Papers published in the latest themed issue of Reproductive Health Matters demonstrate the extent of evidence and progressive thinking around population dynamics and sustainability that is informing development policies and programs. The theme of this issue is timely given that meetings and negotiations are currently taking place around the world to decide what will be included in the post-2015 development goals.
The discussions about the post-2015 agenda have focused on calling out to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocates and service providers to form broader coalitions and launch innovative joint projects with sustainable development advocates. Papers in this issue provide examples of such collaborations; including population health and environment (PHE) programs which integrate reproductive health services with conservation, and disaster resilience work.
The editorial of the issue emphasises the need to learn from the history of family planning policy and practice and to be sceptical about what can be achieved through family planning provision alone. Marge Berer, Editor of Reproductive Health Matters states: "Claims are again being made that [family planning] will save the world. [...] Unfortunately, it won't, and everyone needs to study/remember that history so that the same mistakes and the same narrow vision, affecting policy and programmes, are not repeated."
Papers published are written by authors from countries across the globe, such as Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Somaliland, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda; papers address a wide range of topics related to the theme, including:
Neoliberal globalisation, poverty, and universal access to health; development, demography and SRHR, policy implications; fertility, contraception and the one child policy; integrating PHE and SRHR; scaling up conservation programmes; conscientious objection to abortion; a programme to promote female condoms; FGM; anti-homosexuality legislation and more.
"Population, environment and sustainable development" Reproductive Health Matters, Volume 22, Issue 43 (May 2014)