Minnesotans For Sustainability©
Sustainable Society: A society that balances the environment, other life forms, and human interactions over an indefinite time period.
Prepcons & Implementation
C. Preparatory Conferences (Prepcons)
The draft developed in the initial working session, which outlines and analyzes various options for US population policy, makes a recommendation as the best policy option, and suggests approaches to achieving acceptance and implementation of such a policy, will be reviewed and discussed in regional preparatory conferences on national population policy (Prepcons). These conferences will be patterned after the "PREPCOM" process which occurred in preparation for the 1994 UN Cairo Conference on Population and Development and the 1992 UN environmental conference in Rio. All participating organizations will be encouraged to comment on the recommendations, to offer suggestions or alternative proposals, and to discuss key issues. The Prepcons will include plenary discussions as well as sessions focusing on particular aspects of population policy.
At the conclusion of the Prepcon process, the participants of the pre-conference working session will re-convene to consider changes in light of the comments made and amendments offered during the Prepcons. The recommendations for a U.S. Population Policy and suggested approaches to achieving acceptance and implementation of such a policy will be presented for discussion and final adoption at the National Population Policy Conference.
D. National Conference
The National Population Policy Conference will be attended by national, regional and grassroots organizations and individuals with an interest in establishing a coherent, fair, U.S. population policy and identifying avenues for its implementation. The purpose of the working conference will be several-fold:
* To present and consider the recommendations and concepts developed at the Pre-Conference Working Session and Prepcons, with the ultimate goal being the recommendations for and adoption of a national population policy.
* To review, amend and endorse an equitable, population policy in the United States as a component of efforts to realize the goals of long-term sustainability. For instance, the goal for a U.S. population policy might be to maintain the quality of life and individual freedom in this country for everyone and for generations to come, while stabilizing or reducing consumption levels.
* To communicate the importance of this policy to both policy makers and the general public. This goal will be accomplished through publicity associated with the conference and publication of a report on the conference that will be disseminated widely to federal, state and local policy makers, leaders in the private and non-profit sectors and other relevant sectors. After the conference, two books evaluating population growth's effects and recommended policy responses will be produced, one intended for an academic audience and another for the general public. A television documentary focusing on the conference is also planned.
* To seek commitments from political leaders; national population, reproductive health care, and environmental and women's organizations; civic, social justice, and religious groups, educators, individuals, corporations, grassroots organizations, and the media to work towards a coherent, fair, national population policy.
* To establish the groundwork for working groups that will continue the work of the project after the conference. The contemplated responsibilities of these working groups are described at the conclusion of this document. Attendees will be drawn primarily from the ranks of cosponsors and representatives of other important sectors of society, including political leaders, the media and the religious community.
The conference is planned as a three-day event. On the first day attendees will listen to presentations and engage in discussion regarding background on U.S. population growth and population policy and potential policy alternatives. On the second day they will engage in discussions regarding fertility, immigration and consumption and will discuss the role of stakeholders in this dialogue, including minorities and people of color, emphasizing that all citizens share in the process and the outcome. The third day will be spent finalizing national population policy recommendations and focusing on implementation strategies.
E. Implementation and Publications
In order to meet its objectives the project will:
* Produce a report outlining conference findings containing recommendations for a comprehensive and equitable national population policy.
* Seek to directly present this report to relevant policy makers in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government and members of the media.
* Publish two books reflecting an expansion of each participant's contributions at the Pre-Conference Working Session and National Population Policy Conference. One book will be oriented to policy makers and academic researchers in the field of population, while the second will be designed for the general public, summarizing the conclusions and recommendations developed at the conference and calling for citizen involvement in a campaign to stabilize U.S. population within the next few decades.
* Formulate a program to coordinate efforts with grassroots organizations to achieve the objectives of the project through strategies such as presentations to local civic groups and schools, letters to local newspapers, production of programs on population issues for local access cable stations and lobbying of local, state and national government representatives.
* Involve the media in a range of presentations over a period of time which will magnify our impact and further assure that this issue will remain on the public agenda.
* Establish several working groups that will focus on formulating solutions and establishing relationships with policy makers, the media, educators, non-governmental organizations, community groups and others to implement a coherent, fair, U.S. population policy. Suggested working groups include: science/research, education/curriculum, religious, mass communications, economic/business; government affairs.
* Optionally convene a second round of focus groups to assess the prospective effectiveness of programs formulated by the participants in this campaign.
* Optionally convene a follow-up conference to assess progress in achieving project objectives and suggest modification of strategies in the face of empirical information.
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