One of the greatest threats to conservation is the burgeoning human population, which places excessive demands on natural resources, which our Earth is unable to sustain. During the past century alone, the human population suddenly soared — more than 7.5 billion people currently inhabit the planet. In striking contrast, there were fewer than one billion people for 10,000+ years prior to the 1800s. This recent extraordinary growth, paired with modern tendencies for over-consumption, has placed the future of our planet at great peril. Fortunately, improving access to contraceptives can curb unsustainable population growth.
A key solution to this dilemma is empowering women with greater access to voluntary family planning, which is crucial to both conservation and the overall well-being of society. Public health studies have revealed that when communities are given access to birth control and contraceptives, children are better nourished and educated, mothers are healthier, and family wealth increases. Despite these important benefits, women in many rural communities around the world lack access to these vital resources. An essential initiative of Women for Conservation is to provide these communities with basic healthcare services, including access to birth control and family planning information.
We focus our efforts on introducing family planning to communities in critical biodiversity areas, where preserving natural habitats and resources is key to saving unique species on the edge of extinction. We coordinate with women’s groups in four communities throughout Colombia to introduce affordable access to birth control. In doing so, we seek to empower more than 100 women and girls, increasing their future opportunities, while alleviating poverty and protecting natural resources.