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PHABC Annual Conference 2022 – Our Planet, Our Health

November 9 - November 10

Our Planet, Our Health:

Creating Well-being Societies and Making Peace with Nature

November 9th & 10th, 2022
Victoria Conference Centre
720 Douglas Street
Victoria, BC


Early Bird Registration is on now!! Click here to register before prices go up!



The theme for this year’s conference comes largely from recent UN and WHO initiatives, and examines their implications for public health practice in BC and elsewhere.  It is inspired by the concept of planetary health, by the theme of “Our Planet, Our Health” chosen by WHO for World Health Day 2022, by the focus on Well-being Societies in WHO’s Geneva Charter, and by the importance of Indigenous knowledges in the work of creating a healthy relationship between humans and the Earth.

Urgency from the Global to the Local: In December 2020 UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres wrote: “Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal”. He added that ““Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century. It must be the top, top priority for everyone, everywhere” – which must surely include public health. Then in February 2021, in its report, “Making Peace with Nature”, the UN Environment Program noted, “a healthy planet is important for the health and well-being of all people” and identified climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution as a “triple crisis” that threatens well-being.

Global calls for strong responses to this triple crisis continue. At COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021 WHO reaffirmed that climate change is the greatest threat to health in the 21st century, and identified “Protect and preserve the source of human health: Nature” as the first of six “prescriptions” in its 2020 Manifesto for a Healthy Recovery from Covid-19. The recent WHO ‘Geneva Charter for Well-being’ (December 2021) identified “Value, respect and nurture planet Earth and its ecosystems” as the first of five key action areas needed to create well-being societies, which are “committed to achieving equitable health now and for future generations without breaching ecological limits”.

A key shift for the public health community is the weaving together of the ecological and social dimensions of health: we need an eco-social approach in public health that addresses both ecological and social injustice. From the global to the local, public health will only be possible if we work together to create healthy, sustainable and equitable communities.

A related imperative theme that echoes throughout these and other recent UN reports (e.g. the 2019 IPBES Global

Assessment and the 2020 Human Development Report), and resonates in BC and across Canada, is the importance of Indigenous knowledge and practices in the management of our relationship with nature, and in integrative approaches to public health that connect ecological and equity concerns. These connections will be at the core of the conference.Reinvigorating the role of public health in creating well-being societies and making peace with nature

While some of these global challenges may seem remote, they play out locally with far-reaching impacts on the health and well-being of communities throughout BC and across Canada. Our conference program will profile, share and amplify changes in public health practice that respond to these global and local challenges – aiming to inspire and connect between public health practices, education and research that are responding to these local to global challenges:

  • Public health nurses, may be involved in encouraging and supporting child-nature contact as a way of improving mental as well as physical wellbeing, working with community nutritionists to promote a more healthy and sustainable low meat diet (see the new Canada Food Guide) or identifying and assisting vulnerable people during climate-related heat events or floods.
  • Environmental health officers may be more involved in creating healthy and sustainable community plans or addressing environmental health problems linked to climate or other ecological changes; some may need to become planetary health officers.
  • Communicable disease control staff can expect to be spending more time dealing with infectious diseases linked to ecosystem damage, climate change and the like.
  • Schools of public health will have to pay more attention to teaching and research related to planetary health, the ecological determinants of health, Indigenous approaches and eco-social justice.
  • Across all these and many other issues, how can public health practice be invigorated to address issues of Reconciliation and eco-social justice?



To bring together public health professionals and others working toward planetary health and well-being societies in ways that will enable a healthy, just and sustainable future in BC and beyond. Together we will explore the population health and health equity implications of global ecological change (aka the Anthropocene) and identify innovative, effective societal and community level interventions.



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.

  • Making Peace with Nature for Public Health
  • Ecojustice/Eco-social Equity and Public Heath
  • Well-being Society
  • Local (practice) & Action



Participants attending the 2-day conference will increase public health and wider societal capacity and stimulate knowledge transfer by attaining the following objectives.

Learning Objectives:

  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 & 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 & 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 member, non-members, government official, health authority representatives, etc.

These objectives are designed to encourage participants to take action and provide guidance on how participants can motivate others to take action.



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. The theme for the 2022 conference builds on the themes covered in tPHABC’s 2020 Summer Institute  – “Think Globally, Act Locally: Public Health and the Anthropocene” – and provides an opportunity for PHABC members and non-members to engage in knowledge sharing and networking over the two-day period;  Work from the 2020 Summer Institute 2020 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


November 9
November 10


Victoria Conference Centre
720 Douglas Street
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3M7 Canada
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Public Health Association of BC