Climate change and health communications experts on same wavelength
On the eve of the 90th anniversary of Guangxi University, the Climate Change and Health Communication Academic Seminar was held in the media center of the university’s School of Journalism and Communication from October 20 to 21.
More than 110 representatives from universities, scientific research institutions, government departments, social organizations, enterprises and medical institutions attended the seminar, co-sponsored by the school, the university’s Research Center for Climate and Health Communication and the China Climate Communication Project Center.
It was the first climate change and health communication seminar that the research center, the country's first climate and health research institution, has arranged.
Professor Zheng Baowei, director of the China Climate Communication Project Center, dean of School of Journalism and Communication of Guangxi University and doctoral supervisor of the School of Journalism of Renmin University of China, delivered a speech on behalf of the organizer. Tang Xing, party secretary of the school, presided over the opening ceremony.
The theme of the seminar was “Beauty, health, co-building and sharing – Climate change and health communication in the new era”.
Zheng said climate communication and health communication need to be integrated, and the construction of “a beautiful China” and “a healthy China”, two essential development goals of China after President Xi became China's highest leader in 2012, must be closely linked.
In a report titled "Promoting climate and health communication to build a beautiful and healthy China", Zheng proposed to create a "five-sphere integrated" framework for climate and health communication. That is, the government, media, NGOs, companies and indeed every individual should play a role as the world tackles climate change and works to improve the environment.
Professor Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele, former vice chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, analyzed the causes of global temperature rise and its harm to humans. Greater effort should be put into reducing carbon emissions, he said. The aim of climate change research is to further reach consensus on the goal of tackling climate change and to strive for synergies to achieve related objectives.
Those in attendance included: Ma Shengrong, an adviser to the Center for China Climate Change Communication, and a former vice editor-in-chief of Xinhua News Agency and honorary dean of the School of Journalism of Chongqing University; Evelyne Huytebroeck, a member of the Brussels Region parliament and former minister of the environment in the region; and Dennis Pamlin, founder of 21st Century Frontiers.
At the seminar they, too, spoke about the relationship between climate and health communication and strategies for promoting both, and the significance of integration.
Scholars and experts such as Zhan Anling, former director of the Foreign Information Bureau of Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China, Liu Xinchuan, professor of the School of Journalism and Communication of Peking University, Chen Yu, president of Yanshan University Press, and Zhuge Weidong, professor of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, talked about their theoretical research and about promoting climate and health communication.
Zheng said the seminar was the first academic conference in China to bring climate communication and health communication together. It was highly significant to have experts and scholars from the two fields engage in robust debate, he said. He proposed breaking down barriers between the two fields and striving to strengthen the academic community. Greater effort should be made to integrate climate communication and health communication, he said.
The seminar will be held annually and next year will be hosted by South-Central University for Nationalities in Wuhan.