This Working Group (WG) of the Be-cause health (BCH) platform emerges from the lessons learnt from the “Climate Justice and Health Equity Conference” held in 2021, one of the first events in Belgium to call upon a diversity of stakeholders for sharing experiences and building knowledge on the topic. Due to the complexity and relevance of the climate crisis and environmental degradation impact on health at global and local levels, transdisciplinary networks are a fruitful mechanism for understanding and tackling the multiple effects of such web of phenomena.
The environmental-health nexus emerged quite recently in the global health field, in the policy landscape, in the media, and among civil society organisations and movements. Therefore, we acknowledge an urgent need for developing a common language, shared vision, and experimenting and scaling concrete solutions among academia, health actors, policy decision-makers, humanitarian and development NGOs, as well as individual engaged citizens without discrimination.
The ultimate goal of the WG is contributing to climate justice and health equity. In line with the Be-cause health principles of social protection and equitable access to good quality responsive health services for all, and strong, resilient and sustainable health systems, this WG aims to create a space for technical exchange and to facilitate joint initiatives.
In terms of ambitions, this WG wishes to be positioned as the central Belgian climate and health network, promoting meaningful participation of diverse range of actors from Low and Middle Income Countries and underrepresented and marginalised voices.
Topics / sub-topics
Due to the complexity of the links between climate crisis and health and the transdisciplinary nature of an emerging field of knowledge that makes boundaries between concepts quite blurred, it is not possible to define an exhaustive list of topics to be covered. Instead, we propose a cloud tag of main topics on the table of this WG. More details on topics and their interrelations and relevance for this WG will appear in the papers or guidelines that the WG will produce.
In addition to upholding human rights and professionalism, the WG highlights the following values that actively drive the work of the WG. This does not in any way seek to substitute the ethical chart or commitment of BCH. It rather recognises that respecting and implementing these requires concrete actions. The WG aims to promote Inclusion, Transparency, Decoloniality, Justice, Equity, and Gender.
Objectives and actions
Actions (Just few examples of actions to be translated in a feasible action plan each year, therefore not exhaustive nor exclusive list)
Build a network of collaborators (individuals, groups, institutions, etc.)
Mapping actors and initiatives and create a registry of collaborators
Contribute to knowledge building and evidence generation
Establishing research collaborations
Bridge the knowledge-to-do gap between academia and actors on the following fields:Translating research findings into policy actionsIdentifying scalable practices and interventionsPost-pandemic policies
Publishing policy/case documentation and other technical products
Create an online space for shared resources (articles, reports, links, etc.)
Open a repository/unified database on planetary health topics
Framing the environmental-health nexus beyond the biomedical approach and defining One Health and Planetary Health approaches as unifying narratives, from a system thinking perspective
Define in a technical document the vision and definition of Planetary Health to have common language and understanding Providing capacity building opportunities and trainings for younger researchers Organising thematic webinars / seminars
Provide learning opportunities on the following: Sustainable or restorative economic models (i.e. the donut model)Localised, bottom-up, and small-scale solutions (both successful and failed initiatives)Learning from field voices from unheard populations Learning from social movements, especially youth movements Learning about how to speak about the Climate CrisisLinks between climate justice and health equity
Positioning as an active actor in the planetary health space
Map out opportunities and participating in events/relevant activities
Follow and inform the global research agenda
Creating communication channels
Reinforcing skills and actions tackling climate crisis among Belgian NGOs and other actors for a comprehensive and coordinated response
Drafting guidelines and position papers
Follow and advocate at COP27
Conducting awareness activities
Communicating and advocacy by linking climate change / environment to health, we provide a ‘human face’ to the complexity of climate change, making it more understandable to people / communities, closer to their daily world, with a view to engage more people into action. I think this maybe
Utilising social media, write blogs
Become the platform of reference in Belgium on the environmental-health nexus
Common application gateway for conferences
Ensure regular activities of the WG
Ensure organization and facilitation of the WG meetings