Our work at the International Conference on Family Planning 2018, RwandaNovember 16, 2018
The International Conference on Family Planning is the leading global reproductive health conference. This year, members of the Population & Sustainability Network were represented in significant numbers. For the first time, at this biennial conference, there was explicit reference to and focus on Population Health and Environment programmes, with the Network heavily involved in significant events focussed on this approach.
The International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) was established in 2009, with funding from John’s Hopkins School of Public Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. ICFP is the world’s most important conference focussed on reproductive health and population. At the 2018 ICFP there were over 3,700 participants, including the Prime Minister of Rwanda, the Secretary of State at the UK Government’s Department for International Development, Jane Goodall, and many others besides.
Five events at ICFP focussed on Population, Health and Environment (PHE) programmes. PHE programmes integrate reproductive health, conservation, and sustainable livelihood interventions. The Margaret Pyke Trust, the Population & Sustainability Network, and collectively its members were involved with all five. The events demonstrate the growing interest in PHE, and increasing understanding of why the removal of barriers to family planning is a relevant consideration in conservation policy and programme design.
Two new Network affiliates, the African Crane Conservation Programme (which is a partnership of the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the International Crane Foundation) and NatureUganda featured at PHE events. Dr. Harriet Davies-Mostert, of Network member the Endangered Wildlife Trust, was one of the speakers at a PHE evening session. ICFP has never previously hosted an event where a conservation leader opened her presentation by making connections between sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the conservation of Africa’s lion.
In further news from ICFP, FP2020 published its latest Progress Report. The report includes an interview with David Johnson, the Network’s Chief Executive. Some of the interview reflects the contents of his presentation forming part of the Network’s ICFP panel, which also included representatives of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, NatureUganda, the Endangered Wildlife Trust, Pathfinder International, and DSW.
Thanks to the Environmental Funders Network Rapid Response Mechanism, the support of which was critical for several PHE activities at ICFP.