Facebook Twitter



With too many mouths to feed, Kenya headed for trouble

July 30th, 2014 | Add a Comment

With too many mouths to feed, Kenya headed for trouble 

See: http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/DN2/Kenya-Population-Management-Vision-2030-Resources/-/957860/2391356/-/hxm0dw/-/index.html

At 34 years, Teresia Kananu is a mother of six; five girls and one boy. Her first born is 19 years old while her last born just turned four. When she got pregnant with her first child, she had just fallen in love; the breathy, reckless kind of first love that makes an impressionable 15-year-old leave her parents’ home and move in with her boyfriend.

She had dreams for her young family, dreams that she would see her two children grow up strong and healthy and educated.

Yes, she wanted just two children, and she was determined to give them the education she never had, having dropped out of school at Standard Two after, she says, her father refused to continue paying her school fees.

Nineteen years down the line, Teresia finds herself the mother of six children, none of whom she has managed to educate beyond primary school. They all live in a two-room tin-house which looks like it can collapse at the slightest hint of a stiff wind.

Her first husband and the father of her first three children died under mysterious circumstances while in prison. She remarried, and then three more children came.

See: http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/DN2/Kenya-Population-Management-Vision-2030-Resources/-/957860/2391356/-/hxm0dw/-/index.html

Invertebrate numbers nearly halve as human population doubles

July 30th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Invertebrate numbers nearly halve as human population doubles 

See: http://phys.org/news/2014-07-invertebrate-halve-human-population.html

Invertebrate numbers have decreased by 45% on average over a 35 year period in which the human population doubled, reports a study on the impact of humans on declining animal numbers. This decline matters because of the enormous benefits invertebrates such as insects, spiders, crustaceans, slugs and worms bring to our day-to-day lives, including pollination and pest control for crops, decomposition for nutrient cycling, water filtration and human health.

The study, published in Science and led by UCL, Stanford and UCSB, focused on the demise of invertebrates in particular, as large vertebrates have been extensively studied. They found similar widespread changes in both, with an on-going decline in invertebrates surprising scientists, as they had previously been viewed as nature’s survivors.

The decrease in invertebrate numbers is due to two main factors – habitat loss and climate disruption on a global scale. In the UK alone, scientists noted the areas inhabited by common insects such as beetles, butterflies, bees and wasps saw a 30-60% decline over the last 40 years.

See: http://phys.org/news/2014-07-invertebrate-halve-human-population.html

 

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense on the immediate future of global demography

July 30th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Excerpt: Demography

See: Here (PDF)

The global population is likely to grow to between 8.3 and 10.4 billion by 2045, largely because of increasing life-expectancy, declining levels of child mortality and continuing high birth rates in many developing countries. Growth is not likely to be evenly distributed and will probably be slower in developed countries. Some, including Japan and a number of European countries, are likely to experience a decline in population.

In developing countries, rapid population increase and urbanisation will probably challenge stability. Age and gender imbalances may exacerbate existing political and social tensions while a growing youth population, especially in the Middle East, Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, could provide a reservoir of disaffected young people.

Conversely, if harnessed, they could provide a boost to their economies. Migration is likely to increase, with people moving within, and outside, their country of origin to seek work or to escape the effects of climate change.

Two Realities

July 25th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Two Realities

See: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-07-22/two-realities

Our contemporary world is host to two coexisting but fundamentally different-and, in at least one crucial respect, contradictory-realities. One of these might be termed Political Reality, though it extends far beyond formal politics and pervades conventional economic thinking. It is the bounded universe of what is acceptable in public economic-social-political discourse. The other is Physical Reality: i.e., what exists in terms of energy and materials, and what is possible given the laws of thermodynamics.

For decades these two realities have developed along separate lines. They overlap from time to time: politicians and economists use data tied to measureable physical parameters, while physical scientists often frame their research and findings in socially meaningful ways. But in intent and effect, they diverge to an ever-greater extent.

The issue at which they differ to the point of outright contradiction is economic growth. And climate change forces the question.

See: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-07-22/two-realities

Two out of three countries ‘ecologically overshot’

July 25th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Two out of three countries ‘ecologically overshot’ 

See: http://populationmatters.org/2014/population-matters-news/countries-ecologically-overshot/

Two out of three countries are already consuming more individually than each can produce sustainably from its own resources, i.e. relying only on renewables, as we eventually must. This position can only worsen as population and consumption rise.

For World Population Day 2014 on 11 July Population Matters has released its updated Overshoot Index. Based on Blue Planet Prize-winning Global Footprint Network data, the Index relates each country’s biocapacity – the ability to provide renewable ecological services like water collection, food production and waste absorption – to the country’s population size and current per capita resource consumption. The Index shows that 96 out of the 146 countries listed, including all but seven or eight of the OECD nations, are already in overshoot, i.e. living beyond their ecological means. The Index in addition gives the biophysically sustainable population for each country, given current productivity and consumption levels. The UK ranks as the 26th most overshot nation, with a sustainable population of 20.6 million people. England alone would be much higher up on the list.

“This puts the scale of the challenge facing the Sustainable Development Goals process into stark relief”, said Population Matters Chair Roger Martin. “Countries in overshoot are unsustainable from their own resources in the long-term unless they reduce their populations, or their consumption per head, or some combination of both. An increase in either worsens a country’s long-term position.

See: http://populationmatters.org/2014/population-matters-news/countries-ecologically-overshot/

One-child proclivity

July 25th, 2014 | Add a Comment

One-child proclivity

Predictions of a baby boomlet come to little

See: http://www.economist.com/news/china/21607877-predictions-baby-boomlet-come-little-one-child-proclivity

WHEN China eased its one-child policy late last year, investors bet on a surge in demand for everything from pianos to nappies. They, and government officials, foresaw a mini-boom after long-constrained parents were allowed a second go at making babies.

So far, however, it is hard to identify a bedroom productivity burst. About 270,000 couples applied for permission to have second children by the end of May, and 240,000 received it, according to the national family-planning commission. It means China will fall well short of the 1m-2m extra births that Wang Peian, the deputy director of the commission, had predicted.

The problem is partly bureaucratic. China announced the relaxation of the one-child policy in November: if at least one of two parents is a single child, the couple may have two children. Provinces began implementing the new rule only in January. Fearful of a baby boom that would overwhelm hospitals and, eventually, schools, they have made the application process cumbersome. In the eastern city of Jinan, for instance, would-be parents must provide seven different documents, including statements from employers certifying their marital status. With 11m couples suddenly eligible to have second children, some caution over easing policy may be understandable. As the process is simplified, more parents will choose to go through it. Analysts expect additional new births to rise toward 1m a year over the next decade or so. That is on top of today’s average of 16m births a year.

See: http://www.economist.com/news/china/21607877-predictions-baby-boomlet-come-little-one-child-proclivity

Chepangs still wary of family planning

July 25th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Chepangs still wary of family planning 

See: http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=79408

GORKHA, July 20: Bir Bahadur Chepang of Makaising village has four daughters and five sons. His eldest son is 24 years old. Forty-eight-year old Bir Bahadur´s youngest child is a toddler. His wife is going to deliver another soon.

“Yes, I have too many kids, but what to do, it is very natural,” says Bir Bahadur.

Whatever the Chepang family grows in the field throughout the year is not enough even for four months. Although the growing size of the family is already taking its toll on the Chepangs´ well-being, Bir Bahadur simply has no idea that he could stop adding more members to the family by opting for family planning options.

Years of government campaign aimed at raising awareness about family planning has failed to impress Bir Bahadur.

“I have not heard much about ways not to have babies,” said Bir Bahadur. He has never heard about condom. Moreover, he is still guided by the belief among the older generation of Chepangs that they need to produce more babies in view of their declining population.

See: http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=79408

Two Global Health Corps Fellows Head to Burundi to Change Lives through Radio

July 23rd, 2014 | Add a Comment

SHELBURNE, VT–“I can’t believe we’ll be in Bujumbura on Friday,” says Alex Bozzette, a 2014-2015 Global Health Corps fellow being placed with Population Media Center. It was a Tuesday, and Bozzette was sitting with his co-fellow, Jean Sacha Barikumutima, in the modest offices of Population Media Center (PMC) in Shelburne, Vermont. On Thursday, July 17, the two would make the 27-hour trip to Bujumbura, Burundi for their year-long placement in PMC’s Burundi office.

“For me, this is the perfect opportunity at the perfect time,” says Bozzette. “It combines my experience in international public health project management with my interests in design and communications. Family planning is a huge priority for public heath, but family planning is also a huge priority for gender equality, environmental sustainability, and economic development.”

This is the first time US-based Population Media Center has teamed up with Global Health Corps to offer year-long paid fellowships in Burundi, one available to a US citizen, Bozzette, and one available to a Burundi citizen, Barikumutima. This opportunity coincides with the launch of a new radio soap opera produced by Population Media Center’s Burundi office to address women and children’s health.

“This year, I’m really excited by PMC’s approach and to see its impact,” says Barikumutima, who had been interning in PMC’s Burundi office when he was awarded the fellowship. “I believe this approach has the ability to address cultural mindsets. It draws people in and as they listen to the drama, they understand the message themselves. I’m excited to see how people change.”

The radio drama, Agashi (“Hey! Look Again!”), addresses issues such as child nutrition and family planning through intriguing storylines and plot twists. Over the course of the episodes, characters demonstrate choices and consequences, learning from their actions and teaching listeners as well. Agashi will run for approximately two years, airing two episodes per week.

Barikumutima, who now lives in Bujumbura, the capital, but grew up in the Kayanza province, explains that many of the issues addressed in Agashi will help individuals and communities that he cares about.

Prior to traveling to Burundi, Bozzette and Barikumutima spent two weeks at Yale University’s campus in New Haven, Connecticut for Global Health Corps training.

“I couldn’t sleep,” says Barikumutima. “I was thinking about things. This is a great opportunity to work on specific issues, and also to work with partners in Burundi to understand what is being done while being part of change. I want to give back to my community. After all this, my family and friends will be proud of me.”

Bozzette will be further from home for the year, but that won’t be a new experience since the California native spent last year coordinating a public health initiative in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

“We come from very different backgrounds, Sacha is from Burundi and I’m from San Diego, but we’re both dissatisfied with the world as-is. The simple truth is that everyone, everywhere, deserves to be healthy, and they aren’t,” says Bozzette. “Global health inequity is wrong, and something needs to change. This year, we are pushing that change in our own small way by promoting women and children’s health with Population Media Center.”

ABOUT POPULATION MEDIA CENTER (PMC):

Population Media Center is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 15 years of field experience using the Sabido methodology of behavior change communications, impacting more than 50 countries around the world. www.populationmedia.org

ABOUT GLOBAL HEALTH CORPS (GHC):

Global Health Corps mobilizes a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity. GHC believes young people are the future to solving global health challenges. We place recent college graduates and young professionals from diverse professional backgrounds in health non-profits and government offices in the US, East Africa and Southern Africa for a year of service in order to strengthen and learn from the organizations. Fellows focus on creating solutions for a variety of current health issues like HIV, maternal child health, nutrition, and healthcare access. Through additional training, community building, leadership development and mentorship these young people complete their fellowship with skills to be change-makers and paradigm-shifters in the global health field throughout their careers. Since its founding in 2009, GHC has deployed 322 fellows to work in 7 countries.

http://ghcorps.org/

 

Launching the Youth Champions Initiative

July 21st, 2014 | Add a Comment

Launching the Youth Champions Initiative with the Packard Foundation 

See: http://www.youthchampionsinitiative.org/

Dear Colleagues,

We are thrilled to share that The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Public Health Institute (PHI) have partnered to launch the Youth Champions Initiative - a new initiative to advance innovation and quality in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights globally.

The Youth Champions Initiative (YCI) will leverage the experience and lessons learned from PHI’s Let Girls Lead and Champions for Change initiatives, building an entirely new and innovative initiative in honor of the Packard Foundation’s 50th anniversary. The YCI will build upon the Foundation’s longstanding commitment to reproductive health and the engagement of youth leaders by investing in visionary young champions who will lead the sexual and reproductive health and rights movement for the next generation.

The Youth Champions Initiative will select 18 visionary young leaders (ages 18-29) from India, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and the US to attend YCI’s innovative Incubator workshop, which will be held from December 4-12, 2014 in Los Altos, California, USA. The Incubator will integrate capacity building in sexual and reproductive health and rights, leadership, innovation, advocacy and project development. YCI will competitively award grants (in the range of $8,000 – $12,000) to participating Youth Champions and their organizations to launch innovative sexual and reproductive health and rights projects they develop during the Incubator.

See: http://www.youthchampionsinitiative.org/

The Next Phase of the Birth Control War: Religious Discrimination Lawsuits

July 21st, 2014 | Add a Comment

The Next Phase of the Birth Control War: Religious Discrimination Lawsuits 

See: http://www.care2.com/causes/the-next-phase-of-the-birth-control-war-religious-discrimination-cases.html

As more states push bills to strip family planning funding from Planned Parenthoods, or relocate funding so that Planned Parenthood affiliates are last in line, other clinics that provide care to low-income and uninsured residents will be forced to shoulder the burden of reproductive health care services, especially when it comes to offering birth control.

Yet, as a case in Florida shows us, those clinics are now being drawn into the war on contraception thanks to “pro-life” medical specialists who are seeking positions within those networks with absolutely no intention of providing the full range of services the clinics were set up to offer. And sadly, refusing to hire these people won’t work as then you’d be facing a discrimination lawsuit.

The Florida Lawsuit

Sara Hellwege applied for a job at Tampa Family Health Centers (TFHC), but was turned down. According to lawyers representing Hellwege, by refusing her an interview after noting that she was a member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) and learning that she would refuse to offer hormonal contraception, TFHC has discriminated against her on the basis of her religion.

See: http://www.care2.com/causes/the-next-phase-of-the-birth-control-war-religious-discrimination-cases.html