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Connecting and Developing Synergy Between Health and Sustainable Development Agendas

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Presentation on theme: "Connecting and Developing Synergy Between Health and Sustainable Development Agendas"— Presentation transcript:

1 Connecting and Developing Synergy Between Health and Sustainable Development Agendas

2 Health and Sustainable Development: Key Concepts  Public Health: ‘the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organised efforts of society.’ (Acheson, 1988)  Health Promotion: ‘the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health.’ (WHO, 1986)  Sustainable Development (SD): ‘development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) ‘Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development, they are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature’ Rio Declaration Principle 1 (United Nations, 1992)

3 UK Sustainable Development Strategy: Five Principles Source : / “The coalition Government is committed to sustainable development… This refreshed vision and our commitments build on the principles that underpinned the UK’s 2005 Sustainable Development strategy, by recognising the needs of the economy, society and the natural environment, alongside the use of good governance and sound science. “Sustainable development recognises that the three ‘pillars’ of the economy, society and the environment are interconnected…Our long term economic growth relies on protecting and enhancing the environmental resources that underpin it, and paying due regard to social needs. As part of our commitment to enhance wellbeing, we will start measuring our progress as a country, not just by how our economy is growing, but by how our lives are improving; not just by our standard of living, but by our quality of life."

4 UK Sustainable Development Strategy: Five Principles Source: H.M Government, 2005

5 Healthy and Sustainable Communities Source: Adapted from Hancock, 1996

6 Health and Sustainable Development in Higher Education: Connections  SD embraces environmental/social/ economic dimensions and aspires to health-enhancing communities, societies and environments Higher education can make substantial contribution to promotion of SD and public health – which are closely interlinked (Orme and Dooris, 2010):  Ensure action for SD within higher education engages with and addresses health and wellbeing  Health determined by environmental, social and economic influences – and the health of people, places and the planet are interdependent  Causes and manifestations of unsustainable development and poor health interrelated – and pose interconnected challenges  Acknowledge that environmental ‘triple threat’ (climate change, peak oil/resource depletion, environmental degradation) contributes to socio- economic inequalities, poor health and increasing inequities in health  Appreciate and develop synergy between climate change and obesity agendas

7 Healthy and Sustainable Universities: Examples of Integrative Work  Transport: sustainable transport policies are increasingly being developed and championed across higher education sector, contributing to action on climate change by reducing carbon emissions and helping tackle obesity and other chronic diseases by promoting physical activity.  Food: ‘whole university’ healthy and sustainable food frameworks can also impact positively on health and carbon reduction, helping to address interconnected procurement, catering, retail, education, research and advocacy roles in an integrated way.  Curriculum: universities can also embed health and sustainable development into their core business through means of curriculum development linked to research and knowledge exchange – with an emphasis on inter-disciplinary transformative learning.

8 In Conclusion...  Public health, sustainability and climate change are so inextricably linked that they need to be considered as one overarching system.  Higher education is large, distinctive and influential sector with potential and responsibility to lead for change regionally, nationally and globally.  This leadership will involve a number of mechanisms:  Evidence-informed communication and advocacy for ‘joined-up’ understanding and integrated approach.  Corporate social responsibility – using leverage and ‘corporate muscle’ at institutional and sectoral levels.  Development of values, knowledge and understanding of students and staff, shaping views of future citizens, leaders and policy makers. Orme and Dooris, 2010

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