The Pacific Basin region is facing unprecedented threats to human health and the environment from an array of human activities, including manufacturing, energy production, fossil fuel consumption, unsustainable resource use, and agriculture. These activities are associated with the growing problems of hazardous wastes, air and water pollution, occupational exposures, and climate change, among many others, and have far-reaching effects on human health and the ecosystems upon which all life depends.
The Pacific Basin Consortium for Environment and Health (PBC) provides a forum for individuals and organizations with diverse professional expertise and geographic backgrounds to come together and discuss the most pressing environment and health issues of our time, engage in cooperative research, and develop and disseminate innovative strategies for addressing these issues and creating sustainable, affordable alternatives. The goal is to promote technology and information exchange on environment and health issues in the Pacific Basin.
The East-West Center serves as the Secretariat for the Consortium, which was founded at the Center more than two decades ago. Considerable support has come from the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Institutes of Health in general.
The PBC's 16th International Conference took place from 10-13 August, 2015 at the University of Indonesia, in Depok, West Java. The title of the conference was Human and Environmental Health Risk Factors in the Pacific Basin. Extended abstracts were published in a special issue of Reviews on Environmental Health, edited by Peter D. Sly and David Carpenter.
This comprehensive meeting attracted a wide range of speakers from Indonesia, the region, and beyond on topics ranging from e-waste and hazardous waste management to emerging pollutants, children’s environmental health, disaster risk reduction, ecohealth, and global climate change.
Plenary sessions focused on:
- The environmental health impact of natural disasters
- Launch of the Global Commission on Health and Environmental Pollution
- An ecosystem approach to environmental health in Indonesia
- Environmental justice and human rights
The conference also included symposia, student presentations, poster presentations, and training workshops. There was significant participation by representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the US federal government. There was also excellent student participation. Nancy Lewis, Director of the East-West Center Research Program, delivered one of the keynote addresses, “Through a gendered lens: Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction,” which stressed the need to view women as resilient agents of change, not vulnerable victims, with respect to adapting to climate change and reducing disaster risk.
The 17th International Conference of the Pacific Basin Consortium will be on Healthy Environments for Healthy Humans: Biodiversity and Urban Spaces. Dates and venue will be announced.
Learn more at the Pacific Basin Consortium Website.