為了實現這根本性轉變，我認同Margot W. Parkes及其同事在《加拿⼤公共衛⽣雜誌》中所提到的建議。當中評論提到跨部⾨的合作是必不可少的，⽽有關環境和健康以外的私營和公共部⾨都需要同⼼協⼒，⼀起連結追求社會平等、環境⽣態品質和公共衛⽣的普世價值，然後將其轉化為到我們的系統當中。但願通過這種綜合⽅法，我們可以邁向可持續發展、 平等和健康的未來。
英屬哥倫比亞⼤學⼟地與糧食系統學院本科⽣ Rachel Chan
It is evident that two crises – environmental and public health – are happening right now. On the environment, we can experience climate change first-hand – Hong Kong saw the hottest March on record. However, the environmental crisis is much more than that. Our planet’s health is being jeopardised by human activity to the point that we see large-scale deforestation, biodiversity loss and ocean acidification.
On public health, one of the most pressing concerns right now is undoubtedly Covid-19. Yet, we must not lose sight of the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
It might appear that the environmental and public health crises are separate. However, they are closely linked. Global ecological changes can impact our health indirectly – for example, through "nature deficit disorder” – and directly, such as through heatwaves. Our worsening health, mostly attributable to non-communicable diseases, can also make us more predisposed to health threats imposed by global ecological changes.
Is there a way to address these crises simultaneously? The environmental and public health crises fundamentally have the same cause: the never-ending pursuit of economic growth, leading to increased exploitation of our ecosystems and increasingly unjust and inequitable societies.
Apart from social determinants of health – when one is socially disadvantaged because of inequities, one is more predisposed to worse health – ecological determinants are important. In a discussion paper in 2015, the Canadian Public Health Association noted that addressing global challenges requires understanding that the well-being of humans and our ecosystems are interconnected.
With this understanding comes the awareness of using eco-social approaches to achieve better health and well-being for all. Ultimately, a fundamental shift in societal values is needed; we have to appreciate that human health depends on the Earth’s health. If we nurture the Earth’s systems, we also nurture our health.
To achieve this fundamental shift, I echo the suggestions of Margot W. Parkes and colleagues in a commentary in the Canadian Journal of Public Health that a multi-sectoral approach is indispensable. Private and public sectors beyond health and environment need to collaborate and connect the values of equity, ecosystems and public health, then translate that into our systems. With such integrative approaches, we can be hopeful about a transition to a sustainable, just and healthy future.
Rachel Chan, undergraduate student, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia