PSN takes part in an International Symposium on Population, Climate Change and Sustainable Development

November 3, 2011

SOURCE: Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office & PSN

PSNs Karen Newman spoke this week at important conference in South Africa, bringing together parliamentarians, NGOs and civil society to promote a rights-based approach in responding to the links between population, climate change and sustainable development.

Credit: IRIN

An International Symposium

The symposium, International Conference on Population Dynamics, Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Towards a Rights-Based Approach, took place 1 - 2 November in Pretoria, South Africa, held by Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO) in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of South Africa.

Participating in the conference were ministers, parliamentarians, high government officials from 30 developing countries, representatives of the UN and other international organizations, NGO's, Civil Society, experts on demography and climate change, and other important stakeholders engaged in the relevant fields.


The conference objectives were to:

  • Sensitize policymakers on the salient and emerging issues of concern related to family planning, reproductive health, population and development
  • Improve understanding of the linkages between population dynamics, climate hange and sustainable development in the context of achieving ICPD goals and MDGs
  • Share knowledge on successful and innovative practices and programs in developing countries on climate change mitigation and adaptation agenda for sustainable development
  • Encourage better integration of climate change into family planning/reproductive health policies and strategies


The Symposium consisted of the following sessions:

  1. Population Dynamics and Human Rights: The Implications of Climate Change
  2. Population, Environment and Development as framework for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
  3. Adolescents, Youths, Women and Displaced Population: Prospects for Sustainable Development
  4. Knowledge Sharing: Integrating Family Planning, Reproductive Health and Rights and Climate Change: South-South Cooperation for Sustainable Development
  5. Adoption of the Pretoria Declaration and Road Map

Promoting action with a right-based approach

A major outcome of the meeting was the adoption of a "Declaration" by ministers and policy makers from 30 developing countries on integrating climate change into family planning/reproductive health, population dynamics policies and strategies and ensuring that these are translated into actions in developing countries.

The conference was expected to help governments of developing countries to formulate policies taking into account demographic trends and dynamics that include the rates of population growth, fertility and mortality, and the age and spatial distribution of the population, including migration and urbanisation and their linkages to climate change.

The symposium sought to ensure that the initiative focuses on all of these factors for mitigating and adapting climate change, so that the ICPD remains the centerpiece of population and development policies.

PSN’s Karen Newman presented at the first session of the conference, on the topic of human rights, population dynamics and the implications of climate change.

Further information about the symposium is available on the conference website.