Thursday, April 3, 2008

A greenprint for healthy living

After several months of convening conversations involving some of the nation’s leading public health and climate change experts, APHA unveiled its first-ever blueprint for combating the health impacts of climate change this past weekend.

The blueprint was rolled out during the course of two press events, which were covered by more than 70 reporters! Featured at the events were Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of APHA, Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Edward Maibach, professor and director of the Center of Excellence in Climate Change Communication Research at George Mason University, and Dr. Jonathan Patz, a widely recognized expert on the health effects of global environmental change and a lead author of reports from the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The blueprint’s top recommendations for the public health community call for:

  • Education and outreach, working to ensure that public health concerns are included in policies and programs related to climate change;
  • Research, such as vulnerability assessments for specific communities and federally funded analyses of how the health impacts vary by region and population;
  • Advocacy, including helping decision-makers understand the climate-health connection and strengthening the capacity of the public health work force to prepare and respond;
  • Support of best practices that build on existing public health programs that can help address climate change and that promote the development of healthy communities; and
  • Healthy behaviors such as helping the public health system go green, and walking or biking instead of driving a car, as well as reducing, reusing and recycling.

Recommendations for the public are outlined as part of a Healthy Climate Pledge that individuals around the country will commit to during National Public Health Week and beyond. The public is asked to:

  • Be prepared
  • Travel differently
  • Eat differently
  • Green their workplaces
  • Green their homes

Get involved today by downloading the recommendations for the public health community and signing on to the Healthy Climate Pledge.

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