On April 2nd, our student network joined six young health advocates for an interactive discussion on the intersectionality of climate justice and health equity.
In this seminar, we cooperated with region specific breakout rooms, which helped students gain a better insight into the challenges and opportunities in their communities. We were very fortunate to have 6 speakers from Asia, Eastern Africa and North America to share their experience on climate justice advocacy and planetary health promotion. They are Beverley Choo, the Co-founder of GreenCheck, Laetania Belai Djandam, COP25 Indonesian Pavilion Panelist, Lamek Nyabuga, a Kenyan adolescent and youth development specialist, Melvine Otieno, the founder of Planetary Health Eastern Africa Hub, Hunster Yang, the Director of Operations at Institute for Youth Health and Development, and Anushka Bhaskar, the founder of Avritah.
To start off, we invited Timothy Kintu, Coordinator of Mbarara University of Science and Technology SDG Hub, to give an overview of the importance of health equity conversation during a climate crisis. He highlighted the devastating impacts of the education gap and wealth disparity on health equity. To see Timothy’s full presentation, click here.
For the North American breakout room, Anushka and Hunster focused on health equity and environmental justice, with a specific lens on indigenous communities and other marginalized groups who face additional burdens of health. They integrated impact assessment for pipelines in northern British Columbia, Canada and Cancer Alley in Louisiana, the United States as case studies, illustrating the intersectionality of environment and health equity.
In the Eastern Africa breakout room Lamek and Melvine shared the regional environmental health challenges and opportunities. Eastern Africa is endemic with some outbreaks of zoonotic diseases, which seriously threatened their public health and economies. The application of “one health” concept is an important tool in responding to current and future health challenges locally and globally.
For the Asia breakout room, Belai and Beverley shared the importance and implementation of “planetary health” concept, with a particular focus on the community-based action and decolonisation of health. In the Q&A session, students actively engaged in discussion on the application and effectiveness of community-based action and radical listening in different Asian countries.
Through an interactive seminar with regional young professionals, we encouraged students to have in-depth discussions with their hubs and find out the most suitable solution to health inequity while facing the largest environmental threat of our generation. If you weren't able to attend or would like to watch again, you may find breakout room recordings in this Google folder!
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network was established in 2012 as part of former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Columbia Professor Jeffery Sachs' mission to generate practical solutions for sustainable development and facilitate research, policy action, and global cooperation towards achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. SDSN Youth was created in 2015 to mobilize youth education, engagement, and action for sustainable development. Operating at a truly global level, the SDSN Youth network comprises over 1,200 institutions worldwide and operates through a highly-professional, volunteer based team.
The SDG Students Program is a flagship program of SDSN Youth that aims to engage students in higher education in the global effort to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, as well as empower them with the knowledge, skills, and pathways to action to be effective agents of change today. Over seventy universities around the world function as hubs of education, engagement, and action to support today’s youth as sustainability-minded leaders in all academic pursuits and professional sectors.
For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact: Hermia Chan, Project Officer, SDG Students Program Isabelle Seckler, Deputy Project Lead, SDG Students Program
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