The University of Edinburgh, the Planetary Health Alliance, the American Geophysical Union, the Wellcome Trust, and The Lancet Planetary Health are organizing the second Planetary Health Annual Meeting between the 29-31st May in Edinburgh, with a number of Living Lab workshops on June 1st. The meeting is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation through a grant to the Planetary Health Alliance.
The programme will focus on the major threats to planetary health in the next 15 years, and the ways in which our collective knowledge, the resources and resilience we have in our cultures, our faith and beliefs, our traditions, communities, the arts, and the political will for change can bring essential change. We will look in in particular at:
- Who are the most vulnerable and through which pathways do they become most vulnerable?
- What do we need to do now to adapt to imminent, unavoidable major threats, and what are the interventions that could help avert/ dilute future threats?
- What are the current and anticipated barriers to implementing these interventions and how can these barriers be overcome?
We will have an opening public event on the Tuesday morning, a reception at Dynamic Earth on the Tuesday evening and a ceilidh on the Wednesday evening at the National Museum of Scotland. The Children’s Parliament are involved.
The background to the conference:
In 2015 The Lancet published the Commission on Planetary Health examining the complex and interconnected threats to the health of humans and the health of the environment. The Commission concluded that our ecological footprint is irreparably altering our climate, destroying land, forests, rivers, oceans, and the ecosystems they maintain. Without visionary ideas and a commitment to a new set of values our planet cannot continue in its current state and the health gains made throughout this last century will be lost through ocean rising, famines, floodings, pollution and destruction of core life-sustaining components – air, food, water, soil, greenspace.
The conference vision:
In Edinburgh, the city of the first enlightenment, we will bring together practitioners, educators, scientists across all disciplines, artists, philosophers, moralists, industrialists, faith leaders and the media to explore what is needed for a paradigm shift, a 2nd enlightenment that advocates for a shared world. This conference is part of a much greater movement, uniting together many partners across the globe to commit to action. Its aims are:
a. To advance the science of planetary health from the global to the local scales, including improved understandings of both threats to human and ecosystem health and evidence-based strategies to prevent and reduce these threats.
b. To achieve broad representation of planetary health researchers and practitioners from both the global North and the global South.
c. To reinforce the foundational values of planetary health including respect for the value of both human and non-human life; the human rights of all people; and distributive and intergenerational justice.
d. To model environmental responsibility in the way the meeting is conducted (e.g. satellite events in regions; livestreaming; carbon offsets for air travel; sustainably sourced food; green materials; reduced use of paper).
Alongside the main Edinburgh event we are supporting a number of regional events across the globe (led by businesses, faith communities, schools and colleges etc.) to present the lived experience of the global threats and the novel creative solutions already in place. These regional satellite sessions will serve as the foundation for the evolution of regional planetary health hubs, constituting an effort to institutionalize effective collaboration between various actors and organizations within each region to address the area’s most pressing planetary health issues.