Symposium: Making The Links 2018


Making the links 2018: climate change, community health & resilience

Thank you, everyone. Two days of learning and strategies for collaborative action with other community and sector leaders on some of the most pressing issues of our time: Climate Change, Health and Resilience.

Through workshops, cross-sector dialogue, inspiring speakers and community stories, we uncovered shared approaches to climate change that not only protect, but also improve community health and well-being.

Making the Links 2018 Summary Report

Get our summary report from 2018.

Framework for Collaborative Action on Health & Climate Change

We’re in this together and need everyone at the table.

Join other community and sector leaders in beautiful Kelowna, BC for an event which is first of its kind in BC. Through inspiring speakers, engaging workshops, cross-sector dialogue, we will explore practical strategies and deepen knowledge, skills and tools for collaborative action.

What if working collaboratively to respond to climate change can increase health, well-being and community resilience?

Using BC’s Interior Region as a case study, we will draw out learnings and action opportunities for the rest of BC and beyond to building community resilience to climate change while increasing health and wellbeing.

Join us to:

  • LEARN about the major health impacts of climate change and who is being most affected in BC and beyond
  • ENGAGE with community experiences, examples and stories of how climate change is currently impacting health and well-being and how communities are taking action to become more resilient.
  • TRANSLATE KNOWLEDGE INTO COLLABORATIVE ACTION on issues such as extreme heat, flooding, wildfires, water and drought, healthy built environments, active transportation, sustainable food systems, mental well-being, and emergency preparedness;
  • STRENGTHEN COLLABORATION & LEADERSHIP to advance cross-sector climate and health solutions in policy, planning and practice.

Why Now?

The evidence is overwhelming: climate change endangers human health. Solutions exist and we need to act decisively to change this trajectory.
Dr Margaret ChanFormer WHO Director-General
A comprehensive response to climate change could be “the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century”.
Lancet Commission

In the last year BC has:

  • Warmest year on record

    Recorded its warmest year on record, breaking temperature records that have stood for over 100 years

  • Record-breaking season of forest fires

    Had a record-breaking season of forest fires, including the longest province-wide state of emergency for wildfires

  • Areas reach historically-high water levels

    Seen areas reach historically-high water levels

  • Lowest snowpack on record

    Saw the lowest snowpack on record, with snow levels around the province averaging 53% of normal

Warmest year on record

Recorded its warmest year on record, breaking temperature records that have stood for over 100 years

Record-breaking season of forest fires

Had a record-breaking season of forest fires, including the longest province-wide state of emergency for wildfires

Historically-high water levels

Seen areas reach historically-high water levels

Lowest snowpack on record

Saw the lowest snowpack on record, with snow levels around the province averaging 53% of normal

Our climate is changing.

10-15 years ago climate change was thought of as an environmental issue, but that is certainly not the case anymore.

Our health and well-being is the human face of climate change.

What’s at Stake?

Climate change is impacting people, ecosystems and communities across BC, the health and stability on which we rely for clean air, water, food, safety and security, and which are essential for good health and wellbeing. Without attention to the health impacts of climate change we risk rolling back much of the progress that has been made for healthy communities in the last few decades.

What’s the Opportunity?

Decisions made today about how we respond to climate change will have lasting consequences for the health and prosperity of all populations and communities in BC. Many regions around the world are already taking bold action that not only plans for and minimizes the health risks of climate change, but also maximizes the opportunity to increase health and wellbeing by seeking win-win solutions. How can we work together to harness best thinking and practice to do the same?

Who should attend?

Making the Links is about just that – making the links across issues, sectors and disciplines. You’ll be part of engaged learning community of people and organizations from different levels of government, health sector, community non-governmental organizations, indigenous communities, academics and business leaders, among others. Together, we’ll map out strategies for collaborative action for real impact on the issues and opportunities facing our communities.

Send your team

Join leaders from across sectors to map out strategies.

Some examples of who will be there:

  • Local / regional government staff and elected officials
  • Health authority staff and leadership, and other health sector organizations
  • Universities and Colleges (researchers and students)
  • Community planners and land-use experts
  • Emergency Management agencies
  • Non-governmental and Non-profit organizations
  • First Nations and indigenous communities
  • Provincial and federal government staff
  • Engaged businesses
  • Professional associations

Symposium speakers

Jeremy Hess, MD, MPH, Co-Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE)

Jeremy Hess

Co-Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE)
Fiona Armstrong is an expert in policy, advocacy and communications

Fiona Armstrong

Founder and Executive Director, Climate and Health Alliance (Australia)
Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, Team Lead, Climate and Health, World Health Organization

Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum

Team Lead, Climate and Health, World Health Organization (Geneva)
Deb Harford, Executive Director, ACT, SFU

Deb Harford

Executive Director, ACT, Simon Fraser University
Managing Director, ICLEI - Canada. ICLEI is building a worldwide movement of local governments committed to sustainability.

Ewa Jackson

Managing Director, ICLEI Canada
Symposium icon: health and wellbeing

Climate Change Impacts on Health & Well-being

We know that the impacts of climate change such as heat waves, wildfires, floods, and extreme weather events are already impacting communities across BC. We also know that climate change is now named as the most significant threat and greatest opportunity for public health of the 21st century. Explore how these climate change impacts are affecting the health and well-being of people and communities in BC, and what kind of health impacts we can anticipate in the future.
Symposium preparedness: knowledge to action

Knowledge to Action for Healthy, Climate Resilient Communities

Over the last 10 years there has been an impressive up swelling of climate action and leadership from communities across BC. As communities begin to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate, how can they not only minimize risks, but also create opportunities to build become healthier and more resilient? Hear stories, lessons and opportunities from leaders and communities that have been at the leading edge of building resilience, health and well-being through climate action.
Symposium icon: community resiliency

Community Safety, Preparedness & Resilience

The increase in wildfires and flooding across BC in recent years has been a wakeup call for many communities about the importance of emergency preparedness and keeping community members safe, especially those who are most vulnerable. In addition to extreme events or “acute shocks” such as this, many communities are experiencing increased “chronic stresses” related to climate change with impacts on food and water, livelihoods and mental health to name a few. How do we build community capacity to pro-actively respond and adapt to these challenges in a way that increases opportunities to not just survive, but thrive?
Symposium icon: collaborative leadership

Collaborative Leadership and Action

It’s time to get out of our silos. Climate change affects everyone and health and well-being is everyone’s business. Explore the roles different sectors can play to act on climate and health solutions and build skills and capacities that will support the ongoing collaboration which is needed for effective action. Resilience building takes all of us: government, community, health sector, non-governmental organizations, academics, business and industry, indigenous partners, and more.
Symposium icon: climate change equity

Climate Change, Vulnerability & Equity

While climate change has the potential to adversely impact the health of everyone, some populations are more vulnerable and will be impacted more seriously. For example, low income families, seniors, outdoor workers, indigenous populations and those with existing physical and mental health conditions are at greater risk to climate change impacts. How can we address climate change in a way that protects the most vulnerable populations and citizens and engages them in creating solutions?
Symposium icon: resilient communities

Linking Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation

How can we achieve co-benefits through taking a “joined up” approach to climate change mitigation and adaption efforts? To date, most of our efforts to address the root causes of climate change through greenhouse gas emission reductions (mitigation) are planned and implemented in isolation from our efforts to reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts (adaptation). Join the growing international momentum towards integrated planning and action that focuses on win-win solutions that bridge these two important spaces of climate action.
Symposium icon: communication and education

Communicating the Story of Health and Climate Change

The dominant narrative on climate change is one that is often environmentally focused, fact-heavy and fear-based. This story has not successfully mobilized strong responses, politically nor publicly. We need to develop better methods for telling the story as well as developing the narrative about climate change. How can a public health narrative about climate change engage, inspire and mobilize a strong response to these issues?

Travel subsidies and scholarship spots have been filled.

Symposium co-hosts

SFU Faculty for Health Sciences
SHIFT to a better world logo
Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions 2

Sponsors & supporters

Supported by the Province of British Columbia
Health Emergency Management British Columbia logo
Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions 2
Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia logo
Fortis BC logo: Energy at work.

In partnership with

BC Centre for Disease Control, an agency of the provincial health services authority (logo)
Local Governments for Sustainability logo
Fraser Basin Council Supporter
Community Energy Association
The University of British Columbia, Institute for Community Engaged Research & Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention
University of Northern British Columbia logo
Planning Institute of British Columbia, logo
Institue for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention 2
Institue for Community Engagaed Reserach
Fresh Outlook Foundation
Canadian Coalition for Green Healthcare logo