected, Kenya’s fertility rate has actually increased slightly from 4.7 children per woman in 1998 to 4.8 in 2003. During this time, unwanted births rose from 11% to 21%.2 This fertility stall may sound insignificant, but it has enormous implications for Kenya’s overall population growth. Due to the stall, the UN recently revised its mid-century population projections for the country. The UN makes its country projections using calculations based on current population numbers and estimated rates of fertility and mortality for future years. The stall in Kenya’s fertility rate (as opposed to the assumption that the decline in birth rates would continue the previous downward trajectory) led the UN to increase its medium projection for Kenya’s population in 2050 from 44 million to 85 million. Malcolm Potts, a demographer at the University of California at Berkeley says, “This increase will have a huge adverse impact on education, housing and the health of


families, and also no doubt on the range and diversity of

$435.6 million (in 1974 constant dollars, those figures are

wildlife for which the country is famous.”3

$186.5 million and $103 million, respectively).6 To make

Statistics from the last decade in Kenya show other dis-

matters worse, within the dwindling budget, funds have

couraging indicators regarding family planning. Since 1998,

been shifted away from family planning every year since the

the percentage of women who use contraception has

President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was

remained unchanged at 30%, while the level of unmet need

introduced in 2003. In Kenya specifically, a country with a

for family planning remained constant. During this time,

24.5% unmet need for contraception, the 2008 funding

there was a near doubling of unwanted pregnancies. Even

request for family planning was $7.7 million. The request for

more alarming is the fact that over the past five years there

HIV/AIDS programs in Kenya was $481 million, more than

was a decrease in the proportion of both men and women

the entire USAID family planning budget.7

who say they approve of family planning,4 a strong indica-

There is no denying the importance of increased funding

tor of the likelihood of future use. These are areas that can

for HIV/AIDS and other health programs. However, funding

be positively influenced by strong family planning and

these programs must not come at the expense of family

maternal health programming.

planning programs.

Kenya will see its population more than double by 2050.

Family planning has an enormous effect on improving

Unfortunately, there won’t be a doubling of resources to

maternal and child health, as well as slowing high population

meet the needs of millions of new people.

growth rates. It also helps reduce poverty. These benefits

High fertility in Kenya means that a larger number of chil-

play a key role in the fight to tackle public health concerns

dren will need schooling, but not enough teachers can be

and the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS. To ensure that

trained or new schools built in time to meet their needs.

gains in one health area are not made at the expense of

Nairobi’s vast slums, nearly at breaking point now, will bear

another, funding for newly prioritized health initiatives must

the brunt of the population increase. Housing projects are

be additive.

hardly in a position to accommodate millions more people in

The shift of critical funds away from family planning also

what are already squalid living conditions. Perhaps most

seems to reflect a belief by donor governments and foundations

worrying, given Kenya’s current political violence, is research

that once fertility has begun to decline in high-fertility coun-

that shows that countries like Kenya that have a ‘youth bulge’

tries, it will continue to fall until it reaches an ‘acceptable’

(a result of high fertility) are more prone to conflict.5

level (or, as the UN assumes, until it reaches 1.85 children per woman). It’s as if donors gave a collective sigh of relief

Global Shortfalls in Funding for Family Planning

after the encouraging fertility declines in the 1980s and 1990s

In retrospect, the reversal in Kenya’s fertility rate decline

and shifted their attention to other initiatives—believing that

and its increasing population growth rate should not be sur-

once fertility declines began, they would be self-perpetuating.

prising, given that they coincide with a stark decrease in

This may have led donors to decide that work with family

funding for family planning programs since the 1990s.

planning was done and funding could be reallocated to

Globally, the last decade has seen a precipitous decline in

other health areas without impacting population programs.

funding for population programs in developing countries,

However, during the last decade, the demand for family

often in those experiencing the highest rates of population

planning products and services has continued to increase

growth. Donors have re-allocated family planning funding

exponentially, as the number of women entering their

to other health interventions, which are grabbing global and

reproductive years has increased by more than 275 million

government attention—most notably, HIV/AIDS.

across the developing world.8

Between 1995 and 2007, USAID funding for population assistance worldwide decreased from $541.6 million to www.popconnect.org

Perhaps most worrying is that the stalled fertility decline and revised population projections are not limited to Kenya. March 2008 — The Reporter

11


Other developing countries with high birth rates have lost family planning funding and have experienced subsequent fertility stalls since the 1990s; Bangladesh, Ghana, the Dominican Republic, and Peru are examples.9 As in Kenya, the long-term implications of even a short stall in the fertility declines of these crowded countries are enormous. Kenya’s Future Despite the discouraging news coming from Kenya these days, in both demography and politics, the situation is by no means hopeless. Just as renewed international attention and involvement can help bring about a political resolution, the right attention to and funding for family planning programs in Kenya can help ensure that this fertility stall is a temporary setback and not a permanent backward slide. The Kenyan government considers its population growth and fertility to be too high and promotes policies to lower both.10 In fact, Kenya was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to develop a national policy on population growth.11 However, without adequate and sustained funding for family planning, Kenya will not continue its earlier success in meeting the country’s population stabilization goals. If Kenya’s fertility rate begins to drop again, the population could be 85 million by 2050; however, if it remains stalled at 4.8 children per woman, the population will skyrocket to 128 million. John Cleland, a demographer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and author of the aptly titled article “Family planning: the unfinished agenda,” praises international family planning programs as a great success story, but he calls the 1990s a “wasted decade” in family planning and blames the international donor community for this lost opportunity. Cleland calls for renewed international investment in family planning, particularly for Kenya, which is “going to get worse in virtually every regard if that projection to 80 million by mid-century actually comes about.”12 The U.S. has historically been the world leader in family planning and population funding. Unfortunately, since the 1990s, the U.S. has followed the global trend of moving money away from family planning and prioritizing other health areas. While some have speculated that the European Union (EU) will be the next leader in family planning 12

The Reporter — March 2008


Trees were cleared to pave way for tea farms in Kimotho Village, Kenya. Photo: Sammy Ndwiga, Courtesy of Photoshare

Cleland has called for renewed international interest in family planning, particularly for Kenya, which is “going to get worse in virtually every regard if that projection to 80 million by mid-century actually comes about.”

www.popconnect.org

March 2008 — The Reporter

13


A community-based health distribution program reaches women and adolescents with information and services related to family planning and reproductive health. Photo: Yesaya Banda, Courtesy of Photoshare

programs,13 European donors have not filled the void left by decreased U.S. funding. Instead, family planning as a proportion of population program funding provided by the EU decreased from 30% to 9% from 2001-2004. If family planning is to get the critical funding needed to ensure that millions around the world can attain their

References 1 Westoff, Charles F. and Anne R. Cross. 2006. “The Stall in the Fertility Transition in Kenya.” DHS Analytical Studies No. 9. Calverton, Maryland. ORC Macro. 2 Potts, Malcolm, “Population and environment in the twenty-first

century” Population and Environment, 2007;28:204-211. 3 ibid. 4 Westoff, Charles F. and Anne R. Cross. 2006. “The Stall in the

desired family size, the U.S. government must increase its

Fertility Transition in Kenya.” DHS Analytical Studies No. 9. Calverton, Maryland. ORC Macro.

contribution through USAID and UNFPA. Although we

5 Leahy, Elizabeth with R. Engelman, C. Gibb Vogel, S. Haddock and T.

remain the leader in total dollars given, our contribution

Preston. “The Shape of Things to Come: why age structure matters to a safer, more equitable world.” Population Action International, 2007.

continues to decline in constant and real dollars, and has failed to ever reach the amount pledged in 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. Over the past four decades, U.S. funding for population programs has helped millions of Kenyans to have smaller families. But across the globe, the number of people relying on international family planning continues to grow, while the funding is declining. Rather than overlooking the “unfinished agenda” of family planning in Kenya and in other vulnerable countries, it is critical that family planning

6 Population Action International, “Trends in Population Assistance” http://www.populationaction.org/Issues/U.S._Policies/

Trends_in_U.S._Population_Assistance.shtml, August 2007. 7 Population Action International, “U.S. HIV/AIDS and Family Planning/Reproductive Health Assistance: A Growing Disparity Within PEPFAR Focus Countries” http://www.populationaction.org/Issues/

U.S._Policies/FPRH/Summary.shtml, January 9, 2008. 8 United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects: The

2006 Revision, http://esa.un.org/unpp/, last updated September 20, 2007. 9 Bongaarts, John. “The Causes of Stalling Fertility Transitions” Studies

in Family Planning, 2006;37:1-16. 10 United Nations Population Division, World Population Policies 2005. 11 Cleland J, Bernstein S, Ezeh A, et al. “Family planning: the unfin-

ished agenda.” Lancet. 2006;368:1810-1827.

and population stabilization move to the top of the agenda

12 Cleland, John. Discussion on Return of the Population Growth Factor

of major donors to ensure that countries like Kenya can capitalize

at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Washington, DC, September 17, 2007.

on earlier success in tackling population growth.

13 Cleland J, Bernstein S, Ezeh A, et al. “Family planning: the

unfinished agenda.” Lancet. 2006;368:1810-1827.

14

The Reporter — March 2008


Greetings from the New Director of Development By Shelley R. Davis

In January, I had the privilege of joining the staff of Population Connection as Director of Development. I am excited to meet you—the donors, members, and individuals who support this outstanding organization. I was sixteen years old when I read The Population Bomb by Dr. Paul Ehrlich for the first time. The book was assigned for my debate class, and it instantly became one of my favorite arguments in debate competitions. It also had a huge impact on my belief system. I began to understand the importance of empowering women in society, providing people with family planning services, fighting poverty, and the degradation of our environment. For the last decade I have worked to raise money for many wonderful organizations, including the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, and The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. But I cannot think of an organization that is closer to my heart than Population Connection, or as I still think of it, ZPG. We have the ability to reach our goals because of your generous support—goals like restoring funds to UNFPA, repealing the Global Gag Rule, providing additional funding for Title X family planning, and providing population education to more children in the United States. Therefore, I can-

balance of your pre-tax retirement plan to a loved one

not thank you enough for your donations.

(other than your spouse) they could have a tax bill of up

There are many options when making a gift to Population Connection. Some members set up charitable gift annuities where they donate an asset to Population

to 60%. If you donate the balance to charity, the entire asset is transferred with no tax bill. If you have questions about your estate plans or any

Connection now and receive a fixed return for the rest of

other donation, please give me a call at (202) 332-2200

their lives. This offers a stable investment return while

or drop me an email at sdavis@popconnect.org. And

receiving tax benefits.

please consult with your tax advisor and/or legal council

You could also consider making Population Connection the beneficiary of a retirement plan like your 401(k), 403(b) or IRA. Under current tax law, if you give the www.popconnect.org

to discuss your specific situation. I look forward to meeting you and the other members of Population Connection; 35,000 members strong. March 2008 — The Reporter

15


Voices of Hope on a Crowded Continent In December, Communications Manager, Marian Starkey, traveled to Arusha, Tanzania, where she attended the 5th African Population Conference. The five-day event brought together researchers and policymakers from all over Africa, North America, and Europe to discuss new research and policy recommendations on demographic issues unique to African countries. fter 36 hours of travel, I arrived at Kilimanjaro

reaching all groups of people: rural or urban, educated or

International Airport, where a young woman led me

not, rich or poor. Sessions were also held on topics such as

A

to a shuttle bringing conference attendees to our

hotels. As people arrived on later flights, I watched the African participants greet each other as old friends and col-

brain drain, and contraceptive method mix. There was a consensus among African researchers that the

leagues. Once the shuttle was full, we headed off through

large amount of money that comes to them through the

the countryside to Arusha, one of the towns that President

President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is

Bush visited on his first trip to Africa in February. Along the

responsible for the dramatic shift in usage from hormonal

smoothly paved road (one of few in the country), I saw

methods of contraception to condoms. This is not necessarily

young boys herding cattle and women collecting water with

a bad thing for those individuals exposed to the threat of

babies on their backs. I spotted rings of mud huts in the

STIs and who are willing to use a less convenient method.

fields, and occasionally, a small town with a couple of gener-

But for women desiring a more permanent, consistent

al stores fronted with corrugated iron. Mangy dogs dozed in

method of birth control or who cannot convince their part-

the afternoon heat and kids played next to them, using

ners to use a condom, this shift leads to an increase in

sticks to draw in the dirt.

unplanned pregnancies. We’ve seen increased fertility rates

All week, locals approached me to learn the reason for my

in countries like Kenya, where the contraceptive method

visit to their town. They walked with me to the conference,

mix has shifted drastically in favor of condoms since the

teaching me Swahili along the way, and then inevitably told

inception of PEPFAR.

me about their craft shops that I should visit for a “nice,

Researchers also voiced resentment for the provision that

Christmas price.” They smiled at me and called across the

requires half of all PEPFAR money to be spent on abstinence-

street, “Jambo!” They were wonderful and made me feel

only programs. Many felt that abstinence was not a realistic

welcome right away. Despite their upbeat personalities and

option for most reproductive-aged people in their countries.

generous hospitality, the poverty that grips the people of

Its teaching is therefore a waste of money, or worse, danger-

Tanzania was obvious: I heard the hope in their voices that I

ous, as is often the case here in the United States.

might actually visit their shops and buy something. Their

16

HIV/AIDS, infant and child mortality, emigration and the

There were two sessions about population growth and food

poverty is rooted in rapid population growth, which keeps

and water scarcity. One paper presented stated that in

them from investing in their children’s educations, and

Ghana, between 1984 and 1989, 5% of land cover changed

leaves them with little or no spending money after fulfilling

from forest to agricultural land, with a predicted depletion of

their basic needs.

forest cover by 2010. The resulting agricultural land has

The event took place at the Arusha International

already experienced declining soil fertility, making it more dif-

Conference Center, where the International Criminal

ficult to grow food. Another paper examined climate variabili-

Tribunal for Rwanda is conducted. It was broken up into

ty and food scarcity in Nigeria. The author found that the rise

sessions during which three or four people presented their

in temperature due to climate change has led to permanent

research on related topics. I attended sessions examining

drought conditions, which have caused desertification and

how family planning programs can be most effective in

decreased agricultural production. The annual population

The Reporter — March 2008


growth rate has exceeded the food production growth rate,

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the week was the

which has led to extensive hunger in Nigeria. Another study

time I spent with African conference participants during

examined crop production in Ghana and found that fallow

meals and other break periods. During these interactions,

periods have shortened because of population growth, which

I learned a lot about the population and family planning

has led to less fertile soil for growing food. Climate change

situations in many countries. I also talked to them about

and population growth have had a devastating effect on peo-

Population Connection and how we’re working to help

ple who rely on local agriculture for food.

them get the funding they need to continue their important

I was encouraged to hear so many researchers voicing their

programs, at least until they become self-sufficient. After

desire for their countries’ governments to internally manage

meeting people on the research, policy, and service-delivery

family planning programs, without help from donor countries.

sides, I am even further convinced of the important role

They do not want to depend on outside (conditional) help,

United States foreign aid can play in the lives of so many

but would rather be in charge of their own programs so that

people around the world.

they are as culturally appropriate as possible. The consensus

And although progress has been made on many fronts

was that in order to get to a place where this could happen,

over the past forty years, huge challenges remain to be

children, especially all girls, must attend school. And the gov-

addressed. Here at Population Connection, we will continue

ernment must create jobs for well-educated people, in order

our work until every woman in the world has access to safe,

to reverse the brain drain. When people have education and

voluntary family planning.

employment opportunities, small families become the ideal.

Maasai women and their children sing to welcome us to their village on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Photo: Marian Starkey www.popconnect.org

March 2008 — The Reporter

17


Washington View

It’s Time to “Double the Money” Bush Budget Slashes Family Planning Funds. Population Connection Seeks Record Increase. By Stacie Murphy,

Policy Associate

Each $100 million spent on family planning results in: •

3.6 million more women with access to contraception

2.1 million fewer unintended pregnancies

825,000 fewer abortions

970,000 fewer unplanned births

70,000 infant deaths averted

4,000 maternal deaths avoided

In early February, President Bush released his

planning programs will help protect the

proposed budget for FY 2009. Just like every

environment, increase social stability and

year, he cut funding for international family

national security, and decrease maternal and

planning—this time by $134 million, or

child death rates in the developing world.

almost 30%. Although it is likely that the

Continuing population growth in the

Democratic Congress will reject these cuts

developing world is a major contributor to

and instead support some modest increase,

resource scarcity and hinders efforts to com-

we have decided on a bolder request.

bat climate change. Population growth leads

Population Connection is calling on Congress

to the destruction of forests and the spread

to pledge $1 billion for international family

of deserts, the pollution and over-fishing of

planning programs for 2009—roughly twice

oceans and waterways, and an increase in

the $461 million allocated for 2008.

the emissions that cause global climate

We’re asking Congress for $1 billion not

change. If we double the money for family

because it’s a flashy number, but because it

planning, we will help protect the environ-

is the United States’ fair share of the total

ment and relieve pressure on natural

cost of meeting unmet need for family plan-

resources.

ning worldwide. And we’re asking for $1 bil-

18

The Reporter — March 2008

Resource scarcity and other population

lion because the U.S. has been negligent in

pressures place stress on fragile governments

recent years: over the past decade, U.S.

and other social structures. With 25% of the

funding for international family planning

world’s population currently under the age of

programs has declined by almost 40% when

15, the demand on governments will only

adjusted for inflation. At the same time, the

grow. Countries without the resources to pro-

number of women in the developing world

vide education and employment for young

has increased dramatically. Lack of access to

people are at risk of instability and civil con-

family planning services contributes to a

flict. If we double the money for family plan-

host of devastating consequences for the

ning, we will help smooth the “youth bulge”

entire world. Doubling the money for family

and encourage social stability.


Population Connection There are currently 1.4 billion women of reproductive age in the world today; 200 million of them would like to end or

is calling on Congress

delay childbearing, but lack access to family planning services. Without the ability to avoid unwanted or mistimed pregnan-

to pledge $1 billion

cies, many women are forced to watch their families suffer and risk their own and their children’s deaths. If we double the money for family planning, we will save the lives of women and children. The president's proposal is only the first step in a long budget process on Capitol Hill. In the coming months, Population Connection will be asking for your help, not only to make sure these draconian cuts are rejected, but to push for the funding these programs so desperately need. We urge you to get involved in the “Double the Money” campaign. It’s going to be crucial for members of Congress to hear from you on this important issue. You can follow our efforts online at our website, populationconnection.org.

for international family planning programs for 2009— roughly twice the $461 million allocated for 2008.

Many villages in Madagascar are located very far from health centers. Climate and lack of infrastructure are obstacles to health center attendance. Women have been trained in awareness-raising and counselling to promote family planning and the reproductive health of adolescents. Health workers sell contraceptives, including the pill, spermicide and condoms. Photo: Nathalie Raharilaza, Courtesy of Photoshare www.popconnect.org

March 2008 — The Reporter

19


Field & Outreach

We Can’t Grow on Like This

Sign on Now to Save the Earth Making the Global Local in 12 Cities By Mae Stevens and Laura Martin National Field Coordinator and Cambridge Field Organizer

Without efforts to stabilize population, it will be

Cohosted by Population Connection and the

nearly impossible to address climate change

Donahue Institute for Values and Public Life at

over the long term. That’s why Population

Lasell College, the February 23rd event attracted

Connection is urging people across the country

Lasell students and faculty along with scores of

to sign onto a resolution calling on Congress to

Population Connection members from

put population back on the national agenda

Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

and to double the funding for international family planning this year. In the past few weeks, the first 130 commu-

The event was made possible by Population Connection board member Mary Barbara Alexander and her husband,

nity leaders who work in the environmental,

Michael Alexander, the new president of

social justice or reproductive rights movements

Lasell College, an undergraduate and

have signed on to the campaign, with many

graduate institution founded in 1851.

more to come. We’re also asking community leaders to call

In discussing his latest book, Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Brown

their elected representatives, write letters to their

emphasized the need for an all-out cam-

local newspapers, and support Population

paign to achieve climate and population

Connection financially. Getting as much quality

stabilization, poverty elimination, and

grassroots support as we can is the only way

ecosystem restoration.

we’re going to convince lawmakers of the connection between population and climate change.

During a lively question and answer session, Brown expanded on topics ranging from wind energy to ethanol to the dire

Lester Brown: Act Now to Save Our Planet NEWTON, Mass.—A crisp February evening provided the backdrop for Lester Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute, who issued a call for global action at a Lasell College reception.

consequences of rampant population growth. Founder of the Worldwatch Institute and a longtime member of Population Connection, Brown has authored or coauthored more than 50 books.

Join us at our annual conference! Make the Connection: Population Growth in a Warming World June 6-7, 2008 in Washington, DC We’re bringing together student leaders, young professionals, and Population Connection members from all over the country who have an active interest in the environment. The conference will clearly make the connection between global warming, population growth and the need for a doubling of U.S. funding for international family planning. Please check our website for the most up-to-date information! 20

The Reporter — March 2008


Lester Brown speaking at Lasell College. Photo: Laura Martin

Excerpts from Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester Brown In the new world we are entering, protecting the

levels. The medium projection, the one most

diversity of life on earth is no longer simply a mat-

commonly used, has world population reaching

ter of setting aside tracts of land, fencing them off,

9.2 billion by 2050. The high one reaches 10.8

and calling them parks and preserves. Success in

billion. The low projection, which assumes that

this effort depends also on stabilizing both climate

the world will quickly move below replacement-level

and population. (page 105)

fertility to 1.6 children per couple, has population

As land and water become scarce, competition

peaking at just under 8 billion in 2041 and then

for these vital resources intensifies within societies,

declining. If the goal is to eradicate poverty, hunger,

particularly between the wealthy and those who are

and illiteracy, we have little choice but to strive for

poor and dispossessed. The shrinkage of life-

the lower projection.23 (pages 136-137)

supporting resources per person

The two steps essential to

that comes with population growth

protecting the earth’s extraordinary

is threatening to drop the living

biological diversity are the stabiliza-

standards of millions of people

tion of both the human population

below the survival level, leading to

and the earth’s climate. If the

potentially unmanageable social

world’s population increases to

tensions.43 (page 117)

9 billion by mid-century as projected,

Countries everywhere have little

countless more plant and animal

choice but to strive for an average

species may simply be crowded off

of two children per couple. There

the planet. If carbon dioxide levels

is no feasible alternative. Any

and temperatures continue to rise,

population that increases or

every ecosystem will change.

decreases continually over the long

(page 164)

term is not sustainable. In an increasingly integrated world with a growing

Now in our overpopulated, climatechanging, water-scarce world, food security is a

number of failing states, eradicating poverty and

matter for the entire society and for all government

stabilizing population have become national security

ministries. Since hunger is almost always the result

issues. Slowing population growth helps eradicate

of poverty, eradicating hunger also depends on

poverty and its distressing symptoms, and, conversely,

stabilizing population. Our Plan B goal is to

eradicating poverty helps slow population growth.

stabilize world population by 2040 at the

With time running out, the urgency of moving

8-billion level. This will not be easy, but the

simultaneously on both fronts is clear. (page 133)

alternative may be a halt in population growth

U.N. projections show world population growth

because of rising mortality. (page 190)

under three different assumptions about fertility www.popconnect.org

March 2008 — The Reporter

21


PopEd

Tennessee Educator Honored for Population Education Outreach By Crystal Campbell Education Program Associate

How fitting that the Population Education Program should give this year’s Most Valuable Trainer award to a native of “The Volunteer State.” Over the past seven years, more than 1,000 new Tennessee teachers have been trained to use Population Connection curricula, thanks to the exceptional work of Dr. J. Padgett Kelly. A biology professor and Director of the Center for Environmental and Energy Education at Middle Tennessee State University, Padgett became familiar with the Population Education program when a staff member went to his class to present a work-

President’s Commission on the Outdoors as

shop. After seeing the workshop, he decided

one of the ten best environmental programs

that becoming a trainer was a great way to

in the nation.

contribute to a cause in which he strongly believed. Padgett has inspired fellow profes-

workshops are important because every

sors to become Population Education trainers

single environmental problem in the world

as well, and there are now nearly a dozen

today can be traced back to our population.

workshops at Middle Tennessee State

He says, “The concept of carrying capacity

University annually due to his efforts.

not only applies to populations and envi-

As a board member of the National

ronments, but also to the classroom. If a

Marine Educators Association, Padgett has

classroom has too many students, learning

encouraged the Population Education pro-

is hampered.”

gram to develop even more activities and

22

The Reporter — March 2008

Padgett believes Population Education

Padgett has been fortunate to attend sev-

readings about water use. Last year, Padgett

eral lectures by fellow Middle Tennessee

presented PopEd workshops in St. Lucia and

State University faculty member, former Vice

Curacao for the National Oceanic and

President Al Gore, and says that it has been

Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

a real joy to watch him grow as a teacher.

Padgett is also the former Director of

At the end of one of Gore’s lectures, Padgett

Environmental Education for the State of

presented him with a copy of Population

Tennessee where he developed Project

Connection’s “dot” video, World

CENTS (Conservation Education Now for

Population, which he said he looks forward

Tennessee Students), which was cited by the

to seeing.


A Drop in the Ocean Slice an apple according to the instructions, narrating as you go. 1. Hold the apple so the group can see it. “This apple represents our Padgett’s favorite Population Education

planet.”

activity is “Food for Thought” because the

2. Cut the apple into quarters. Hold out 3⁄4 in one hand. Ask the

participants in his workshops are amazed to

group: “What do these 3⁄4 represent?” (Water.) Acknowledge the 1⁄4

see the vast differences in wealth and

that represents the land and set it aside.

resources between continents. He also enjoys

3. Return to the 3⁄4 of the original apple that represents water. “Some

presenting “Population Circle,” which

of our food comes from the sea. Nearly one billion people, mostly in

demonstrates how quickly population has

Asia, rely on fish as their primary source of protein. Yet, despite their

grown over the past 500 years, and “Mining

vastness and seeming uniformity, many regions of the world's oceans

for Chocolate,” which uses cookies to

are unproductive due to a lack of life-supporting nutrients.”

simulate resource extraction. In his workshops for marine educators,

4. Set aside two of the three quarters. Cut the remaining 1⁄4 in half. Set 1⁄8 aside and hold out the other 1⁄8 portion. “This 1⁄8 represents the

Padgett shows the connection between

productive zones of the ocean along the equator and the western

human population growth and overstressed

margins of continents. Currents in these areas cause upwelling, which

fisheries using the Population Education activ-

brings nutrients to the surface. These nutrients support large numbers

ity, "A Drop in the Ocean" (See Sidebar).

of marine plants and animals.”

Although a resident of a landlocked state, he

5. Cut the 1⁄8 into four equal pieces. Select one of the four pieces (1⁄32)

is drawn to the water and especially enjoys

and carefully peel its skin. Hold out the peel. “This peel represents the

fishing, kayaking and leading tours to Maui.

photic zone, the top 100 meters (330 feet) of the ocean which light

Padgett is a shining example of the dedica-

can penetrate, supporting photosynthesis. Since the marine food chain

tion, experience, and influence that volunteer

depends on algae and photosynthesizing plants, especially phyto-

trainers bring to the Population Education

plankton, almost all ocean life depends on this narrow photic zone.

program. Last year, local trainers facilitated

At 100 meters below the surface, the amount of light is only 1% of

430 workshops in North America, reaching

what it is at the surface.”

over 10,000 educators and donating over

The oceans constitute the majority of the planet and affect and

$250,000 worth of in-kind contributions of

sustain all life on Earth. Human beings significantly influence the

their time.

oceans. Increased pollution, depletion of fish and other marine

Population Education Trainers bring educa-

resources, habitat destruction and degradation, and the introduction

tional expertise from the K-12, university and

of invasive non-native species are only some of the ways people

nonformal communities. Population

harm the ocean, with serious consequences for the entire planet.

Connection hosts training institutes each year for new facilitators to prepare them

“A Drop in the Ocean” is part of a larger activity, “Earth: The Apple

to represent the program among educators in

of Our Eye,” which also explores land use for food cultivation. The

their local areas. For more information on the

entire activity, along with discussion questions and answers can be

Population Education Trainers' Network, visit

found at www.populationeducation.org. Click on “Teaching Materials

populationeducation.org.

and Tools,” “Activities” and “Secondary (9-12).”

www.popconnect.org

March 2008 — The Reporter

23


Remark

24

The Reporter — March 2008


Almost two-thirds of the decline in the total number of abortions can be traced to eight jurisdictions with few or no abortion restrictions—New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, California, Oregon, Washington State and the District of Columbia. These are places, notes the Guttmacher Institute’s president, Sharon Camp, that have shown a commitment to real sex education, largely departing from the Bush administration’s abstinence-only approach. These jurisdictions also help women avoid unintended pregnancies by making contraception widely available... The lesson: prevention works. Restrictions on abortion serve mainly to hurt poor women by postponing abortions until later in pregnancy. While shifting social mores may change some people’s behavior, the best practical strategy for reducing abortions is to focus on helping women avoid unwanted pregnancies... Still, in 2005 about one in five pregnancies ended in abortion, emphasizing the need for a national emphasis on better sex education and access to contraception. —Editorial, The New York Times, January 26, 2008

We think it's time for Congress to overcome its veto fear and restore the availability of affordable oral contraceptives. President Bush maintains an interest in fighting unwanted pregnancies and abortions; this is the most common-sense way to do it... Family-planning activists warn that low-income women might opt for no contraception, rather than pay $40 or $50 a month for the pill; that could lead to a jump in unwanted pregnancies. In light of Texas' high rates of pregnancy among teens and single, low-income women, this issue deserves our lawmakers' urgent attention. —Editorial, The Dallas Morning News, February 3, 2008

Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General.


One Way To Change The World We hope you’ll consider Population Connection as you plan your estate. Your bequest gift will help change the future for people and for our planet. You can also participate with other forms of planned giving. Charitable Gift Annuities provide guaranteed life income along with significant tax advantages. If you, or your financial advisor, have any questions, please feel free to contact Shelley R. Davis, Director of Membership and Development at 800-767-1956 or 202-332-2200. If you’ve already included Zero Population Growth (ZPG) in your estate plans, there is no need to change any language. We proudly maintain the name and the mission.

Population Connection 2120 L Street, NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20037

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March 2008