Most major morbidities and a quarter of the global disease burden are associated with environmental risks. The risks are disproportionately concentrated in emerging markets and in the 0-5 age cohort for which the loss of healthy life years associated with environmental hazards is five times greater than for emerging market populations as a whole.
The symposium explored relationships between demographic, health, education, economic and social policies and decisions made by/for individuals, businesses and civil society organizations during the human life-course. It was grounded in a conceptual matrix featuring relationships between: (A) Chronic and communicable diseases; and (B) Elements of the natural environment (i.e. earth’s surface, air quality, water availability and quality, climate, animal and plant life) and elements of the built environment.
Many of those relationships are familiar. Others, such as relationships between loss of forest habitat, the migration of bats to human settlements and the spread of disease, less so. The symposium placed relatively less emphasis on topics (e.g. carbon emissions) that have recently been thoroughly considered elsewhere.
Jeffrey Sachs gives Special Lecture at 2017 Symposium
Speaking to an audience of 300 people in the Sheldonian Theatre, world-leading American economist who specialises in sustainable development, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, presented on “The Path of Sustainable Development for the Emerging Economies”.