Development Co-operation Report 2012

Lessons in Linking Sustainability and Development

image of Development Co-operation Report 2012

The Development Co-operation Report is the key annual reference document for statistics and analysis on trends in international aid. This year, the Development Co-operation Report 2012 seeks to provide insights into how to address today’s sustainable development challenges, with a focus on inclusiveness and good governance to ensure that our finite resources are equitably distributed, now and in the future.

Sharing finite resources among a growing number people – and consumers – is a critical challenge. It is in this spirit that J. Brian Atwood, Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), invited several intellectual leaders on the challenges of inclusive, sustainable development to contribute to this year’s report.

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Factoring population dynamics into sustainable development

Although population growth has decelerated in most countries, the world’s population is still growing at a high rate. Without a significant and rapid drop in fertility rates it could reach 16 billion by 2100, according to the latest projections of the United Nations Population Division. Population growth, coupled with higher consumption, raises the stakes in our efforts to reduce poverty, create employment, provide food, water and energy security, while safeguarding the natural environment. These facts were well-known nearly 20 years ago when, shortly after the 1992 Rio Declaration, the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action outlined a two-pronged approach to promote sustainable development. This approach called for a shift towards sustainable production and consumption, together with appropriate policies to address demographic change. Yet action is long overdue. To promote sustainable development pathways, developing countries and their partners will need to ensure: i) universal access to sexual and reproductive health care and family planning; ii) investment in education with a particular focus on gender parity; iii) empowerment of women; and iv) systematic integration of population projections in development strategies and policies.

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