Lunchtime seminars series 2011
Part 2: Environmental health
28 September 2011 Seminar 55: Food security
Today food security is again high on the global agenda due to soaring food prices and the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa. Pessimists believe these events are a taste of things to come, foreshadowing a crisis that climate change will exacerbate. Optimists believe that this can be avoided through scientific and technological advances, and more immediately better regulation. But how can governments ensure that people obey regulations designed to secure food supplies? Dr Mark Roodhouse, a historian of food rationing and black markets, considers what lessons can be learned from the British experience of rationing during the Second World War. Most importantly, he will explain why there was so little evasion of food regulations in Britain compared to other countries. His co-speaker is Dr Denise Costa Coutinho of the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition.
- Access the recording of the seminar held on 28 September 2011
Dr Mark Roodhouse's presentation
Dr Denise Costa Coutinho's presentation
12 October 2011 Seminar 56: Environmental health in Brazil, Russia, India and China
Speakers: Professor Judith Shapiro, American University, Washington DC, USA & Dr Carlos Dora, World Health Organization.
Professor Judith Shapiro of the Global Environmental Politics Program at American University's School of International Service presents an insider's perspective on China's environmental challenges. Her talk underlines the implications of China's search for a sustainable development model: as China goes, so goes the planet. Drawing on more than three decades of living and traveling in China, she situates today's struggle within the context of the recent Mao-era "War against Nature" and China's arduous quest to regain status in the eyes of the world. Dr Carlos Dora (Interventions for Healthy Environments) will provide the WHO perspective.
2 November 2011 Seminar 57: The Politics of Asbestos: Understandings of Risk, Disease and Protest
Speakers: Dr. Linda Waldman, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex University, UK & Dr Ivan Ivanov, World Health Organization.
In her presentation, Dr Linda Waldman of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK, explores how different countries have dealt with asbestos issues at the level of national policy. Using examples of activist mobilization in South Africa, India and the UK, she explores the intersections between scientific, political, technological and governance processes. She will discuss how these affect activists’ opportunities for shaping asbestos-related policy in their respective countries. Her co-speaker, Dr Ivan Ivanov, of the Department of Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organization in Geneva, will give a global overview of asbestos-related health issues.
30 November 2011 Seminar 58: Environmental law
Speaker: Dr Jeremy Allouche, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex University, UK and Ms Michaela Pfeiffer, WHO Department of Public Health and Environment.
With World Water Day in 2001, WHO promoted the links between water, health and human rights. Ten years later, this seminar examines progress, together with some wider aspects of environmental law. Dr Jeremy Allouche, of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK, discusses how human rights-based approaches can create policy boundaries between health promotion and disease transmission on one hand, and the wider development world on the other. His co-speaker, Ms Michaela Pfeiffer, of the WHO Department of Public Health and Environment, outlines how legal instruments have been used to protect and promote public health in the context of natural resource management.
- Access the recording of the seminar held on 30 November 2011
Dr Jeremy Allouche's presentation
Michaela Pfeiffer's presentation
7 December 2011 Seminar 59: Torture, health and human rights
Speakers: Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, Chair, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, UK and Professor Erik Holst, International consultant, ICAR Foundation, Romania.
In this seminar, two international experts give separate presentations on torture as a man-made, global public health issue, and the efforts to find appropriate public health responses to it. Professor Erik Holst is emeritus professor of social medicine at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and an international consultant with the ICAR Foundation, Romania, which gives free medical, psychological, social and legal assistance to victims of torture and other abuses. Professor Sir Nigel Rodley is professor of international law at the University of Essex, United Kingdom, a member of the UN Human Rights Committee, and a former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.
- Access the recording of the seminar held on 7 December 2011
Professor Erik Holst's presentation