PSN co-hosts a Population and Climate Change SymposiumMarch 2, 2010
PSN co-hosted the first symposium of its kind to address the links between population dynamics, sexual and reproductive health and rights and climate change, in London on March 1st.
Setting out the links
With the need to take forward the Copenhagen agenda and to mark the 10th anniversary of the Millennium Development Goals later this year, this important event brought together policy-makers from Africa, including four government ministers from sub-Saharan Africa, and UK parliamentarians.
PSN was proud to partner the British Medical Association, the Commonwealth Medical Trust and the Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office in hosting the symposium.
The purpose of the symposium was to:
The Symposium consisted of technical and political sessions giving parliamentarians, academics, civil society organizations and climate change and sexual and reproductive health and rights activists an opportunity to generate consensus on the important links between population dynamics, sexual and reproductive health and rights and climate change.
A Keynote panel began the day, setting out the links between population dynamics, sexual and reproductive health and rights and climate change in a post-Copenhagen world, and why are they important. This panel included Jonathon Porritt, Professor Anthony Costello (UCL), Dr Paul Wilkinson (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and Dr Vivienne Nathanson (BMA).
Late morning the floor was given to papers devoted to practical matters on local adaptations and "what works on the ground" given by Dr Jotham Musinguzi (Regional Director, Partners in Population and Development, Africa Regional Office), Siri Tellier (UNFPA), Karen Hardee (PAI), Negash Teklu (PHE Consortium, Ethiopia) and Dr Vic Mohan (Blue Ventures).
The early afternoon session "Political Options for Progress" was chaired by John Vidal, Environment Editor of The Guardian. This session brought together three government ministers from Africa sharing information and responding to questions climate change, population dynamics and reproductive health and rights issues from the perspectives of their own countries:
UK MPs from the major UK political parties, including Andrew Mitchell, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, responded and outlined their policies on population dynamics and climate change.
The concluding and wrap-up session included speakers Gill Greer (Director-General, IPPF), PSN's Karen Newman, Dr Jotham Musinguzi, Professor Malcolm Potts of University of California, Berkeley and Dr Susannah Mayhew of LSHTM, reviewing the key priorities for linking population dynamics to climate change.
Key emerging messages
Karen Newman of PSN concluded the symposium, acknowledging that the relationship between climate change and population is complex, controversial and critical. Key messages from the day included:
Reports and further information
More information can be found on the Climate Change Symposium Website.