Public Health Association of BC Public Health Association of BC

PHABC Annual Conference 2022 – Our Planet, Our Health

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About the Conference

PHABC is pleased to share this year’s conference topic: “Our Planet, Our Health: Creating Well-Being Societies and Making Peace with Nature.” The conference topic was inspired by recent WHO and UN initiatives, as well as the importance of recognizing the role Indigenous knowledge has in creating a healthy relationship between humans and the Earth.

There is local and global urgency to focus on making peace with nature. According to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, “Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal.” (December 2020). The UN 2021 report Making Peace with Nature further identified climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution as a “triple crisis” that threatens our well-being.

Creating well-being societies is dependent on making peace with nature and focusing on ecojustice and applying an eco-social approach to everything we do. The public health community has an opportunity here to weave eco-social approaches into their work to address both ecological and social injustices. Creating a truly healthy public will only be possible if we work together to create healthy, sustainable and equitable communities.


Conference Goal

To bring together public health and other related professionals to work towards improving planetary health and creating well-being societies in ways that will enable progressive and effective policy changes and improve the lives of people and communities in BC and beyond. Together we will explore the population health and health equity implications of global ecological changes (aka the Anthropocene) and identify innovative, effective societal and community level interventions.


Conference Themes and Structure

To invigorate public health practice, education and research towards a healthy, just and sustainable future. The conference plenary sessions will focus on four inter-related themes:

  1. Making Peace with Nature for Public Health
  2. Ecojustice/Eco-social Equity and Public Heath
  3. Well-being Societies
  4. Local (Practice) and Action


Learning Objectives

Participants attending the two-day conference will increase public health and wider societal capacity and stimulate knowledge transfer by attaining the following objectives. These objectives are designed to encourage participants to act and provide guidance on how participants can motivate others to take action.

  1. Understand the range of the ecological changes and the socio-cultural forces that constitute the Anthropocene and their implications for population health and health equity;
  2. Explore and understand the importance and implications of Indigenous knowledge and practices in managing our co-existence with nature and the creation of well-being societies – and thus for public health action both globally and locally;
  3. Understand the health and other co-benefits of an ecologically sustainable and socially just “One Planet” community and society;
  4. Imagine and begin to design the local social and public health response to this situation – including local social and political actions – that will lead to more sustainable, just, convivial and healthy “One Planet” communities.

Operational Objectives

  1. Encourage participants, including intersectoral partners, to apply new knowledge, skills and/or resources in their activities during and following the conference.
  2. Attract people working in related sectors as participants in the conference.
  3. Facilitate a knowledge exchange between PHABC members, non-members, government officials, health authority representatives, etc.


Conference Background

The Core Competency analysis and development for public health professionals has been ongoing in BC over the past few years. This project has indicated that there is a lack of continuing education for public health professionals. In order to mitigate the need for continuing education, the Public Health Association of British Columbia (PHABC) leads an annual summer institute for public health professionals and intersectoral partners along with an annual conference to expand on the summer institute theme. Work from the 2020 Summer Institute has helped to guide and frame the objectives and goals for the 2022 conference.



To learn more about the conference and how you can get involved, email