Colleagues from five advisory councils e-met on March 16 for a collegial exchange on the topic of Planetary Health and adjacent concepts. They informed each other about their ongoing work and discussed, among others, the relationship between the concept of Planetary Health and sustainable development, the integration of ‘environmental health’ in sectoral policies, as well as Planetary Health as a scientific concept and the challenge of mainstreaming the concept of Planetary Health in policymaking. Colleagues further discussed possible synergies in their work and discussed possible next steps in exchanges among councils and between councils and external experts. Read More
On February 24th the second Planetary Health European Hub meeting took place. Over 29 organizations and institutions participated. The meeting opened with a recap of the January convening followed by a group discussion regarding what organizations are looking for from this Hub. Organizations then broke out into four groups based on the most popular domains of interest from the post-January convening survey, including: 1)Research, 2) Education, 3) Implementation (movement building), and 4) Implementation (governance/policy). These break out sessions focused on concrete actions and next steps. A next Hub meeting is scheduled to take place early April 2022.
The EEAC Network, together with the National Economic and Social Council (NESC), organized the joint webinar “Wellbeing: a new yardstick for economic performance and welfare”. The webinar took place on February 15th 2022. Please click HERE to consult the programme. Click HERE to view the session recordings.
A new yardstick
GDP growth has been a yardstick for economic performance and welfare and is considered essential for achieving a number of key objectives, including eradication of extreme poverty and adequate financing of social programmes. However there is growing consensus that it is limited in its ability to capture many critical dimensions of human life.
There has therefore been a shift internationally to look beyond GDP, to focus on measures that capture people’s living conditions and quality of life, as well as the state of the environment. Governments are increasingly utilising a well-being approach for policy prioritisation, policy making and evaluation. Such a well-being approach can reframe a Government’s approach to understanding, measuring and contributing to social and environmental progress.
The joint EEAC-NESC webinar focused on this international shift towards a well-being approach to policy making. Specifically, the webinar focused on A) the added value of the well-being approach, B) Buy-in to the well-being approach, and C) implementing a well-being framework and the barriers faced.
We had contributions from a variety of international policy makers and scientists, including Carrie Exton, Head of Well-Being Data Insights and Policy Practice, OECD, Minna Halme, Professor of Sustainability Management, Aalto University School of Business/ Finnish Expert Panel for Sustainable Development, and Jennifer Wallace, Director, Carnegie UK.
Today, (February 2nd 2022) The EEAC Network, together with the European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN), hosted a collegial exchange with representatives of the Trio Presidency (France, The Czech Republic, Sweden) and the European Commission to discuss Europe’s sustainability challenges.
A group of thirteen advisory councils met digitally in the context of the EEAC Working Group on Ecosystem Services to discuss the need for a sustainable food systems framework at European level. The group met in December 2021 for the first time, and held its second convening on 26 January 2022. The group is scheduled to have an additional two or three workshops in 2022, which are expected to lead to the formulation of joint insights and preliminary recommendations regarding the establishment of a sustainable food systems framework at European level.
On 18 January 2022, the Planetary Health Alliance, in partnership with the EEAC Network, hosted the Planetary Health European Convening. Twenty-two organizations from nine countries across Europe attended, several of which represent many more countries in Europe and globally. Organizations representing a diverse array of sectors, including healthcare, universities, religious institutions, humanitarian groups, youth, policy, business, and civil society. There were numerous interesting areas discussed, ranging from education courses and degrees, research agendas and gaps, to planetary health communication, policy, advocacy, and movement building. A second meeting took place on 24 February 2022.
A group of ten advisory councils – all members of the EEAC Network – e-met in the context of the EEAC Working Group on Sustainable Development to discuss sustainability priorities at EU level. The meeting was held as a prelude to a collegial exchange between the EEAC Network, the European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN), and representatives from the rotating EU Presidency and European Commission that took place on 2 February 2022.
A group of twelve advisory councils met digitally in the context of the EEAC Working Group on Ecosystem Services to discuss the need for a sustainable food systems framework at the European level. The meeting, on December 13th 2021, was the first in a series of meetings that are expected to lead to the formulation of joint insights and preliminary recommendations as to the establishment of a sustainable food systems framework at the European level. The next meeting is scheduled for January 2022.
To get a deeper understanding of what happened at COP26 in Glasgow, the EEAC Working Group on Climate Change and Energy organized an online policy briefing for all colleagues of the EEAC Network.
With this policy briefing, the Working Group provided the colleagues with experts views on the outcomes of COP26, the negotiation process leading up to these outcomes, as well as providing the audience with an analysis of what the process and outcomes reached in Glasgow might mean for advisory bodies like gathered in the EEAC Network.
We were pleased that Lola Vallejo (Climate Programme Director at IDDRI), Bastiaan Hassing (Head of the delegation to the UNFCCC, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy) and Anna-Katharina Hornidge, (WBGU) shared their views with us.
Day three of the EEAC Conference had the sub-titled, Governing the Transformation in the new Digital World. Alex Gutierez Margarit moderated a panel addressing the digital era and concerns about the absence of ethical considerations in existing business models. Simona Levi, Founder of XNET; Gemma Caldon Clavell, CEO of Eticas Consulting; and Anne Marie McGauren from the Irish National Economic and Social Council discussed their concerns about how currently digitalization and artificial intelligence are not only bringing about positive developments. They are enhancing discrimination against women, excluding the perspectives of minority groups, empowering a subset of actors, and being misused to promote particular interests. This occurs as a result of how algorithms are designed and with their use tend to reinforce patterns. They warned that more needs to be done to establish appropriate regulatory frameworks, establish privacy by design, and promote distributive democracy. Andrea Rodriguez, from the Global Cities Program, Barcelona Center for International Affairs discussed her work to integrate minimal ethical basics into European regulatory frameworks. These minimal ethical foundations include sustainability and participation as well as human rights and security. It matters who designs and controls applications, thus, inclusive participatory inputs are critical.