23rd IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion, 7 - 11 April 2019, Rotorua, Aotearoa New Zealand

IUHPE 2019 Conference Theme

WAIORA: Promoting Planetary Health and Sustainable Development for All

The Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) and their partners are looking forward to host this important global public health event, in Rotorua, New Zealand in April 2019. The aim is to provide an unparalleled opportunity to link and demonstrate the contribution of health promotion to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to acknowledge the way SDGs contribute to improvements in health and wellbeing.

Promoting planetary health constitutes a major current challenge for health promoters globally. There is increasing evidence that the current economic and social development paradigm of infinite growth and endless exploitation of limited natural resources, is unfair and unsustainable, leading to inequities within and among countries and across generations. Planetary health expands the scope of public health and includes ecological and social determinants of health as goals for public health action. Waiora refers to an Indigenous perspective of our host country, Aotearoa New Zealand, on health and sustainable development. Waiora means water in its purest, life-giving form. It is a call to share knowledge from our diverse cultural systems for the wellbeing of the planet and humanity. Sustainable development for all is the means by which to ensure health justice globally and for future generations.

Altogether, the 17 United Nation’s SDGs provide a coherent, relevant and robust framework for integrating health promotion, sustainable development and equity. Although only one SDG specifically addresses health, they are all about promoting planetary wellbeing. Together, they propose four main areas of action: wellbeing and health; infrastructure and essential functions required to deliver wellbeing goals; the natural environment that enables infrastructures; and governance and partnerships needed to deliver on all these goals.

The IUHPE world conferences are the most significant occasions that bring together those dedicated to health promotion from across the globe. For newcomers and old timers alike, these meetings every three years define the “state of the art” in health promotion practice, research, and theory. For the past 30 years, inspired by the Ottawa Charter, health promotion has developed a comprehensive, relevant knowledge base and successful strategies to address a broad range of determinants of health. Based on the knowledge and experience gained through decades of action, the 23rd IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion invites health promoters of all horizons (researchers, practitioners and decision makers) and their partners from all relevant sectors to embrace the planetary health agenda and further explore how health promotion contributes to:

  • Ensure health equity throughout the life course, within and among countries, making each member of the global society an empowered lifelong learner
  • Make all urban and other habitats inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable and conducive to health and wellbeing
  • Design and implement effective and fair climate change adaptation strategies
  • Build effective, accountable and inclusive governance at all levels that promotes, peace, justice and respect of human rights
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