July 18, 2024, 1:50 pm

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury

2024-04-21 16:48:49 BdST

Planetary Health Movement: Your Engagement Is Important

Like a human being, this planet has health, for our own health, the health of this planet must be taken care of, otherwise the health of ours and our future generation will be in jeopardy. We must give space to natural resources to be regenerated.

We must take care on how to keep our drinking water sources pure so that we will be free from water borne diseases like Diarrhea. Need to keep our local environment temperature in a tolerable level of our human health, in planting trees in our surrounding and in towns at least in our roof tops, having space between building, having small / big parks, controlling real estate developers in respect of not creating dust and high sound so that e.g., there will be no heat stroke and sound pollution threats to heart disease patient and older aged people.

How to keep our air clean so that we will have healthy breadth, not causing lung cancer. Why aren't our policy makers and Bureaucrats not so strict to get rid of outdated vehicles from our streets, so that we will be free from black smoke. Why not create space for bicycles and have car free days and road in our townships.

How we are treating our daily waste, in our household, in our villages and in our town, is it not polluting our air, congestion in our drainage system, creating another one black Buriganga with a bad smell.

Cannot we make Chao Praya river like in Bangkok city which is one of the best example of keeping clean river water by installing a water treatment plant on two sides of bustling city. The river became a wonderful touristic river cruise. Why not turn our waste to energy and fertilizers that will help us to have alternatives to chemical fertilizers.

Fossil fuel whether its form e.g., hard form is coal, liquid form is fuel and gas form are LPG, is a problem but what is the alternative, solar power and wind energy is an alternative. Why we have forgotten the policy of 10 % energy source of solar pant installation in our buildings. Using led bulb, creating more windows, using different time in winter and summer, using different office timing, we can enhance our energy efficiency in saving some energy or fossil fuel consumption.

Plastic is also a problem, as it is hardly disposable thus these are the biggest threats to our soil, drainage, and ocean resources. In Bangladesh around 20 million fishermen livelihood depends on sea fish resources, Hilsha fish is the supplier of our 60 % nutrition.

Alternatives to plastics are there already. Is our food production being Carbon neutral? There are alternatives already innovated by people, there are progressive policies too, people are raising voices, we need political commitment to save our mother earth and need to embark on regenerative economics.

We need revolutionary changes in our education, governance, business and personal lifestyle. Government / Politicians must lead but as individuals we have responsibility to initiate. Business / Market / Private sector can do such sustainability in integrating their profitability.

All these has been discussed in Kualalumpur during 16 to 19 April in Planetary Health Assembly 2024 at Sunway University with the auspicious of Center for Planetary Health and John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, headed by Dr Jemilah Mahmud and Dr Sam Myers.

Dr Jemilah Mahmud is well known global figure in respect of the humanitarian movement. There were 1600 participants from 69 countries, world renowned professors presented papers, participants express their views.

There were sessions on, changing education system, food system, mental health, urbanization, and preservation of nature, zero waste, regenerative economics, climate justice, GDP versus people happiness, safer planet etc.

Finally, a road map for 2024 has been adopted which contain four broader content, ie, education revolution, governance, business sustainability and finally communication and advocacy strategy.

The road map has been drafted by hundreds of scholars and activists from around the world, most of whom have participated in the conferences. Several international organizations have taken responsibility to take forward the roadmap in 2024. Next PHAM 2025 will be held in Erasmus School of Public Health and Management in Rotterdam Netherlands.

Malaysian government has already embarked on preparing the National Planetary Health Action Plan, which will be a motivation factor to all other national government. But the movement has a need of political commitment from our policy leaders simultaneously it is also needed a commitment for lifestyle change from individual and community leaders.

At first, we need to create a critical mass in this regard and need to create evidence of changes in our own places.

Please join in the movement and visit the PHAM 2024 website, your engagement is needed to save planetary health thereby our own human health.

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