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GHF2014 – PL05 – Integrating Health, Wellbeing and Sustainability

Dr. Carlos Dora
Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization, Switzerland
H.E. Ambassador Michael Gerber 
Ambassador and Special Representative for Global Sustainable Development Post-2015, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Switzerland
Mrs. Pam Warhurst 
Founder and Chair, Incredible Edible Tordmorden, United Kingdom
Mrs. Meenakshi Raman
Third World Network, Malaysia
Mr. Rick Bell
Executive Director, American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, Center for Architecture, United States
Discuss how to better integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development and embed health into the post 2015 new development agenda.
The Millennium Declaration adopted by the heads of State at the Millennium Summit in 2000 has constituted the dominant development paradigm and organizing framework of the last decade. The Millenium Development Goals have substantially contributed to focus development co-operation efforts, strengthened the accountability requirement and mobilized support. With the Millennium Development Goals scheduled to come to an end in 2015, the international community is now taking stock of the substantial advances made as well as the unevenness and gaps in achievement. As we approach the 2015 deadline, unrelenting efforts are required to accelerate progress across all the goals but debates and global consultations about what will replace the MDGs have already taken place. In June  2012, on  the  occasion of the Rio+20 Conference on  Sustainable Development, another mandate  with  similar  aspirations  was  born:  the  Sustainable  Development  Goals  (SDGs). Whilst the MDGs primarily focused on social issues such as poverty, hunger, health and education in developing countries, SDGs will seek to strike a balance between all three dimensions of sustainable development, namely the economic, environmental and the social, and will be applicable for all countries.Health as a component of social progress is a key aspect of the debates, and is being framed as a precondition for, an outcome and a possible indicator of sustainable development.The position health might take into this new framework is still subject to various narrative exercises and a lot of uncertainty still remains of what will be the next development framework by 2015.Moving away from global statements and declarations, the session will convey a diverse panel of actors involved in development, urban planning and community mobilization to discuss the enabling environment needed at a global and local level to build healthier societies and preserve our environment.Some of the questions to be discussed include:

  • What kind of systemic global reforms would be required to secure an accommodating international environment for sustainable development in both developed and developing countries?
  • How can health serve as an indicator to measure sustainable development policies progress, achievement and impact?
  • How can local communities, people’s movements and citizens contribute in shaping healthier and more inclusive societies/cities?
  • How can urban design influence behavioral changes and promote healthy living?

Carlos Dora_squareDr. Carlos Dora

Carlos Dora, is a coordinator at the WHO HQ Public Health and Environment Department, leading work on health impacts of sector policies (energy, transport, housing and extractive industry), health impact assessment and co-benefits from green economy/climate change policies. He previously worked at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, at the World Bank, and with primary care systems in Brazil after practicing medicine. He serves in many science and policy committees, has an MSc and PhD from the LSHTM.  His publications cover health impact of sector and sustainable development policies, HIA and health risk communication.


Michael Gerber Jan. 2013H.E. Ambassador Michael Gerber

Perspective: Switzerland’s position on the new Sustainable Development Framework

Member of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Mr Gerber was the Head of the SDC Analysis and Policy Section before being appointed Special Representative for Global Sustainable Development Post-2015 by the Federal Council with the rank of ambassador. In this position, he has been given the task of formulating Switzerland’s position on a Framework for Sustainable Development Post-2015 . Ambassador Gerber is also representing Switzerland in the Open Working Group on SDGs (Switzerland shares with France and Germany).


PL05_Pam_WarhurstMrs. Pam Warhurst

Perspective: How to empower ordinary people to take control of their communities through active civic engagement.

Pam Warhurst is a British community leader, activist and environment worker best known for co-founding the community initiative, Incredible Edible, in Todmorden, West Yorkshire.

Pam studied Economics at the University of Manchester. She has previously served as a member of the Board of Natural England, where she was the lead non-executive board member working on the Countryside & Rights of Way Bill. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts & Manufacturing, and chairs Pennine Prospects, a regeneration company for the South Pennines, and Incredible Edible Todmorden, a local food partnership. Pam has also been Deputy Chair and Acting Chair of the Countryside Agency, leader of Calderdale Council, a board member of Yorkshire Forward, and chair of the National Countryside Access Forum and Calderdale NHS Trust. Pam was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire award (CBE) in 2005 for services to the environment.

PL05_Meenakshi_Raman_squareMrs. Meenakshi Raman

Perspective: How to tackle the growing environment crises factoring international equity in the equation?

Mrs Raman is Legal Advisor and Senior Researcher at Third World Network (TWN) and is based in Geneva. She is also a Member of the Board of Friends of the Earth International and Honorary Secretary to Friends of the Earth Malaysia (Sahabat Alam). As Legal Advisor to the Consumers’ Association of Penang in Malaysia, she currently heads its Community Mobilization Section, which works with farmers and fisher folk. She has served as Chair of Friends of the Earth International (2004-2008), an international organization with 77 member groups. At Third World Network, Meenakshi currently coordinates the Climate Change Programme and has actively been involved in the intergovernmental climate negotiations, from Bali to Cancun. She has been monitoring and reporting on the negotiations and providing analysis and support both to developing country governments as well as to civil society participants. Upon graduation in 1982, Meenakshi and a colleague set up the first public interest law firm in Malaysia, which launched her legal practice assisting consumers. In the past 25 years, she has represented the organizations she works with at numerous conferences and presented papers on issues ranging from environmental and consumer protection, to climate change, agriculture and fisheries, and globalization and trade.

PS25_Rick Bell_squareMr. Rick Bell

I became an architect because of the inspirational oratory of professors including Vincent Scully and the physical example of buildings seen while attempting, at the age of 19, to hitchhike from Paris to Dakar. As an architect I've had three careers, first in the private sector, then at a public agency, and, most recently, in the not-for-profit domain. As a private architect, I mostly designed schools and libraries in a NYC-based firm that also did hotel projects worldwide. In the public sector, I served as chief architect and assistant commissioner of New York City’s public works department, responsible for 700 projects annually. And for the last twelve years I’ve led the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and created its storefront Center for Architecture.

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