Happy Earth Day!
Nearly 45 years have passed since the oil spill in my hometown of Santa Barbara, California, which propelled the founding of Earth Day by Sen. Gaylord Nelson. Despite tremendous awareness and mobilization since that watershed moment, today’s environmental challenges spread far beyond the coast of my childhood home.
Globally, a changing climate has provoked devastating natural disasters, drought-induced crop failure, water insecurity, and biodiversity loss. These challenges can be devastating to millions of women and families who rely on natural resources for food, shelter, and livelihoods.
The short film above, recently launched by the Woodrow Wilson Center, shows how communities in Nepal are taking action to restore the environment and strengthen human lives. The documentary highlights the story of local “community forest user groups” working to promote sustainable development, reproductive health, and women’s empowerment. At PAI, we’ve seen firsthand how such integrated Population-Health-Environment (PHE) projects can improve access to family planning for women and families, and help them to be more resilient in the face of climate change. It’s crucial that we continue to advocate for and support these programs—not just on Earth Day, but every day.