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WMHPG news, information and resources 9 August 2019

We do not accept responsibility for the availability, reliability or content of these news items and do not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them.

Sustainable development goals

Urban drought challenge to 2030 sustainable development goals: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969719334552 “This review is intended to fill this knowledge gap by identifying the key concepts behind urban drought, including the definition, occurrence, characteristics, formation, and impacts. Then, four sub-categories of urban drought are proposed, including precipitation-induced, runoff-induced, pollution-induced, and demand-induced urban droughts.”

How much does the world spend on the Sustainable Development Goals? https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2019/07/29/how-much-does-the-world-spend-on-the-sustainable-development-goals/ “In a forthcoming paper, we zoom out on the global SDG financing landscape in order to zoom back in on country-specific contexts and gaps. In particular, we consider how much the world’s governments are already spending on SDG-related issues every year, how spending varies across income levels, and how the spending patterns link to country-by-country estimates of needs.”

Public Health Outcomes Framework: indicator changes 2019 to 2022: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/public-health-outcomes-framework-proposed-changes-2019-to-2020 “This is the government response to the consultation on reviewing the 2016 to 2019 Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF). From 2019 to 2020, there will be 75 high level indicator categories which include 161 individual indicators. A full list of the indicators from 2019 to 2020 is available in Annex C. The indicators help us measure the public’s health and wellbeing.”

New resource - Cochrane Evidence Essentials: https://training.cochrane.org/essentials “Cochrane Evidence Essentials is a free online resource offering an introduction to health evidence, and how to use it to make informed health choices.”

FPH – Brexit Campaign: https://www.fph.org.uk/policy-campaigns/campaigns/brexit/ “FPH is making a strong case for prevention and public health in the Brexit negotiations and its central importance to our future economic prosperity. We aim to mitigate the risk of exacerbating inequalities, and ideally to support a levelling up of outcomes, through seeking the continued protection of existing law, strengthening our defence against infectious disease, and securing health-focused trade agreements.”

Public health spending: where prevention rhetoric meets reality: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/2019/07/public-health-spending-blog “The government has published its much-trailed Green Paper (now an 'open consultation') on prevention. It contains warm words, some movement on existing issues such as childhood obesity – the prime one banning sales of energy drinks to children under 16 (on which the government has been consulting for some time) and setting out further intent – re-announced steps towards a smoke-free society and re-announcing the creation of a health index to rival GDP in government decision-making.”

FPH Past President’s end of term report (parts 1-3)

https://betterhealthforall.org/2019/06/12/presidents-end-of-term-report-part-one-professional-public-health-development/

https://betterhealthforall.org/2019/07/30/past-presidents-end-of-term-report-part-2-the-health-of-the-public/

https://betterhealthforall.org/2019/07/30/past-presidents-end-of-term-report-part-three-on-a-lighter-note-songs-of-a-presidency/

Healthy planning & environment

Improved estimates of forest cover and loss in the Brazilian Amazon in 2000–2017: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-019-0336-9 “We find that forest area was ~15% higher than the estimate by the official Brazilian forest dataset (PRODES), but annual forest-loss rates were twice the PRODES estimates (~0.027 × 106 km2 yr–1 during 2001–2016). Forest-loss rates increased again after 2013. The El Niño and drought year (2015/2016) drove large forest area loss. The cumulative forest-loss area within the protected areas (which include ~50% of forests in the region) was ~11% of the total forest-loss area, which highlights the roles of protected areas in forest conservation.”

Ethiopia 'breaks' tree-planting record to tackle climate change: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-49151523 “Ethiopia has planted more than 350 million trees in a day, officials say, in what they believe is a world record. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is leading the project, which aims to counter the effects of deforestation and climate change in the drought-prone country. Some public offices have been shut down to allow civil servants to take part. The UN says Ethiopia's forest coverage declined from 35% of total land in the early 20th Century to a little above 4% in the 2000s.”

Project for Public Spaces – A Playbook for Inclusive Placemaking;

Whaley Bridge dam collapse is a wake-up call: concrete infrastructure will not last forever without care: https://theconversation.com/whaley-bridge-dam-collapse-is-a-wake-up-call-concrete-infrastructure-will-not-last-forever-without-care-121423 “It should be clear then that earthfill dams are extremely vulnerable without the protection of their spillways. At almost 50 years old, the thin grey line of concrete protecting the town of Whaley Bridge from the reservoir just a mile away has reached the end of its life. To fail to invest in and maintain these structures is reckless.”

Nose for a problem: Barcelona tests first global odour map: http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=6d9338e7-17b7-41d7-8b6b-bf6f3394654b “The D-Noses project, which began in 2016 and was officially piloted in 2018, lets local residents report their fragrance complaints - like garbage, chemicals and sewage - directly through the free OdourCollect app, to build the first-ever global odour map.”

Housing

National Housing Federation: Great Places Commission: Ten recommendations for creating great places to live: https://www.housingnet.co.uk/pdf/NHF_Great_Places_Commission_report.pdf “With support from the National Housing Federation, the Commission visited towns and cities across the North and Midlands, meeting housing associations, stakeholders and local residents. Using the learning from this process, the Commission has made 10 recommendations”

Blog: The housing and climate crises can be tackled together: https://www.tcpa.org.uk/blog/blog-the-need-for-better-environmental-standards-in-homes-old-and-new  “Britain faces a housing crisis – that is no longer news to anyone.  It’s widely accepted that we need to build about 3 million new homes over the next 20 years. We also face a climate emergency and are already seeing the impacts of the climate breakdown here in Britain with intense flooding and unseasonal temperatures. They are both huge challenges but addressing one doesn’t mean we have to ignore or neglect the other. The housing crisis is an opportunity to take much-needed climate action to reduce our carbon emissions.”

A century of public housing: lessons from Singapore, where housing is a social, not financial, asset: https://theconversation.com/a-century-of-public-housing-lessons-from-singapore-where-housing-is-a-social-not-financial-asset-121141 “...Take Singapore, for example. Singapore had its own “Brexit” in 1965 when it separated from Malaysia. In 1960 the Singapore Housing and Development Board (HDB) was formed to provide affordable and high-quality housing for residents of this tiny city-state nation. Today, more than 80% of Singapore’s 5.4m residents live in housing provided by the development board.”

Climate change & sustainability

Significant feedbacks of wetland methane release on climate change and the causes of their uncertainty: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab2726 “Wetland feedback causes an additional temperature increase between 0.6% and 5.5% over the 21st century, with a feedback on climate ranging from 0.01 to 0.11 Wm−2 K−1. Wetland CH4 emissions amplify atmospheric CH4 increases by up to a further possible 25.4% in one simulation, and reduce remaining allowed anthropogenic emissions to maintain the RCP2.6 temperature threshold by 8.0% on average.”

Top ten UK’s hottest years all since 2002: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/press-office/news/weather-and-climate/2019/state-of-the-uk-climate-2018 “An updated analysis of the annual UK temperature records from the Met Office shows that since 1884 all of the UK’s ten warmest years have occurred since 2002; whereas none of the ten coldest years have occurred since 1963.”

Wells, Wires and Wheels…: https://docfinder.bnpparibas-am.com/api/files/1094E5B9-2FAA-47A3-805D-EF65EAD09A7F “The economics of oil for gasoline and diesel vehicles versus wind- and solar-powered EVs are now in relentless and irreversible decline, with far-reaching implications for both policymakers and the oil majors.”

How much warmer is your city? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-985b9374-596e-4ae6-aa04-7fbcae4cb7ee Interactive model “The world is getting hotter. July 2019 was one of the warmest months ever recorded - and July temperatures almost everywhere on Earth have been higher in the last 10 years compared with 1880-1900, as this globe shows. Scroll below to find out how the temperature in 1,000 major cities across the world has changed already and how much it could increase by in the coming years.”

China’s emissions ‘could peak 10 years earlier than Paris climate pledge’: https://www.carbonbrief.org/chinas-emissions-could-peak-10-years-earlier-than-paris-climate-pledge “With its enormous population and heavy reliance on coal, China is by far the world’s biggest polluter, responsible for more emissions than the US and EU combined. One of the drivers behind Chinese emissions is the intense urbanisation that has taken place across the country in recent years, as millions of people flock from rural areas to rapidly expanding cities. However, in new analysis published in Nature Sustainability, a team of researchers has shown that as China’s burgeoning cities become wealthier, their per capita emissions begin to drop.”

Historic Greenland Melt Is a “Glimpse of the Future”: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/historic-greenland-melt-is-a-glimpse-of-the-future “Greenland is in the midst of one of its strongest melting events on record, as a major heat wave—the same one that scorched much of Europe last month—grips the Arctic.”

Mapped: The Anti-Climate Lobbyists Infiltrating Boris Johnson's Government: https://www.desmog.co.uk/2019/08/01/boris-johnson-cabinet-tufton-street-ties-map “Boris Johnson has named his first full cabinet, and his appointments will have had one set of lobby groups rubbing their hands with glee. His selection includes a large number of people with ties to 55 Tufton Street, the Westminster address that is home to a large collection of pro-Brexit, anti-regulation, anti-climate action campaign groups. Boris’ cull of Theresa May’s government means many Tufton Street staff members have now found themselves a lot closer to 10 Downing Street. We’ve mapped all the key connections. Here’s a quick run-down…”

How the world’s dirtiest industries have learned to pollute our politics: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/07/fossil-fuel-lobby-pollute-politics-climate-crisis “The oil and gas industry intends to spend $4.9tn over the next 10 years, exploring and developing new reserves, none of which we can afford to burn. According to the IMF, every year governments subsidise fossil fuels to the tune of $5tn – many times more than they spend on addressing our existential predicament. The US spends 10 times more on these mad subsidies than on its federal education budget. Last year, the world burned more fossil fuels than ever before.”

Harvard creates advisory panel to oversee solar geoengineering project: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02331-y “Plans to test a technique that would cool the planet by blocking sunlight are one step closer to reality. Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has created an external advisory panel to examine the potential ethical, environmental and geopolitical impacts of this geoengineering project, which has been developed by the university’s researchers.”

Carney Says Capitalism Can Be Part of Climate Crisis Solution: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-31/carney-says-capitalism-can-be-part-of-climate-crisis-solution “Capitalism is part of the solution and part of what we need to do,” he said in the interview broadcast Wednesday. “The costs of ignoring climate change are rising. The opportunity of doing something about it, those are rising. That’s what the system does. It shifts money away from where it’s costly, towards where it has opportunity.”

Starvation deaths of 200 reindeer in Arctic caused by climate crisis, say researchers: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/30/deaths-of-200-reindeer-in-arctic-caused-by-climate-change-say-researchers “During an annual census of the wild reindeer population on the group of islands about 1,200km (746 miles) from the north pole, three researchers from the institute identified the carcasses of about 200 deer believed to have starved to death last winter.”

Active travel & transport

Tram system related cycling injuries: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00402-018-2890-4?fbclid=IwAR3s15fjre3RfmBLG7CJZ2iLJwu-byf0VW2zriWnGZwuWMGzfR4gglp7-to “SRCI occur predominantly in young to middle-aged adults with low levels of socioeconomic deprivation, most commonly when bicycle wheels get caught in tram-tracks. They result in various injuries, frequently affecting the upper limb. Traffic pressures are commonly implicated. Most patients report negative effects on confidence and a sizeable minority do not resume cycling. TSRCI can result in significant loss of working and cycling days.”

Cycling And Walking Trips Stationary Since 2002, As Doctors Urge Greater Investment In Active Travel: http://www.ukhealthalliance.org/cycling-and-walking-levels-stationary/ “Despite significant advances in our understanding of the long-term health benefits of an active life, the National Travel Survey – published on Tuesday by the Department for Transport1 – shows that levels of cycling and walking in the UK have remained stationary for the seventeenth year in a row. Since 2002, cycling has accounted for just 2% of all trips made in England, while the average number of cycling trips made per person per year has decreased by one in 2018 to just 17.”

Total Transport: totally worth it? https://urbantransportgroupblog.org/2019/07/24/total-transport-totally-worth-it/ “As the nation awaited the announcement of the next Prime Minister this week, the Department for Transport (DfT) – quietly and without fanfare – released its review of the 37 Total Transport pilot projects which begun in 2015. The information on which the review is based was collected back in April 2017 and – reportedly by popular demand – the findings have now been made public.”

A new era for active travel? https://urbantransportgroupblog.org/2019/07/31/a-new-era-for-active-travel/ “Active travel is entering an exciting phase which is seeing investment on a new scale. However, with the upcoming Spending Review, there is also some nervousness around revenue funding streams and ensuring that we can continue the good progress that’s been made. These were two of the topics of discussion at our recent active travel meeting in Birmingham, hosted by our member Transport for West Midlands.”

Air quality & pollution

Outdoor Air Pollution and the Burden of Childhood Asthma across Europe: https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/early/2019/07/08/13993003.02194-2018 “A significant proportion of childhood asthma cases may be attributable to outdoor air pollution, and these cases could be prevented. Our estimates underline an urgent need to reduce children's exposure to air pollution.”

Pulmonary inflammation induced by low dose particulate matter exposure in mice: https://www.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/ajplung.00232.2019 “In conclusion, a sub-chronic low level exposure to PM can have an adverse effect on lung health, which should be taken into consideration for the planning of roads and residential buildings.”

Defra’s reporting of air quality and emissions data criticised in report: https://airqualitynews.com/2019/07/31/defras-air-quality-and-emissions-statistics-criticised-in-report/ “While the report credits Defra for using ‘rigorous and robust’ quality assurance procedures alongside Ricardo when measuring air quality, it says much more can be done to provide a better insight into its statistics, which it says can be confusing and hard to follow.”

Plastic bags drop 90 percent after 5p charge: https://theecologist.org/2019/aug/01/plastic-bags-drop-90-percent-after-5p-charge “Sales of plastic carrier bags in England's largest supermarkets have fallen by 90 percent since a 5p charge was introduced in 2015, according to government figures. Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons and The Co-operative Group sold 549 million plastic bags in 2018-19, which was half the number purchased in the previous year.”

Working-class towns are becoming dumping grounds for waste: https://theconversation.com/amp/working-class-towns-are-becoming-dumping-grounds-for-waste-121153 “Dirt and waste are infused with undesirable connotations, which can be deeply hurtful. To be connected with dirt is to lose respectability, and to lose respectability is to lose class status. Consequently, plans to transport waste into working-class towns like Corby could be especially harmful to those communities.”

Food & food security

We must change food production to save the world, says leaked report: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/03/ipcc-land-use-food-production-key-to-climate-crisis-leaked-report “A leaked draft of a report on climate change and land use, which is now being debated in Geneva by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), states that it will be impossible to keep global temperatures at safe levels unless there is also a transformation in the way the world produces food and manages land.”

Coverage this week of the potential food security implications of a no-deal Brexit

Brexit Britain 'could face food shortages': https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/08/brexit-britain-face-food-shortages-190807142456780.html

Britain would face food shortages in no-deal Brexit, industry body says: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-food/britain-would-face-food-shortages-in-no-deal-brexit-industry-body-says-idUKKCN1UX0J6

A ‘no deal’ Brexit will indeed mean shortages – mainly of food and farming jobs, workers, transport and common sense: https://www.sustainweb.org/blogs/aug18_brexit_no_deal_means_shortage_of_common_sense/

No-deal Brexit: 10 ways it could affect you: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-47470864

Interactive: How climate change could threaten the world’s traditional dishes: https://interactive.carbonbrief.org/how-climate-change-could-threaten-worlds-traditional-dishes/?utm_campaign=traditionaldishes0819 “Warming temperatures could cause growing conditions to change – meaning that a crop that was once suited to its climate may need to be grown elsewhere. Rising temperatures in the oceans, too, could drive fish and other seafood out of their traditional range. These shifting conditions could make it more difficult to produce traditional delicacies, which often rely on a combination of favourable climate conditions and local knowledge. From the US hamburger to South Korea’s kimchi, Carbon Brief explores how some of the world’s most iconic traditional dishes could fare as the world warms.”

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Jo Dodd - 07815 490436

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