Abilan, Buenavista – The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) Caraga spearheaded the regional Population, Health and Environment (PHE) conference that aimed to explore ways on how regional and local governments can promote development efforts that link human health and environment resiliency in their development programming; recognize the existing initiatives with integrated PHE approach within the region; and highlight successes and challenges in PHE approach through sharing of project experiences, accomplishments, and opportunities.

Program partners, stakeholders and decision-makers at the local and regional level convened to further address issues on population, health and environment, by integrating policies and programs for greater effectiveness and impact to the lives of every individual at the community.

The lead population management agency highlighted that the integrated PHE approach is very effective at improving the people’s lives and the state of the environment at the community level for this has been tried and implemented. 

POPCOM Caraga Director Alexander A. Makinano disclosed that PHE is a community development model that links population, health and environment factors and supports cross-sectoral collaboration, particularly in biodiversity-rich areas such as upland and coastal areas.

The good director also revealed that PHE is a linkage, within a community or group of communities, of natural resource management of similar environmental activities and the improvement of reproductive health, always including but not limited to provision on family planning services.

According to POPCOM, PHE has relevant key areas under its technical description, namely: Population – Reproductive health and family planning; Health – Water, sanitation, malaria, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health; Environment – Natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, fisheries management, eco-agriculture. Meanwhile, the following are amenable to other sectors: Education (formal and non-formal), Energy (fuel efficient smokeless stoves, biogas), Eco-tourism/sustainable tourism development, and Enterprise/ livelihood development.