Constant media reports of raging bushfires, flash floods, super-charged storms, heatwaves and prolonged droughts are evidences of the catastrophic impact climate crisis is having on our planet.

The UN has intensified its call for countries to ramp up their efforts to curb greenhouse emissions and individuals are being urged to also play their part in the fight against climate change.

In a timely editorial for a leading global health promotion publication, leading Maori researcher, Mihi Ratima writes that it would be easy to be overwhelmed by such growing environmental challenges but the good news is the health promotion community has the knowledge and agility to take immediate action for planetary health.

Mihi Ratima presenting the Legacy Documents at the global health promotion conference in Rotorua in April last year.

The editorial entitled ‘Leadership for planetary health and sustainable development – health promotion community capacities for working with Indigenous peoples in the application of Indigenous knowledge’ is in the latest issue of the International Union of Health Promotion’s (IUHPE) Global Health Promotion (GHP) publication and is now available online.

Ratima of Taumata Associates, New Zealand, and a member of GHP’s Editorial Board reflects on the legacy of the 23rd IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion, co-hosted by HPF in Rotorua, NZ in April, 2019. She also reflects on the conference’s two Legacy Statements adding that together they urge the health promotion community to “provide leadership for planetary health and sustainable development and advocate for privileging Indigenous voices and Indigenous knowledge systems in taking action”.

 “… increasingly, the voices of Indigenous peoples and other groups who will be most impacted by the degradation of the earth’s systems, most prominently youth, are beginning to be heard … as a health promotion community, we must take heed of the hope and vigour of global youth demands for concrete action on climate change and intergenerational equity and draw inspiration from the wisdom of past generations captured in Indigenous worldviews to find a transformative way forward for planetary health.” 

“It is time for the global health promotion community to respond to the call from the social movement members, researchers, practitioners and policymakers who participated in the 23rd IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion and step up to provide leadership in planetary health and sustainable development.”

The publication also includes a brief report on IUHPE2019, further highlighting the role of its legacy documents as a call for action by the health promotion community.

The legacy statements can be viewed here.