Ethiopian policymakers and development practitioners inaugurated the Consortium for Integration of Population, Health and Environment (CIPHE) at a conference on May 30-31, 2008, in Ambo, Ethiopia. The new organization seeks to promote integrated approaches to development, such as simultaneously promoting sustainable agricultural practices, biodiversity conservation, and family planning. Ethiopian President Girma Wolde Giorgis joined participants representing a cross-section of sectors, including Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, World Health Organization representative to Ethiopia; State Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Abera Deresa; and Strike Mkandla of the UN Environment Programme.

"Indeed, the name of your consortium itself spells out the broad range of interlinked issues that call for a wide partnership with the UN family. The timing of this initiative is also very fortuitous in that this is an era when the UN is committed to delivering as one," said Mkandla, who added that the UN Country Team shares CIPHE's belief in the "interconnectedness between people and their environment and the interdependencies between the three sectors of population, health, and environment."

"Complex challenges aren't solved with simple solutions," said Environmental Change and Security Program Director Geoff Dabelko. "It is terrific to see government and NGOs coming together to work in practical ways to address the real-world complexity around population, health, and the environment in Ethiopia's challenging—yet dynamic—development setting."

CIPHE is the national chapter of the East Africa PHE Network, which was established following "Population, Health, and Environment: Integrated Development for East Africa," a November 2007 conference co-sponsored by the Population Reference Bureau and Ethiopian NGO LEM Ethiopia. LEM Ethiopia Executive Director Mogues Worku, who authored "The Missing Links: Poverty, Population, and the Environment" for ECSP's Focus series, was one of seven individuals elected to the CIPHE board.