Linking population, health, and the environment: An overview of integrated programs and a case study in Nepal

Sigrid Hahn, Natasha Anandaraja, Leona D'Agnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Population, health, and environment programs are cross-sectoral development initiatives that link conservation, health, and family planning interventions. These programs are generally located in biodiversity hotspots, where population pressure is among the factors contributing to environmental degradation. This review describes the general structure of population, health, and environment programs and provides selected examples to highlight various aspects of this approach. We focus in depth on a case study from the Integrating Population and Health into Forestry Management Agendas program in Nepal that simultaneously addressed deforestation from fuel-wood harvesting, indoor air pollution from wood fires, acute respiratory infections related to smoke inhalation, as well as family planning in communities in Nepal's densely populated forest corridors. Keys to the success of the Nepal project included empowerment of community forest user groups with population, health, and environment program know-how and appropriate technology. Lessons learned in Nepal point to the critical role that nongovernmental organizations can play as catalysts of cross-sectoral responses to complex development issues such as this one. The population, health, and environment approach can be an effective method for achieving sustainable development and meeting both conservation and health objectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-405
Number of pages12
JournalMount Sinai Journal of Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


  • PHE
  • community-based forestry management
  • cross-sectoral development
  • ecohealth
  • family planning
  • interdisciplinary approach
  • population health environment


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