Joan Castro on Integrated Population and Coastal Resource Management in the Southern PhilippinesMarch 3, 2011 By Schuyler Null
In the southern Philippines, the innovative IPOPCORM program “worked in areas where there is high…marine biodiversity, high population, and high population momentum, which means…about 40 percent of the population are 15 years and below,” Joan Castro told ECSP in this interview. Castro, the executive vice president of PATH Foundation Philippines, Inc., recently spoke at the Wilson Center on the state of integrated development efforts in her country and elsewhere.
From 2000-2006, IPOPCORM (which stands for “integrated population and coastal resource management”) sought to integrate population, health, and environment (PHE) development efforts in Philippine communities. They had four primary objectives, said Castro: 1) improve the reproductive health of the community members; 2) improve management of the coastal resources; 3) increase knowledge of the linkages between population, health, and the environment; and 4) increase the capacity of community leaders to advocate for these links.
“The aspect of livelihoods was very essential,” said Castro, especially for empowering women in the communities. Through family planning services and micro-credit finance initiatives, women were able to better space their pregnancies and contribute to household incomes, she said. In addition, by establishing locally managed, marine protected areas, IPOPCORM increased the protection of high biodiversity zones and improved the likelihood that there will be enough fish to feed future generations.
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