Habitat III - Side Events
  • Thursday 20
  • Public Engagement, for Healthy, Resilient and Sustainable Cities

    Side Events
    Venue: R12
    Lead Organization:
    Health Caucus Canadian Environmental Network
    Partner organizations:
    Chemical Sensitivities Manitoba And Gaia Group
    The Canadian Environmental Network
    The Nova Scotia Environmental Network

    Various levels of government, community groups and individuals, all have a role to play in creating healthy, resilient and sustainable environments, including our urban environment, where most of us live. All levels of government need to address issues related to outdoor air and water quality, indoor air quality and chemicals management, all with the intent of having a safer and healthier environment for the population. Regulations to protect the environment and human health are examples. Both government and industry have important roles in pushing the agenda towards a safer and more resilient environment. There must be full community engagement that is transparent and relevant. Depending on the issue, government, industry, nongovernmental organizations and the affected public must engage in meaningful dialogue. This session will explore how multi-stakeholder processes are successful in bringing all of these parties together to achieve equitable and feasible solutions to problems related to the impacts of pollution on human health, and the resiliency and sustainability of communities. An engaged democratic process builds the base for communities to respond to new and future challenges that they may face related to climate change as we see an increase in extreme weather occurrences and vector-borne illnesses. Individuals also have important roles to play in this process as they have some control over their immediate environment. This can be partially achieved through the choice of consumer and personal care products used in the home. Individuals also have the capacity to discuss these issues with their neighbours and peers and ultimately organize into community groups. Public engagement of such groups can be instrumental in addressing issues that directly impact their health and environment and this engagement can lead to policy development for the environment and human health. This session will include some tangible examples of this type of engagement.