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Chelsea Green Blog

World Population Day

World Population Day on July 11th represents not only a time to consider the unprecedented impact that human beings are having on the planet, but also an opportunity to consider the simple and proven solutions that help to mitigate this impact. Since its inception in the 1960’s, voluntary international family planning programs have been instrumental in cutting the global fertility rate in half, from about six children per woman to the current rate of just under three. Access to reproductive health services, including family planning and education, is critical to reducing the maternal and infant mortality rate, increasing women’s and girl’s literacy rates and education levels, and improving the economic prospects for millions of families around the globe. In turn, these improvements result in reduced pressures on wildlife and ecosystems, a cleaner environment, and a more secure world. Voluntary family planning is an area of foreign aid that has produced rapid results for people and the planet. Simply stated, voluntary family planning is a highly successful and effective method to improve the health and well-being of women, children, families, communities, and nations, as well as the millions of plant and wildlife species with which we share this planet. This is why it is more important than ever that the U.S. meet its commitments to increase funding for family planning and related foreign aid and support the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 2005 marks five years since the U.S. and 188 other countries established the MDGs, a groundbreaking framework of quantitative targets and integrated approaches for achieving poverty reduction and improvements in health, education, gender equality, the environment and other aspects of human welfare by 2015. When the UN General Assembly meets in September to assess what more needs to be done to help countries meet the goals, U.S. citizens should stand up and be counted among the many citizen campaigns that are happening worldwide to hold governments accountable to meeting these goals. We know that voluntary family planning is an effective way not only to reduce human pressures on the natural world, but also to improve human well-being. So it just makes good sense for governments to put their funding into programs that we know will address several of the MDGs – from poverty to health to environmental sustainability – all at once. Contact your congressperson and ask him/her to support increased funding for voluntary family planning as a wise investment in people and the planet. *(This submission is part of a National Wildlife Federation campaign, to learn more and help increase awareness visit www.nwf.org.)


Author Petra Kuenkel: The Art of Leading Collectively

More than ever before, there is a focus on new, collective forms of leadership—and an urgency to get collective change processes underway, all over the world. What’s behind the recent push to move collective leadership to the fore? Whether we find ourselves in societal or organizational change, it requires collective energy and drive to bring […] Read More

10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More

Author David Stroh: First Steps to Becoming a Systems Thinker

Systems thinking is often seen as something relegated to scientific and business analysis – economics, resource depletion, and climate. However, Systems Thinking for Social Change focuses on how to use systems thinking to make breakthrough progress on intransigent social problems. We asked author David Stroh how this approach can make an impact, and how readers […] Read More

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More
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