Side Meetings


Climate, the Environment, the Polycrisis, and Global Health Governance


  • 09:00 - 12:30 HRS. (BKK)

  • Venue : Lotus Suite 4

  • Contact Person : Sam Sellers,

  • Elizabeth Lugten

In recent years, PMAC has been a critical venue for discussing highly complex health systems challenges. Last year’s conference theme centered on climate and the environment (Setting a new health agenda at the nexus of climate change, environment, and biodiversity). This year’s theme is: Geopolitics, human security, and health equity in an era of polycrises. Both themes challenge attendees to think about the interconnections between major global trends and their impact on health systems and population health. 


The polycrisis is a cluster of interconnected challenges that define the 21st Century and encompasses an array of issues–including the environmental challenges that last year’s meeting centered on (climate change, biodiversity loss, emerging infectious diseases, pollution, etc.) as well as social, economic, and governance challenges (such as political instability, growing human mobility, disruptive digital technologies, inflation/rising cost of living, and inequality). Collectively, these challenges will have highly significant and synergistic implications for global health. The global health governance architecture developed in the 20th century must evolve and adapt to deal with these problems. 


Discourse within epistemic communities is often shaped by paradigms or frames. Within the field linking human health and the environment, there are a plethora of frames, including "environmental health”, “climate and health”, “planetary health”, “One Health”, and more. The lens of “polycrisis” expands upon and challenges these existing frames and has implications for how practitioners understand and carry out their work. 


While the framing of the polycrisis provides a more complex and nuanced perspective through which to understand global health challenges, it is beyond the scope or capacity of most global health actors to meaningfully impact many of these trends. What does the lens of “polycrisis” add to discussions around climate, the environment, and health? Does adopting a focus on the polycrisis risk diluting the important focus of many health-centered organizations on climate, biodiversity, and the environment? 


This session is intended to provide a forum which will bridge discussions centered on the themes of this years and last year’s conference, with an emphasis on the role of climate change in impacting health outcomes. 


This session is open to the public. Your participation would be most welcome!

This session is intended to provide panelists and attendees with a rich discussion opportunity to share experiences, opportunities, concerns, and lessons learned in navigating these difficult issues. The panelists come from a variety of organizational and professional backgrounds, which we hope will provide thoughtful opportunities for sparking new ideas and collaborations. 


The goal of this session is for participants to feel more capable of addressing the intersection between the environment and the polycrisis, whether that is through deeper knowledge of the technical issues, new collaborations and connections with participants, or exposure to the institutional challenges that others have faced and possible strategies for overcoming these challenges.