Presentation:   Life on earth: connections, co-dependencies and consequences!  The case for and journey towards mainstreaming environmental sustainability within environmental health practice.


Speaker:          Gary J. McFarlane


There is no greater threat to human health and wellbeing than the current environmental crisis the world faces. It has the potential to supersede and overtake all previous public health threats. Yet environmental health practice remains steadfastly focused on what have become specific technical silos. We seem to have lost the ability to be able to see the whole wood and are focused on the individual trees! We urgently need to reconnect our priorities and practice with the the founding principles of this profession - that human beings depend upon natural systems for their wellbeing and survival. There are I believe real opportunities, and without doubt an imperative, to do so.



Climate change and its potential impacts on humanity is arguably the single most important environmental health challenge that faces the world today. There is an urgent and pressing need for the global environmental health community to respond positively and effectively to the challenge and play its part in mitigating the potentially disastrous consequences.


This thought provoking audio visual presentation will present not only the case as to why this issue needs to be the top environmental health priority, but also explore how it can compliment both existing environmental health issues and political imperatives. It will explore the linkages between environment and health and in particular key public health issues such as health inequalities and obesity; It will consider the relationship between securing environmental sustainability and economics; and it will look at existing excellence in practice within the UK and how EHPs are incorporating this pressing agenda into mainstream practice.


Learning Objectives:


1.       Why environmental sustainability should be the environmental health profession's priority

2.       The settings within which all environmental health practitioners (EHPs) have opportunity to contribute.

3.       Practical suggestions and examples of how this priority is currently being incorporated into existing environmental health functions.