EuroHealthNet participated in the 8th European Public Health Conference in Milan where Caroline Costongs, EuroHealthNet’s Managing Director, moderated a plenary session entitled “Healthy People, Healthy Planet”.
Sustainable development and public health share many common goals, explored in this plenary session aimed at the following questions:
- What can the health community in Europe and around the world do?
- How can we help implement the Sustainable Development Goals? How can we help mitigate the impacts of climate change?
- What synergies can the public health and sustainable development communities create?
- How can we ensure equitable economic growth, while reducing our unsustainable consumption patterns which are damaging our health and our environment?
- What research and policies are needed to support these goals?
Professor Ilona Kickbusch raised health in the post-2015 framework and addressed the three dimensions of sustainable development: social, environmental and economic, with a focus on how health and environmental concerns are intertwined and can only be tackled in collaboration.
Professor George Morris examined how ecosystem thinking and the concept of ecosystem services can be exploited in a practical and policy-relevant way to frame issues, identify connections and shape better policies for health and wellbeing, now and in the future.
Professor Tim Lang explored some of the difficulties facing food, nutrition and sustainability and how dietary patterns have both created self-inflicted health harm, and over-used material and eco-systems resources.
Annemiek van Bolhuis – Director of Public Health and Health Services at RIVM - discussed the implementation aspects of the topics presented by the speakers. She provided pragmatic reflections on how health ministries and public health institutes can work inter-sectorally to promote health and well-being as part of the sustainable development and environmental agendas.
The EPH Conference features researchers, policy makers, and practitioners in the field of public health and health services research as well as public health training and education in Europe. It was held in conjunction with the National Congress of the Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health (SItI), creating the largest public health event in Europe.