Planet Gore

Environmentalists to Africans: Stop Making Babies


African Condom Shortage Said to Worsen Climate Impact

An excerpt:

“It’s time to start looking at the environmental relevance of family planning,” Bryant, an advocacy manager for the London-based reproductive health-care provider Marie Stopes International, said yesterday in a telephone interview. “Reproductive health services ought to be integrated into the climate adaptation strategy.”

Bryant analyzed national plans to adapt to climate change submitted to the United Nations by 40 poorer countries. Most said demographic trends were “interacting” with climate change to speed the degradation of natural resources and raise the risk of extreme weather events. He said the findings are set to be published in November by the Geneva-based World Health Organization, which coordinates UN health policy.

Rwanda Family Planning

Population growth rates “have significant impacts on the state of the environment, aggravating vulnerability and adaptation needs,” the Pacific island nation of Kiribati said in a report to the UN. “In this respect, population policy is an important consideration of adaptation strategies.”

The 33-island archipelago risks being submerged in coming years because of higher seas and may purchase land elsewhere to relocate its people, President Anote Tong said in February.

In Rwanda, where only 10 percent of adults have access to reproductive health-care services and protection such as condoms, demographic pressures are forcing a migration to less- populated areas already prone to drought and desertification, Bryant said. In Bangladesh, a higher sea level is shrinking fresh water supplies even as a growing population demands more water.