The BALANCED Project Launches New Initiative in Population, Health, and Environment

1/30/2009

Kingston, RI – The Coastal Resources Center (CRC) at the University of Rhode Island (URI) announces the launch of the Building Actors and Leaders for Advancing Community Excellence in Development (BALANCED) Project. BALANCED is a new five-year, multi-million dollar population, health and environment (PHE) technical leadership initiative awarded by the USAID Office of Population and Reproductive Health. It was made in recognition of CRC and its partners' – PATH Foundation Philippines Inc. (PFPI) and Conservation International (CI) – many years experience in integrated natural resources management, population and health.

Today, over 1.1 billion people live in biodiverse regions of the world. The population in these ecologically important areas is growing at a rate nearly 40 percent greater than the global average. At the same time, people living in these remote areas often have the least access to basic health services. PHE programs promote holistic approaches to development – approaches that address the complex connections between humans, health and environment.

According to Project Director, Linda Bruce, "PHE programs improve access to health services, help secure livelihoods and conserve critical natural resources upon which people depend." For example, improved coastal resources management coupled with health and family planning activities have improved food security for underserved, hard-to-reach communities in the Philippines. Communities find integrated development approaches make the most sense, as their lives are not separated into single sector needs, such as only health, or only livelihoods.

LEARN MORE: The BALANCED Project, Population, Health and Environment.

Building on almost a decade of USAID investments in PHE global leadership and field-based projects, the BALANCED project will promote wider adoption and use of effective PHE approaches worldwide. It aims to:

  • Enable local communities to become PHE champions by building their capacity to plan, implement and carry out demand-driven integrated programs in health and conservation. BALANCED will build capacity through peer-to-peer mentoring, south-to-south exchanges, and innovative learning techniques.

     

  • Synthesize and develop state-of-the art PHE knowledge and communicate that knowledge to key audiences. This includes demonstrating the value of integrated approaches for development that take into consideration the environment and the people who live in it.

     

  • Scale-up, build on, and foster the implementation of field-based PHE initiatives in areas of high biodiversity, particularly in East Africa and Asia.

     

Working together, URI CRC, PFPI and CI will engage communities, policymakers, decision makers and a wide range of multisectoral partners in advancing PHE approaches and tools worldwide to achieve healthy societies in healthy environments.

For more information, contact: Balanced@crc.uri.edu 

IN DEPTH: Learn more about the Population, Health and Environment program.

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