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Connecting and Developing Synergy Between Health and Sustainable Development Agendas. www.healthyuniversities.ac.uk. Public Health: ‘ the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organised efforts of society.’ (Acheson, 1988)

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connecting and developing synergy between health and sustainable development agendas

Connecting and Developing Synergy Between Health and Sustainable Development Agendas

www.healthyuniversities.ac.uk

health and sustainable development key concepts

Public Health: ‘the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organised efforts of society.’ (Acheson, 1988)

  • Health Promotion: ‘the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health.’ (WHO, 1986)
  • Sustainable Development: ‘development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987)
  • ‘Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development, they are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature’
  • Rio Declaration Principle 1 (United Nations, 1992)

Health and Sustainable Development: Key Concepts

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uk sustainable development strategy five principles

UK Sustainable Development Strategy: Five Principles

Source: H.M Government, 2005

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healthy and sustainable communities

Healthy and Sustainable Communities

Source: Adapted from Hancock, 1996

www.healthyuniversities.ac.uk

health and sustainable development in higher education connections

Higher education is a large and influential sector with potential to develop an integrated approach and make a substantial contribution to the promotion of sustainable development and public health – which are closely interlinked in a number of ways (Orme and Dooris, 2010):

  • Sustainable development embraces environmental, social and economic dimensions and aspires to health-enhancing communities, societies and environments important to ensure that action for sustainable development within higher education engages with and addresses health and wellbeing
  • Health is determined by a range of environmental, social and economic influences – and the health of people, places and the planet are interdependent  important to acknowledge that the environmental ‘triple threat’ from environmental degradation, climate change and peak oil/resource depletion is closely linked to and contributes to growing socio-economic inequalities, poor health status and increasing inequities in health
  • Causes and manifestations of unsustainable development and poor health are interrelated and pose interconnected challenges  important to appreciate and develop synergy between climate change and obesity agendas

Health and Sustainable Development in Higher Education: Connections

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healthy and sustainable universities examples of integrative work

Transport: sustainable transport policies are increasingly being developed and championed across higher education sector, contributing to action on climate change by reducing carbon emissions and helping tackle obesity and other chronic diseases by promoting physical activity.

  • Food: ‘whole university’ healthy and sustainable food frameworks can also impact positively on health and carbon reduction, helping to address interconnected procurement, catering, retail, education, research and advocacy roles in an integrated way.
  • Curriculum: universities can also embed health and sustainable development into their core business through means of curriculum development linked to research and knowledge exchange – with an emphasis on inter-disciplinary transformative learning.

Healthy and Sustainable Universities: Examples of Integrative Work

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in conclusion

“Public health, sustainability and climate change agendas are so inextricably linked that they need to be considered as one broad overarching system… Higher education is a large, distinctive and hugely influential sector that has both the potential and the responsibility to lead for change regionally, nationally and globally, thereby catalysing integrated policy and practice responses.”

  • This leadership will involve a number of mechanisms:
  • Evidence-informed communication and advocacy for ‘joined-up’ understanding and integrated approach that clearly connects public health and sustainable development.
  • Corporate social responsibility – using leverage and ‘corporate muscle’ at institutional and sectoral levels, contributing to public health and sustainable development and demonstrating inter-connectedness.
  • Development of values, knowledge and understanding among students and staff, shaping the views of future citizens, leaders and policy makers – impacting on longer term public health and sustainability in families, communities, workplaces and society as a whole.
  • Orme and Dooris, 2010

In Conclusion...

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