Population, health, and environment (PHE) programs link conservation, health, and family planning interventions. These programs are generally located in biodiversity hotspots, where population pressure may contribute to environmental degradation. This review describes the general structure of PHE programs and provides examples to highlight various aspects of this approach. It focuses on a case study from the Integrating Population and Health into Forestry Management Agendas program in Nepal that addressed deforestation from fuel-wood harvesting, indoor air pollution from wood fires, acute respiratory infections related to smoke inhalation, as well as family planning in communities in Nepal’s densely populated forest corridors. Keys to the success of the project included empowerment of community forest user groups with PHE program know-how and appropriate technology. Lessons learned highlight the critical role that nongovernmental organizations can play to catalyze cross-sectoral responses to complex development issues. The PHE approach can be effective for achieving sustainable development and meeting conservation and health objectives.
Source: Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine