Thought leaders join forces to prescribe for a healthy planet

16 April 2010

Australian experts from health, business, government, the environment, community and academia have converged at the University of Sydney today to identify priorities for improving human health and ongoing sustainability in the face of significant climate change.

Today's national think-tank Prescriptions for a healthy planet: acting on sustainability and human health is hosted by the University of Sydney and co-convened by Doctors for the Environment Australia, the University's Institute for Sustainable Solutions and the Oxford Health Alliance Asia-Pacific Centre.

Key speakers at the think-tank include:

Themes include: supportable populations; reducing poverty and social disadvantage and healthy urbanisation and responsible business.

University of Sydney spokeswoman, Associate Professor Ruth Colagiuri said one of the biggest issues facing the population was the burden of chronic disease.

"60 per cent of deaths around the world are the result of chronic disease and they are high among Australia's top list of killers," she said.

"Chronic disease is inextricably linked to the way we and live and do business - the way we manage our society. And unfortunately, the way we live, work and play is damaging our health and the health of the environment.

"In bringing this forum together, we are aiming to ensure health is right up there on the national population and sustainability agenda, as well as the health of our environment.

"Australia currently has a two per cent annual growth rate, which is among the highest in the world.

"It is critical that we service this current and predicted population growth so we will be able to afford the health services we need to have a productive, prosperous and health society in the future."

Media contact: Rachel Gleeson, 0403 067 342, 9351 4312,