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Academia Sinica E-news No.555
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Godmother of Sustainable Development Gro Harlem Brundtland to Participate in Special Forum on “Public Health and the Environment in a Sustainable Society”
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Godmother of Sustainable Development Gro Harlem Brundtland to Participate in Special Forum on “Public Health and the Environment in a Sustainable Society”
 
On April 2, 2018, former Prime Minister of Norway, Madam Gro Harlem Brundtland visited Academia Sinica, at the invitation of Professor James C. Liao, President of Academia Sinica. She also participated in a special forum held in her honor entitled “Public Health and the Environment in a Sustainable Society,” co-organized by Academia Sinica, the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), and the Tang Prize Foundation.
Madam Brundtland served for three terms as the Prime Minister of Norway and later as the Director General of the World Health Organization. She has a long history of involvement in promoting the sustainable development of human society, addressing concerns ranging from individual health to the importance of global sustainable development. In recent years, she has worked extensively on issues relevant to global climate change and equitable health systems.
Joining Madam Brundtland for this special forum is a distinguished panel consisting of eminent scholars who also shared their insights on sustainable society and related issues. These distinguished panelists include Dr. Shaw Chen Liu (Academician, Academia Sinica), Dr. Huey-Jen Jenny Su (President of the National Cheng Kung University), and Dr. Chang Chuan Chan (Dean of the College of Public Health, National Taiwan University).
Two main themes are addressed at this forum: 1) the impact of climate change on the environment and sustainable development and 2) the condition of public health in a changing environment and society. Taiwan’s current situation in terms of environmental changes, sustainable development, and public health are also discussed in-depth during this special forum. Other topics and issues raised for discussion include health in an aging society that also faces population decline, environmental changes and public health as impacted by global warming, policies on air pollution, energy, and carbon reduction, and international issues concerning sustainable development and public health.
Dr. Pao-Kuan Wang, Distinguished Research Fellow and Director of the Research Center for Environmental Changes (RCEC), Academia Sinica, who served as moderator for the special forum, indicates that climate change is the most challenging issue that the human society is facing currently. It involves many different dimensions such as science, economics, society, politics, and even moral and ethical issues. In light of recent evidence demonstrating that the impact of climate change is growing in severity, this forum is a timely occasion to discuss these issues.
Besides her career in politics, as a medical doctor and Master of Public Health (MPH), Gro Harlem Brundtland spent 10 years as a physician and scientist in the Norwegian public health system. She gained international recognition for both coining and championing the principle of sustainable development as the chair of the United Nations (UN) World Commission of Environment and Development (WCED). In its 1987 report entitled Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report, sustainable development is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” For her contributions, Dr. Brundtland is also honored and recognized as the “godmother of sustainable development.”






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