[Lecture Report] HGPI-Supported The University Panel Symposium on Planetary Health for the G7 Hiroshima Summit “Planetary Health for a Sustainable Global Environment: Open Up the Future by Interdisciplinary Research.” (April 21, 2023)
Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) supported The University Panel Symposium on Planetary Health for the G7 Hiroshima Summit “Planetary Health for a Sustainable Global Environment: Open Up the Future by Interdisciplinary Research.” at Hiroshima University on Friday, April 21, 2023, and Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Chairman of HGPI, delivered the guest remarks via video message.
This symposium was held to further promote transdisciplinary studies based on the “Recommendations for the 2023 G7 Hiroshima Summit: Advance Measures for Planetary Health That is in Line with Global Progress” by the HGPI in November 2022, and the ” São Paulo Declaration on Planetary Health” presented in October 2021 at the Annual Planetary Health Meeting.
Experts from leading Japanese universities in the field of planetary health were invited. The symposium focused on sharing existing educational systems and practical research cases to enhance the resolution of solving global issues spanning from ecological to social environments, which are the focal areas planetary health should address. Additionally, discussions centered around the role universities should play in local communities to practice interdisciplinary research that integrates health science, science, and engineering fields.
Hiroshima Planetary Health Declaration 2023 “The Pursuit of Peace under the Great Transition: Education and Research for Planetary Health Science with Society” was compiled and issued at the end of the meeting.
Please click here for more information on the symposium and Hiroshima University activities.
The University Panel Symposium on Planetary Health for the G7 Hiroshima Summit
Please allow me to express my deepest gratitude for the invitation to today’s University Panel Symposium on Planetary Health for the G7 Hiroshima Summit, “Planetary Health for a Sustainable Global Environment: Open Up the Future By Interdisciplinary Research.” My name is Kiyoshi Kurokawa from Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI). My schedule in Tokyo means I am unable to join you in person today, so please allow me to share this video message.
Currently, there is clear recognition of climate change as the greatest global threat to human health. Air pollution—especially air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels, which drives climate change—causes over 7 million premature deaths annually. This means thirteen people are dying per minute. Every year, thousands of lives are being taken and millions of livelihoods are being destroyed by frequent and extreme weather events including heat waves, storms, and floods. These events also impact our healthcare facilities. They disrupt our food systems, which results in greater food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition. Climate change is also having severe effects on mental health by causing PTSD and anxiety disorders, or by aggravating existing health conditions. Based on the latest data, a recent publication from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) stated that “Climate change could be as deadly as cancer in parts of the world.”
I have been informed that the goal of this symposium is to build a foundation for education and research in the Asian region that will work toward achieving planetary health and include Hiroshima University, Nagasaki University, the University of Tokyo, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, and Hokkaido University. To this end, I look forward to open discussions involving all participants that will identify methods of enabling experts in the fields of health science, science, and engineering to come together to address the aforementioned issues and that will examine the systems needed for promoting collaboration in the international community while advancing interdisciplinary research based on Japan’s experiences.
I was honored to hear that recommendations compiled by HGPI in November 2022 titled “Recommendations for the 2023 G7 Hiroshima Summit: Advance Measures for Planetary Health That Is in Line with Global Progress” were used as a reference during the planning of this symposium. HGPI was established in 2004 based on our strong belief that a small but independent think-tank is necessary to reflect the voices of citizens in health policy. Through continuous efforts that are centered around multi-stakeholder activities and that aim to provide opportunities for each stakeholder to participate in broad discussions, I believe HGPI has had a considerable impact on society. I am deeply grateful that we have been given an opportunity to hold one such discussion today.
It is our responsibility to advance the concept of planetary health and preserve the environment needed to maintain health. Individuals, nations, and corporations must undertake joint efforts that will create a society that is sustainable on a global scale. While we are already working to address issues like climate change and environmental pollution, those efforts are still insufficient. We must recognize the severity of these issues and take bolder, more concrete actions. To ensure those actions have great impact and will leave behind a better future for the generations to come, it will be vital that we are sincere in our efforts.
Finally, I look forward to having all participants today share their expertise and opinions regarding future resolutions to health issues in Japan and around the world to contribute to achieving planetary health.
Chairman, Health and Global Policy Institute
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