Archive for September, 2022

FPH just hosted a conference – “Climate and health: what can we do?” – on 22 September 2022, which Kevin Fenton, the FPH President opened, outlining some of the key issues on climate and health interfaces and acknowledging the importance of climate and health as a public health priority on which we must all take action now.

The conference itself was mainly the brainchild of Cat Pinho-Gomes, one of the specialist registrars who have supported the development and implementation of the Climate and Health Strategy, but it is also thanks to the FPH staff team for all their work to deliver the conference, and of course to the speakers on the day.

This event was part of the Climate and Health Strategy. It commits FPH to developing events “to continuously develop a membership with strong expertise in effective public health action in tackling the climate emergency”. It is one of sixteen initiatives the C&H Strategy has committed to in its first year and most of them are complete or well on their way.

The conference invited presentations from climate and health leaders and advocates from across the globe and the UK, and we heard everything from decolonising climate action and learning from indigenous cultures and the environment in New Zealand (Aotearoa), to devastating oil industry impacts in Niger Delta communities, to nature based solutions in Asian cities, to mental health impacts of climate change, to the ‘Incredible edible’ approach, to responses to climate in Argentina and to what one attendee described as “a master class in climate communication” from an emergency department physician from Canada. They were wonderful, powerful, moving presentations, from which we all learned a lot – the talks were inspirational.

We also heard fabulous case studies from abstracts submitted to the conference, many of them on local work by specialist registrars –clearly our public health leaders of the future. We hope that these speakers at the conference will submit their work as case studies, so that other members of the FPH can benefit from work already done and be able to connect and learn from it.

Even though this was a conference held remotely, the energy generated amongst the 500+ registrants was palpable and the ‘chat’ was full of exciting thoughts, sharing ideas, gems of information and links. I was blown away.

The conference also heralded the re-launch of FPH’s resources on climate and health, put together by the Sustainable Development Special Interest Group (SIG) and covering a range of key science and related reports and topics to help members bring climate issues into their day to day portfolios. Whether that includes working on air quality, food, inequalities, active travel, physical activity, housing, infectious diseases, the environment, green spaces, young people or most other public health topics, there are health impacts and aspects pertaining to climate and health. The “co-benefits” are the health gains achieved from taking climate action. These case studies will also form part of the FPH resources.

The C&H Strategy priorities will be reviewed over the next couple of months so please contribute to that rethink.

What a day. The conference was recorded so, if you were not able to attend you can still take the opportunity to share in the knowledge and awareness raising.

Sue Atkinson

September 2022

Read Full Post »