Participating in four-day international conferences and events in Beijing on “Planetary Health” and health research in China

Four members of CCOUC were invited to a series of international conferences and events in Beijing of China from 28 to 31 October organized by The Lancet, Tsinghua University, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) Representative Office in China and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS).

On 28 October, the CCOUC delegation attended the international conference entitled “Protecting planetary health: the ultimate goal for human actions in response to global change” jointly organised by The Lancet and Tsinghua University, where the reports of The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health and the Lancet Commission on Climate Change and Health were presented in Tsinghua University, followed by panel and audience discussion. The former report reviews the recently established scientific basis for linking human health to the underlying integrity of Earth’s natural systems, and outlines actions that could safeguard both the health of future generations and the natural systems that sustain them, in the face of pervasive and ongoing planetary environmental change; the latter one reaffirms that climate change poses the biggest global health threat of the 21st century and adds that tackling climate change could be the greatest opportunity of this century.  

The international China Burden of Disease Study Workshop attended by the CCOUC team in the morning of 29 October was organised by China CDC to interpret the results of the research on provincial burden of disease study in China from 1990 to 2013 and transform the results into effective evidence-based policies. It was joined by local scholars and China provincial and national CDC representatives as well as international speakers and panel discussants from The Lancet, WHO Representative in China, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) representative in Beijing, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation China Program.   

In the afternoon, the CCOUC delegation attended the special session on “Planetary Health” jointly organised by The Lancet and WHO Representative in China, where key stakeholders in the medical academic circle in Beijing were invited. The concept of “Planetary Health” extends the definition of health beyond individuals and populations to include the health and sustainability of human civilization and its supporting natural and man-made systems, with the premise that human’s current patterns of overconsumption are degrading the natural systems, leading to climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, and water scarcity, while these systems are essential to the wellbeing and existence of the human species. In order to protect and promote the wellbeing of every person on the planet, actions must be taken to “conserve, sustain, and make resilient” these environments.

CCOUC team also joined The Lancet-CAMS Health Summit held in the city from 30 to 31 October. This is the first of an annual series of research summits in medical science to showcase the very best medical and public health research in China.