Welcome to Planet4People
by Erika Harms
Yet another organization, you say. Yet many needs of the planet not addressed, I answer.
Planet4People is born out of the concern of like minded people to do something to address the many unmet needs that lead to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and Beyond 2015. Together we bring experience, expertise and passion to support the efforts to achieve these goals.
Important strides have been taken since 1992 to address the most pressing issues in the world, and we have made visible progress, in some areas. We are way on our way of meeting the target of reducing poverty by half, yet 1 in 6 children under 5 is undernourished; while there has been an increase in school attendance, still 123 million youth between the ages of 15 and 24, lack basic reading and writing skills; gender parity in primary schools has been achieved, but child marriage and poverty remain a large barrier for girls to attend school; campaigns like the measles campaign can almost claim measles eradication – a huge success – yet still $ 6.6 million children under the age of 5 died from preventable diseases; maternal health is within reach, but poverty and inequality shadow success, particularly in Africa; important strides have been taken in erradicating malaria, combating HIV/Aids and other diseases; and important strides have been taken to ensure development in the least developed countries, yet disparities continue to be clear and overseas development assistance (ODA) continues to decline.
The biggest challenge and least success has been in the area of environmental sustainability. While more people have access to clean water, water supply is dwindling fast; climate change has moved from debate to action, but temperatures continue to raise and natural disasters strike harder and more often; over one third of marine stock have been overexploited and forests continue to be destroyed at an alarming rate. More species are at risk than ever before, even though more protected areas have been created. And despite all the efforts close to a billion people still live in slums.
The health of the people of this planet, will depend on the health of the planet we live in. There is a direct connection between adequate management of resources, and their availability to people. Climate and health; water and health; trees and air; fish and food; food and education. All are interconnected!
At Planet4People we want to contribute to the health of the planet. There are many successful initiatives, lessons learned, active communities. We want to support those efforts and help move the needle in the positive direction, engaging those that are already making important strides, be it governments, businesses, NGOs or communities.