Last week on the Wilson Center’s Dialogue radio and television program, host John Milewski spoke with Geoff Dabelko, director of ECSP, Roger-Mark De Souza, vice president for research and director of the Climate Program for Population Action International, and George Strunden, vice president of Africa programs for the Jane Goodall Institute. They discussed the challenge of integrating population, health, and environmental programs (PHE) to address a broad range of livelihood, development, and stability issues. [Video Below]
“Many times that we tackle development or poverty and human well-being challenges…we do it in an individual sector – the health sector, or agriculture sector, or looking at issues of water scarcity – and it makes sense in many respects to take those individual focuses,” said Dabelko. “But of course people living in these challenges, they’re living in them together…so both in terms of understanding the challenges…and then in responding to those challenges, we have to find ways to meet those challenges together.”
De Souza noted that the drive for integrated development stems from the communities being served, not necessarily from outside aid groups. “We’ve seen that there’s a greater impact because there’s longer sustainability for those efforts that have an integrated approach,” he said. “There’s a greater understanding and a greater appreciation of the value that [PHE] projects bring.”
Strunden said that the Goodall Institute has found similar success in tying health efforts with the environment in places where previously conservation work alone had been unsuccessful.
The panelists also discussed the role of population in broader global challenges, including energy, water, and food scarcities, and women’s rights.