UWE conference focuses on health and sustainability

Issue date: 07 April 2009


UWE Institute for Sustainability, Health and Environment Inaugural Conference: UWE Institute for Sustainability, Health and Environment
Tuesday 21 April, 2009
Glendinning Lecture Theatre,
UWE Frenchay Campus

A unique synergy of expertise in sustainability and health comes together in the first ever conference of the Institute for Sustainability Health and Environment (ISHE) at the University of the West of England on 21 April 2009.

The conference, the first in a series, will bring together an invited audience of practitioners and policy makers in public health, local authorities, environment, planning, business and other organisations.

Sara Parkin, Founder Director and Trustee of Forum for the Future, the leading UK sustainable development charity, is one of the key speakers at the conference. She says, “By 2035 the environment and people may be in the throes of a messy divorce. The symptoms of unsustainability are florid and on track for the worst-case scenario. Shortage of water, food shortages, social disruption will be endemic. This new Institute is a welcome initiative in bringing together strands of expertise to focus on solutions and be a catalyst for change.”

Judy Orme, Co-director of ISHE says, “ISHE aims to address some of the most difficult issues facing society at the moment – the way we live is creating many problems for our health and the environment. Through a team that includes experts in health, environment and sustainability we aim to build coalitions between partners, so we can influence policy makers and organisations.

“Alongside the academic research a key area of ISHE expertise will be in the area of how best to implement changes in organisations and lifestyles to make them more sustainable. Through our experience in change management, we aim to bridge the gap between academic research and applying that knowledge to create the changes that are needed.

“Frequently individuals and organisations don't have the skills and knowledge to make their organisations and communities more sustainable even though they may be committed to this. Technological and scientific solutions are not a magic bullet on their own – changing lifestyles is key. Within ISHE we offer expert knowledge as well as the skills and understanding of what is needed for change to take place.”

UWE's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steve West will launch the conference. He says, “The University is committed to sustainability both through our academic programmes, our research and the way UWE conducts itself on a day to day basis. Through ISHE we aim to bridge the gap between health and environment issues and to bring these two areas into closer engagement.”

The wide range of experts speakers at the conference include:

Professor Agis Tsouros (Head of the Centre for Urban Health, WHO)
Professor Gabriel Scally (NHS South West, Regional Director, PH)
Sara Parkin (Founder Director, Forum for the Future)
Steve Killeen (Head of Science, Environment Agency)
Sir Muir Gray (Lead for 'The Climate Connection' a national public health partnership)
Professor Noel Nelson (Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution)
Simon Roberts (Chief Executive, Centre for Sustainable Energy)
Professor James Longhurst (UWE)
Judy Orme (UWE)

ENDS

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