Sustainable Development

The Health and Sustainable Development Action Group

The Health and Sustainable Development Action Group is a group of collaborative and strategic partnerships which was formed as a direct result of the National Symposium on Health & Sustainable Development held in Edinburgh in March 2007 and has been very active in taking forward the recommendations of the Symposium and laid out in the UKPHA publication, Climates & Change.

Two of the ‘Immediate Actions’ identified as priorities at the Symposium are being energetically pursued. The Regions Task Group led by Dr Gabriel Scally, Regional Director of Public Health has been at the forefront of developing intra- and inter-Regional partnerships focused upon practical initiatives which will reduce the impact of climate change and unsustainable development on human health.

The Regions Task Group and the Health & Sustainable Development Action Group have been key to the national work which has led to the launch of a major initiative on climate change and public health workforce development the Climate Connection. The Climate Connection will be rolled out across the Regions developing as it goes a team of Regional Champions as well as an interactive and flexible learning and knowledge development system. (See below)

The Health & Sustainable Development Action Group also ran a major workshop at the 17th Annual Public Health Forum in Brighton encouraging delegates to become involved in the development of healthy sustainable communities where the focus is upon people - their contentment, wellbeing, resilience, and fulfilment.

The Climate Connection

December 2008 saw the launch of a new partnership for public health action and learning on climate change. The aim of “The Climate Connection” is to motivate and equip the public health community to respond effectively to the urgent challenges of climate change - both in reducing emissions and in preparing for unavoidable change.

The initiative has its roots in the National Symposium on Health and Sustainable Development, organised by UKPHA in 2007, which identified the need for “regionally led health and sustainable development initiatives based on collaborative regional partnerships, which will deliver planning, transport, food production and employment decisions which will actively promote healthy sustainable communities”.

The December launch received support from across the public health spectrum, including from the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, and the Director General for Health Improvement, Professor David Harper. Public health leaders and educators came together with professionals from housing, transport, town planning and other sectors - to map out a joint response to the climate crisis, and to make a commitment to strengthening and expanding Public Health regional activities, knowledge and learning.

Since then, The Climate Connection has been working with the North West and South West regions including local companies such as Carbis Bay who offer eco friendly holidays, to support their many good initiatives already linking climate change with public health, link them together in a coherent strategy, and build on the momentum of the national launch. A particular focus is on connecting climate change to mainstream public health programmes, such as obesity and fuel poverty. is a resource for the public health community, enabling sharing of knowledge, experience and ideas on climate change and health. The site is designed to encourage inter-professional collaboration, active learning and a growing understanding of the interactions between climate change, carbon emissions and the determinants of health.

Individuals and organisations are encouraged to establish a presence on the site, to upload relevant events and resources and share their experience and thinking on action for climate change in public health.

Please help us to expand the climate connection online community by informing your networks and linking to from your website.