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11 Looking to the Future
Pages 75-80

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From page 75...
...  There is desire among many participants for more information, data, and evidence-based approaches to link public health and ecosystem health.  There may be a need to better engage the public health community, though taking a nature based approach to public health competes with other public health priorities.
From page 76...
... Addressing why this initiative is so important for combining public health and the natural environment, Fenichel said that the current national economics statistics system was not designed to track the strong connections among health, the environment, the economy, and well-being and hence does not do it well. One goal of this new initiative is to provide complementary metrics to current measures such as the gross domestic product (GDP)
From page 77...
... "I would argue that we are a field forged in urgency and that we carry a critical message that we can no longer effectively safeguard human health and well-being in a world where our natural life support systems are actually crumbling under the weight of our collective ecological footprint." Myers observed that the workshop discussions fundamentally recognized that the current Earth crisis has reached a scale where it now represents a global health, humanitarian, and social justice crisis. While he agreed with the inclination toward transdisciplinary research and considering the policy implications of that research from the beginning of a project, Myers said shifts in how the field conducts research are necessary but not sufficient to make change at the right scale and pace.
From page 78...
... "We have the policy makers, advisors to government, a funding situation, and this enormous amount of activity coming up from universities -- new degree programs, new institutes -- all around these central themes," said Myers. "There is an opportunity to bring all of that community together and move this whole agenda forward at the societal level, which is really what I think we need to do." Myers noted that as clinicians and public health practitioners convey the critical nature of this problem, they bring moral authority to address the climate crisis in a way that has not happened yet.
From page 79...
... From his perspective as a physician, Myers said that the size of humanity's collective ecological footprint is disrupting all natural systems on the planet at the fastest pace in the history of the human species and at a scale that exceeds Earth's capacity to absorb humanity's way of life and sustainably provide the resources humans need. The changes triggered by human activity are interacting with one another in complex and varied ways that affect the fundamental conditions for human health and well-being.
From page 80...
... The final session ended with a discussion among the conversationalists, the moderator, and several workshop participants about integrating human health and ecosystem health. Discussants noted the importance of building an integrated community of practice that includes a coalition of actors with a wide range of viewpoints, knowledge, and interests that can break down silos.


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