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The webinar series will show how pollution is one of the greatest threats to human and wildlife health

Learn about how to protect health, wellbeing and the planet through free new online series

Health experts hope a new online webinar series will inspire people to make changes to protect the planet and human health.

The free Waking up to the planetary health emergency events, from the University of Exeter, will allow people to learn why the health and wellbeing of all future generations depend on good planetary health.

People who take part in the events, held on six consecutive Thursdays during November and December, can engage with experts to learn about diet, food production and the link between the climate emergency and mental health.

The webinar series will show how pollution is one of the greatest threats to human and wildlife health, and how chemicals disrupt hormone systems and effect wildlife populations.

People can discover how Zebrafish may offer a new model for the protection of human health, the role of the humanities in changing human ways of thinking and acting and the impact of global climate change on peoples' mental health and well-being.

The series will help people learn how to recognise when inequality, poverty and trauma is caused by environmental changes, along with the importance of promoting resilient communities

Participants can learn how to mitigate psychological trauma through “psycho-social first aid”. The series will also cover the environmental impact of food production, and the impact of different diets and practical ways to eat sustainably.

The series will be delivered by experts including Professor Charles Tyler, from the University of Exeter, Professor Amanda Power, from the University of Oxford, Annie Mitchell, a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist and Rosemary Martin, dietician from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Those who run it hope it will inspire action for change at every level in the organisations with which we work and interact.

Although aimed at the health and care sector, it is very much open to all and interested members patients, carers and members of the public will be most welcome. No specialist knowledge is required.

Dr Tim Malone, from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, who is organising the webinars, said: “Humanity is facing a planetary health emergency. COVID-19 may have caught the world’s attention, but is merely one new symptom of a much greater health emergency. We have to act urgently and decisively to prevent the current emergency from becoming a catastrophe for both human civilisation and for many other living species on our planet.

“Each of us tends to see the emergency as someone else’s problem – perhaps because it’s too large, too frightening and too difficult a problem for any individual or group to own. Some see it as an ecological crisis, or a biodiversity crisis, or an atmospheric crisis, or a climate crisis, or a pollution crisis, or an economic crisis, or an inequality crisis, or a sustainability crisis, or an energy crisis, or a consumer crisis, or a political crisis. It is all these things and many more. The sheer scale and interconnectedness of the many facets of the crisis are daunting and overwhelming – and cannot be defeated by tackling just one aspect.

“It is obvious to everyone that we have to work together globally to have any chance of making an impact and yet, for some bizarre reason, this is the one thing our species, our civilisation, our global political community seems unable to do.”

The webinar is run as a partnership involving the University of Exeter Medical School and the University’s Global System Institute. The series will run live online on Thursdays 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th November, 3rd and 10th December 2020 from 12:30 to 13:30 GMT/UTC.

Register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/waking-up-to-the-planetary-health-emergency-webinar-series-registration-126046060159

Date: 2 November 2020

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