Climate Change and Family Planning: Least-Developed Countries Define the Agenda

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This paper analyzes the first 40 National Adaptation Programmes of Action reports submitted by governments of least-developed countries to the Global Environment Facility for funding. Of these documents, 93% identified at least one of three ways in which demographic trends interact with the effects of climate change: (i) faster degradation of the sources of natural resources; (ii) increased demand for scarce resources; and (iii) heightened human vulnerability to extreme weather events. These findings suggest that voluntary access to family planning services should be made more available to poor communities in least-developed countries. The article stresses the distinction between this approach, which prioritizes the welfare of poor communities affected by climate change, versus the argument that population growth should be slowed to limit increases in global carbon emissions. The paper concludes by calling for increased support for rights-based family planning services, including those integrated with HIV/AIDS services, as an important complementary measure to climate change adaptation programmes in developing countries.

Year: 2009

Source: Bulletin of the World Health Organization

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