The population programme service
The Population Programme Service (SDWP) was established in 1995 and is located in the Women and Population Division of the Sustainable Development Department. The work of this Department focuses on key dimensions of sustainability which concern natural and human processes, their interrelations and their impact over time: research and technology, agricultural extension and training, natural resources monitoring and management, agrarian transformation, mainstreaming of women in development, people's participation and population factors.
"Population" is to be understood in a broad manner, as in the Cairo Programme of Action: substantively, activities of the Service focus on the interrelations between population factors, the big-physical environment and socioeconomic and cultural factors as seen from a sustainable development perspective.
- Population Programme Service
Examples of relevant interactions can be given:
· Population <=> big-physical environment: population and water resources; land degradation; deforestation.
· Population <=> socio-economic and cultural factors: population and gender issues in relation to land tenure or farming systems;
· Interrelations between all three dimensions of the triangle: fishers and fisheries; food requirements and population growth.
Further to the identification and analysis of population-rural development interrelations and of their policy and programme implications, the Service applies communication techniques to these issues in order to develop and implement communication strategies into rural development and extension activities.
The Service provides on request relevant information and advice to countries and to FAO's governing bodies and promotes the implementation of those aspects of the 1994 Cairo Programme of Action which correspond to FAO's mandate, in particular those which address population and sustainable development. This means first encouraging in-house integration and mainstreaming of population considerations to all relevant technical areas of FAO; this is done by sensitizing agriculture, fisheries and forestry experts to the importance and relevance of population issues on their activities (e.g. socio-demographic structures and spatial distribution, population changes and growth through time and space as relevant to food security, agriculture, fisheries and forestry).
The Service also synthesizes the experience of FAO and other institutions in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries relevant for population related activities and brings it to the attention of policy makers, programme designers and other users concerned with population, food security and rural development issues.
The Service participates actively in the Technical Support System (TSS) set up by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and specialized UN agencies: its staff provides technical assistance to the formulation and implementation of UNFPA-funded field projects, thus contributing to build national capacities for population activities; it also provides UNFPA Country Support Teams with methodological and information support. Finally, the Service co-ordinates the implementation of FAO/UNFPA inter-country projects, which currently focus on the integration of population concerns into education programmes for rural youth, community forestry programmes, and fishery policy planning.
More information on the Service activities and outputs can be found in the electronic newsletter of the Sustainable Development Department:
SD Dimensions, <http://www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/sustdev/welcome_.htm> or through the United Nations POPIN system: <http://www.undp.org/popin/fao/faohome.htm>
Population Programme Service
Women and Population Division
Sustainable Development Department
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla - 00100 Rome
Tel: 39-6-52253816; Fax: 39-6-52255490
(29 October 1996)