The conference was initiated and moderated by two young YMCA volunteers from Switzerland, Jonas and Lukas and Richard Schweizer, member of the YMCA Europe Executive Committee.
25 Representatives from International and European YMCAs came together to learn and talk about this concept and its implementation in our movement, including YMCA Europe’s President Emma Osmundsen and Secretary General Juan Simoes Iglesias who opened the conference with a short speech.
We were also very happy to welcome two special experts to introduce the participants to the theoretical context of Planetary Health.
Prof. Christian Abshagen, researcher at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland and head of the CAS Health and Environment presented the concept and its relevance to our movements and decision-makers in the first half of the conference.
Following up, Nathalie Nidens, physician with a Master’s degree in Public Health, currently doing her doctorate in pediatric environmental medicine, and working as a scientific advisor at KLUG (German Alliance on Climate Change and Health), continued with the practical implementation of the planetary concept using an example of heat protection.
After the thematic introduction into Planetary Health different representatives from YMCA movement were able to share some practices and experiences from their movement, ask questions and discuss what an effective implementation could look like in a practical sense.
The conference was an important first step into a more in-depth work on specific and current issues related to our Vision 2030 Pillars Sustainable Planet and Community Wellbeing, and builds a framework to move towards concrete actions in our own networks and advocacy to impact young people’s futures.
We thank everyone involved in making this conference possible for their dedication! Thank you also to all participants for the lively discussions and engagement. We are looking forward to seeing the concept of Planetary Health being implemented and utilized in our upcoming work!