Woodrow Wilson Center/Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) – Population, Health and Enironment Initiative.

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ECSP’s Population, Health, and Environment Initiative (http://www.wilsoncenter.org/phe) explores the linkages among reproductive health, infectious disease, and natural resource management, within the context of foreign policy and global security.

Development Challenge
Some of the violent conflicts on today’s front page—like Nepal or Darfur—have deep roots in rapid population growth and environmental degradation.  But these roots are often overlooked in favor of explanations that are easier to see and understand.  Global population and health dynamics—such as urbanization, “youth bulge,” migration, and the spread of HIV/AIDS—can affect political, economic, and social stability.  However, the security and foreign policy communities do not always recognize the links connecting insecurity to population and health issues.  Understanding these powerful underlying forces helps policymakers and development professionals devise strategies to reduce the chances of such conflicts and improve security for all.

Approach
ECSP (http://wilsoncenter.org/ecsp) shares lessons from population, health, and conservation programs that improve security—environmental, national, and human—by improving knowledge about and access to family planning and other public health services, and by encouraging sustainable natural resource management in the developing world.  ECSP highlights research and fieldwork that combine health services (both reproductive health and primary) with natural resource management and conservation programs.

As part of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (http://www.wilsoncenter.org), ECSP provides a nonpartisan, non-advocacy forum for the exchange of information, experiences, opinions, and practices.  This forum is critical for optimizing the effectiveness of integrated population, health, and environment (PHE) programs within the larger fields of development aid, foreign policy, and international relations.  At the Wilson Center, field practitioners, academic researchers, government policymakers, security professionals, foundations, and the NGO community are given the opportunity to discuss issues, share best practices, and collaborate across disciplinary and sectoral lines.

Activities
ECSP holds more than 50 meetings, seminars, and other events each year.  Most are webcast live around the world and archived for future viewing.  A comprehensive list of past events, including videos, summaries, and presentations, is available at http://www.wilsoncenter.org/ecspevents.

ESCP events provide Washington, D.C., development professionals with the opportunity to engage big thinkers, such as Jane Goodall, Jared Diamond, Rita Colwell, R.K. Pachauri, and Jeffrey Sachs, and meet with political players, such as Gro Harlem Brundtland , Mikhail Gorbachev, Peter Piot, General Anthony Zinni, and Senators Richard Lugar and Max Baucus.  ECSP also hosts less visible—but no less insightful—activists and scholars struggling to improve life in developing countries.

ECSP produces and disseminates nonpartisan research and publications, including the annual Environmental Change and Security Program Report, the only journal dedicated to environmental security, which was recently named Best Population Journal by the Population Institute.  An occasional paper series, FOCUS, features Wilson Center speakers sharing best practices from population, health, and conservation programs.  These publications are available for download, free of charge, at http://www.wilsoncenter.org/ecsppubs. ECSP News, a monthly e-newsletter, delivers news, summaries, and invitations to thousands of email recipients; to subscribe, go to http://www.wilsoncenter.org/ecspsubscribe

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