Southern Africa | Wilson Center

Southern Africa

Parks for Peace or Peace for Parks? Issues in Practice and Policy

Nelson Mandela said, "I know of no political movement, no philosophy, no ideology, which does not agree with the peace parks concept as we see it going into fruition today. It is a concept that can be embraced by all." Parks for peace—transboundary conservation areas dedicated to the promotion of peace and cooperation—hold great promise and appeal, but have they lived up to this promise? Some say yes, others respectfully disagree with the former South African President's assertion.

Finding Balance: Results from a Population-Environment Success Story in Madagascar

Ecological "hotspots"—land areas richest in biodiversity and most threatened by human activity—comprise 12 percent of the planet's land surface and hold nearly 20 percent of the world's population. Madagascar, an island country off the east coast of Africa, is a prime example. With 90 percent of its natural rainforest already destroyed, Madagascar's rapid population growth of 2.9 percent annually is far outpacing its natural resources and ability to produce food.

Gaining Ground: Lessons from the Preliminary Findings of Madagascar's New Demographic & Health Survey

After decades of improvement, the health of women and children across sub-Saharan Africa is declining. In Madagascar, however, it is on the upswing: the new 2003-2004 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) reveals great improvements in fertility as well as maternal and child health. These results reflect the efforts of several successful health interventions by donors and the government.

Documentary Screening: AIDS Warriors

The PBS series Wide Angle, which seeks to reveal the "humanity behind the headlines," sent award-winning filmmakers Micah Fink and Andrew Young to Angola to look behind the HIV/AIDS pandemic and examine the role of the military in fighting this health crisis. The Environmental Change and Security Project and the Africa Program screened the documentary AIDS Warriors at the Woodrow Wilson Center on Thursday, October 21, followed by a discussion with Micah Fink and Dr.

Political Instability Task Force: New Findings

Professors Jack Goldstone, Robert Bates, and Colin Kahl presented the Political Instability Task Force's latest findings at a February 5th meeting co-hosted by the Environmental Change and Security Project and the Conflict Prevention Project. The speakers provided an overview of the fourth phase of the Task Force's efforts to develop a global statistical model for assessing states' vulnerability to political instability. They provided details on an additional sub-Saharan Africa model and on the role of population and environment variables in their work.

A Vision for Madagascar: A Path from Poverty to Growth

His Excellency Marc Ravalomanana, the reform-minded president of Madagascar, today told a Woodrow Wilson Center Director's Forum that his country stands ready to fully join the global marketplace while also preserving its unique environmental heritage and bringing prosperity to its citizens. "My optimism for Madagascar is not false," said President Ravalomanana. "I'm going to describe a country where the strengths outnumber weaknesses and we believe in our ability to succeed."

The Road to Johannesburg: Setting the Agenda for the World Summit on Sustainable Development

Featuring Dr. Crispian Olver, Director-General, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Government of South Africa;

John F. Turner, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State (discussant);

Judith Ayres, Assistant Administrator for International Activities, Office of International Activities, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (discussant);

Book Launch and Discussion of <i>Partner to History: The U.S. Role in South Africa's Transition to Democracy</i>

Summary of the Conflict Prevention Project and United States Institute of Peace (USIP) discussion with Partner to History: The Role of South Africa's Transition to Democracy author Ambassador Princeton Lyman; executive vice president of Search for Common Ground Susan Collin Marks; and Deputy Chief of mission at the South African embassy in DC Thandabutu Nhlapo. USIP's president, Richard Soloman opened the meeting and Timothy Docking, African specialist, moderated the discussion.

Living on $2 a Day: A Finance System for the "Bottom Billion"

On September 29, 2009, the Wilson Center on the Hill and the Environmental Change and Security Program hosted a discussion about the sophisticated ways by which the world's poor manage their finances. Daryl Collins, senior associate at Bankable Frontier Associates, and Jonathan Morduch, a Professor of Public Policy and Economics at New York University, shared some insights from their book, Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day. Geoff Dabelko, the Director of the Environmental Change and Security Program moderated the event.

Issue 12: Lessons From the First Generation of Integrated Population, Health, and Environment Projects

In his review of the "first generation" of population-health-environment projects funded by USAID and the Packard Foundation, consultant John Pielemeier finds that integrated approaches provide positive outcomes in shorter periods of time, and at lower cost, than single-sector programs. Pielemeier presented the findings of his full report at the Wilson Center in September 2005.