22 December 2023

SPA promotes African family planning activities at the UN Climate Change conference in Dubai


SPA has had a long relationship with the Ecological Christian Organisation (ECO) in Uganda, a grassroots development agency that works with communities impacted by natural resource degradation or mining, to help improve outcomes for nature and for people. In 2010, SPA helped ECO to organise a very successful conference in Kampala, on “Population Growth and Climate Change” with influential participants from across the Horn of Africa. This conference led to ECO’s further involvement in ‘Population Health and Environment’ (PHE) projects.


In 2023, SPA provided financial support to ECO to add family planning awareness and training activities to its work with refugee communities in western Uganda. This work is part of a project funded by the European Community, titled “Restoring and Conserving degraded fragile ecosystems for improved Community Livelihoods among the Refugee and Host Communities of West Nile Region and the mid-Albertine Rift.” This project is part of a larger EC funded program on “Responding to Increased Environmental and Natural Resources Degradation in the Refugee Hosting Districts of Uganda.”


Family Planning was discussed by ECO’s  Isaac Kabono at COP28 in Dubai with the support of SPA.


Over a number of years, SPA has helped ECO’s CEO, Isaac Kabongo, to attend United Nations climate change conferences, and where possible, to raise awareness of the role of family planning in climate change adaptation and resilience for Africa. This year, Isaac attended COP28 in Dubai as an SPA delegate, and we managed to secure both an exhibit booth for one day, and an opportunity to speak at a side event. The side event was on climate change refugees, and we thought the Ugandan refugee project was a good opportunity to emphasise that refugees, like all sources of population increase, have impacts on the natural habitats and communities that receive them, and that family planning is an important response measure to lessen future pressures.


Isaac Kabongo presenting at the COP28 side event on climate change refugees.


The exhibit booth featured posters on the refugee project and on other PHE projects, and ran a series of 2-minute videos featuring Africans demonstrating the importance of family planning for women’s empowerment and reducing population pressures.


SPA exhibit booth at the COP28


Isaac reported that both engagements generated a lot of interest and conversations, particularly with other African delegates. We hope it contributes to greater willingness to discuss the role of population growth in climate change impacts and responses in future.


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