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POPULATION. 1992 Feb; 18(2):3.Bolivia's first population program is gaining support from the government and churches, according to Rainer Rosenbaum, head of UNFPA's Bolivia office. When he arrived to the country in May 1990, population issues were "almost taboo," says Rosenbaum. But since then, population issues have gained interest. Over the past 1 1/2 years, more than 50 major events (such as national conferences and government ceremonies) have included a population theme. The government is currently considering a population policy proposal, and Rosenbaum is optimistic that the country will soon adopt its first population policy. With the aid of UNFPA, the government has already set out to improve reproductive, maternal, and child health. This initiative includes activities such as training staff, distributing contraceptives, and spreading the family planning message. The government has also initiated a 5-year program that includes studies of internal and international migration and employment, efforts to improve the status of women, and educational programs for young people. Not only have the Catholic and Protestant churches not interfered with population activities, they have offered assistance in carrying out the national census scheduled to take place in May. The census will be a difficult enterprise, considering Bolivia's vast and varied geography. UNFPA has allocated some $1.3 million to support the census out of its $10 million assistance to the 5-year program. The rest of the money for the census will come from donor countries such as Sweden and Germany and from the Bolivian government itself. As Rosenbaum explains, the census is a top priority for the government, since nobody knows with any degree of reliability how many people live in the country.
Expanding the role of non-governmental organizations (NGO's) in national forestry programs. The report of three regional workshops in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Washington, D.C., World Resources Institute, . 44 p.Efforts of the World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Food and Agriculture Organization have resulted in a common framework to save tropical forests--the Tropical Forestry Action Plan. A 1st step includes national forestry sector reviews to coordinate aid agency and government involvement in identifying investment priorities and significant policy reforms to reverse deforestation and promote sustainable development and then incorporating them into their national development plans. This represents a shift from the focus of national government and aid agency forestry programs of the late 1970s, which was on commercial or industrial forestry, to forestry which provides for people's basic needs. To be successful, this plan requires the involvement of farmers and local communities. Involving NGOs and their capabilities can complement government and development assistance programs. NGOs' greatest contribution is the promotion of community based, participatory forestry programs that benefit economically or socially disadvantaged groups. WRI and the Environment Liaison Centre hosted 3 regional workshops to discuss NGOs roles in reforestation. Participants agreed that, to establish a basis for constructive collaboration, NGOs, governments, and aid agencies must mutually understand their complementary roles. Further governments and aid agencies must change policies and procedures to assist and enhance NGO involvement in policymaking and the project cycle. This includes finding new mechanisms to direct funds to NGOs, and for governments and aid agencies to respect the autonomy of the NGO and therefore enable it to achieve its goals.