Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability: Assessing the Science

FPESA Report
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Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability: Assessing the Science

Released June 29, 2016
 
Is there a scientific evidence base demonstrating that the use of family planning contributes to environmental sustainability? This report explores that question based on a two-year collaborative review of more than 900 peer-reviewed research papers from around the world published from 2005 through early 2016.
 
No scientific discipline systematically examines or confirms the influence of voluntary family planning on environmental problems. Looking at pathways that lead through the slowing of population growth and the empowerment of women, however, the Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability Assessment (FPESA) found a wide-ranging literature generally affirming that this influence is both real and constructive.
 
FPESA identified considerable evidence supporting—and very little refuting—the statement that the practice of voluntary family planning promotes environmental benefits and that expanding access to it can help bring about an environmentally sustainable world that meets human needs. The diversity of researchers interested in the family-planning connection to the environment is high, the report also concludes.
 
The report features the project’s findings, perspectives on major related issues by eight authors, and an annotated bibliography containing assessments of 50 of the most compelling papers relevant to the linkage.
 
Print copies are limited. Please email us at fpesa@worldwatch.org if you'd like to receive a hard copy.