The 14th World Congress on Public Health will take place in Kolkata, India from 11–15 February 2015. As part of the Congress, the UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) is convening a session on the theme of Public Health in the Anthropocene: Responding to Ecological Determinants of Health.
Ultimately, humans depend on ecosystems for every aspect of life — air, water, food, fuel, protection from UV radiation, and a stable and livable climate. While public health has paid considerable attention to social determinants of health in recent years, much less attention has been paid to ecological determinants of health. However, there is growing concern in the public health community about the profound implications for population health, and for the well-being of communities and societies, from the major global ecological changes now underway. Those changes include not only climate change but resource depletion, pollution and ecotoxicity, and the loss of species and biodiversity. So great are human-caused changes to ecosystem function that geologists are proclaiming a new geological epoch — the Anthropocene.
Public health has an important role in identifying the health implications of global and regional ecological change; alerting their communities and governments at all levels to these health implications; assessing, monitoring and reporting on ecological changes and their health impacts; working with communities, governments and all appropriate non-profit and private sector partners to prevent further adverse ecological changes and to make the changes necessary to adapt to this new ecological reality.
This session will present evolving work in this new area of public health concern including The Lancet–Rockefeller Foundation Commission on Planetary Health, the H-Earth initiative and a major new report and policy paper on the ecological determinants of health from the Canadian Public Health Association.
Professor Trevor Hancock, University of Victoria, Canada
Dr. Suneetha Subramanian, UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability
Professor Colin Butler, University of Canberra, Australia
Dr. Pham Duc Phuc, Hanoi School of Public Health, Vietnam
Ms. Cristina Romanelli, United Nations Environment Programme, Canada
Professor Anthony Capon, Director, UNU-IIGH
For registration and further information see the 14th World Congress on Public Health website.