WASHINGTON—Countries can promote stability and economic growth by investing in voluntary family planning programs, argue Liz Leahy of Population Action International and Sean Peoples of the Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) in the September/October 2008 issue of World Watch magazine.

"While no reasonable expert would argue that there is a simple causal relationship between demography and security…demographic trends can clearly interact with poverty, poor governance, competition for natural resources, and environmental degradation to contribute to conflict," write Leahy and Peoples. They say that voluntary family planning can promote stability by leading to higher savings and wages, greater per-capita spending on health and education at both the household and government levels, and increased participation of women in the work force.

This special population issue of World Watch also includes a piece on population, health, and the environment by Lori Hunter of the University of Colorado, Boulder; an exploration of population growth and environmental degradation by Bernard Orimbo of the German Foundation for World Population; and a short history of population trends by Robert Engelman of the Worldwatch Institute.

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On September 30 at 3:00 p.m., ECSP and the Worldwatch Institute will co-sponsor the launch of the September/October 2008 issue of World Watch. You can submit questions for the speakers to ecsp@wilsoncenter.org.

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What: Launch of World Watch Magazine's Population Issue

Who: Robert Engelman
, Vice President for Programs, Worldwatch Institute
Karen Hardee, Vice President of Research, Population Action International
Thomas Prugh, Editor, World Watch
Sean Peoples, Program Assistant, Environmental Change and Security Program

When: Tuesday, September 30, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 5th Floor Conference Room
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds, engaged in the study of national and world affairs.

Since 1994, the Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program has explored the connections among environmental challenges and their links to conflict and security.