PCCA calls for a focus on population and reproductive rights at Rio20

November 2, 2011


PSN and the Population and Climate Change Alliance (PCCA) has submitted an input to the Rio+20 zero draft endorsed by over 30 organisations, calling for renewed-attention to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights as part of sustainable development approaches.


Rio+20: opportunities for advancing reproductive rights

In June next year world leaders will be meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) 'Rio+20', the twenty-year follow-up to the 1992 'Rio Earth Summit'. The objective of the conference is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess progress in implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges.

In preparation for the summit, the UN recently invited stakeholders to provide input and contributions to a zero draft of the outcome document for the summit.

The Population and Climate Change Alliance (PCCA) submitted a response to this consultation, focusing on the linkages between population dynamics and sustainable development. The contribution argues that advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is essential for achieving sustainable development, and seeks to bring to the attention of the summit the substantial opportunities that exist to advance a wide-range of sustainable development goals, by meeting the need for sexual and reproductive health programmes that respect and protect human rights.

Key messages and recommendations

In the submission the PCCA sets out the following key messages and recommendations for Rio+20 outcomes:

  • Global population dynamics can and must be addressed in ways that respect and protect human rights.
  • Human health and well-being, including SRHR, are central components of sustainable development.
  • Integrated population, health and environment approaches have synergistic effects.
  • Population dynamics, including population growth, density, urbanisation, migration and ageing, must be integrated into development strategies and environmental planning, with systematic use of population data and projections.
  • Rights-based sexual and reproductive health programmes, including family planning services, should be recognized as essential components of new global initiatives to increase resources for sustainable development and adaptation to climate change.
  • Rights-based sexual and reproductive health programmes, including family planning services, should be recognized as legitimate components of national climate change adaptation programmes and funding mechanisms, to increase the resilience of the communities most vulnerable to climate change.
  • Renewed commitment and greater investment is necessary to achieve the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action and the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Recognizing the links between population dynamics and sustainable development, governments should ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health, including family planning, empowerment of women, and investment in education, particularly of disadvantaged children and youth, and girls and young women, with programmes that respect and protect human rights.

About the PCCA

The Population and Climate Change Alliance (PCCA) is a network of non-profit organisations that works together on population and climate change issues through a loose umbrella coalition. PCCA strives to advance SRHR through active awareness-raising and advocacy work on the linkages between population and climate change, and believes that increasing (universal) access to voluntary family planning can make a significant contribution to climate change both in adaptation and mitigation strategies and programmes.

Population and Sustainability Network is the Secretariat of the PCCA.

Far-reaching support for the submission

The PCCA was delighted that over 30 organisations from across the world, including PCCA members and others, signed-on to our Rio+20 submission.

The PCCA includes the following organisations:

The following additional organisations were signatories to the submission:

  • Action for Global Health
  • AIDOS - The Italian Association for Women in Development
  • Association of Youth Organizations Nepal (AYON)
  • BioRegional
  • Blue Ventures
  • Change Mob, Brazil
  • Community Health Africa Trust (CHAT), Kenya
  • DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung)
  • Ecopop, Switzerland
  • Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK)
  • French Family Planning Movement
  • Institute for Global Health, University College London (IGH, UCL)
  • Interact Worldwide
  • Partners in Population and Development, African Regional Office (PPD ARO)
  • Pathfinder International
  • Population Matters
  • Portuguese Family Planning Association (APF)
  • RFSU - The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education
  • Rutgers WPF
  • Sex og Politikk – The Norwegian Association for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
  • Shirkat Gah- Women’s Resource Centre, Pakistan
  • The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA)
  • The Sustainable World Initiative
  • Väestöliitto – Family Federation of Finland
  • Women's Center, Georgia

The PCCA is grateful to these organisations for their support for our submission and will continue to monitor developments relating to the summit, and to work to ensure that sufficient attention is awarded at the summit to the significance of population dynamics and reproductive health and rights.

Read the submission

You can read the PCCA's Rio+20 submission on the UNCSD website