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How does family planning protect our environment? This is the question researchers at the Worldwatch Institute recently set out to answer. Their findings may provide the key to addressing many of the environmental crises we face today.

Robert Engelman, project director, found that while their “group assessment of recent scientific literature did not ‘prove’ that family planning promotes environmental sustainability, we found plenty of supporting evidence that it is helpful,” including the effectiveness of increased use of contraception — especially long-acting reversible contraceptives — by young Americans.

The Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability Assessment (FPESA) provides vital and hard evidence addressing the often-taboo subject of how family planning affects the world’s environments. This information helps support the work of any organization addressing the role of family planning in achieving things like the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change mitigation, the protection of the most at-risk ecosystems, and more.

As the Assessment suggests, sometimes seemingly unrelated issues — like decisions about creating a family and the future of the world’s environment — are deeply intertwined. Having Kids seeks to make these connections as we work to create a more sustainable future for us all.

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