In the Sahel of West Africa, the world's most rapid population growth is colliding with the devastating effects of climate change and land degradation.

In the next 30 years, the unfolding crisis in this region could bring more human pain and suffering than HIV AIDS has in the past 30 years. The OASIS Initiative (Organizing to Advance Solutions in the Sahel) aims to help build the local leadership and evidence-base necessary to face the most serious development challenges in the Sahel. OASIS is a project of the University of California, Berkeley. 

World Resources Institute hosted a presentation and discussion highlighting the underlying factors of the crisis and make specific recommendations for slowing population growth through girls’ education and voluntary family planning.


The online webinar version of the presentation and discussion begins around 4:15 in the video below.

Download Presentation Slides: Population Growth and Climate Change in the Sahel: An Emerging Humanitarian Disaster from World Resources Institute (WRI)


Malcolm Potts, MB, BChir, PhD, FRCOG
Malcolm Potts is a Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. He was the first holder of the Fred H. Bixby endowed chair in Population and Family Planning and founded the Bixby Center for Population, Health & Sustainability with a team of young experts. He is Co-Director of the Berkeley International Group (BIG) with Dr. Julia Walsh. While he was the first Medical Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation for a decade, he introduced family planning methods into scores of developing countries. As CEO of Family Health International (FHI), he launched the first large scale studies of maternal mortality, which helped start the worldwide Safe Motherhood Initiative. He has published ten books and over 200 scientific papers. His most recent book is Sex and War: How Biology Explains War and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World.

Alisha Graves, MPH
Alisha Graves leads strategy, development and advocacy efforts for The OASIS Initiative. She completed her MPH in International Maternal and Child Health at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health in 2006. She worked for six years as Senior Program Manager for a non-profit organization to improve access to misoprostol – a generic, essential medicine. In this role, she worked on policy initiatives, drug registration, and operations research across seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.