Biodiversity is under siege from anthropogenic pressures worldwide. Bigger families mean more mouths to feed. In much of the rural developing world this leads to growing pressure on ecosytsems and increased food insecurity.
It will simply not be possible for us to achieve our conservation and sustainable development goals if we do not address the unmet need for reproductive health services. Yet the world’s environmental conservation community rarely addresses this selfevident interdependence between population and environment.
We at Blue Ventures, a Madagascar-based marine conservation organisation, are tackling this ‘elephant in the lagoon’ through a far-sighted approach that integrates community health service provision into more conventional biodiversity conservation efforts. Coastal communities we work with in the remote southwest live on under 1.5US$ per day, have some of the lowest education rates in the country and have negligible access to basic public health services, including reproductive health.