Links to join the webinar(s) will be emailed following registration.

Learning and Relearning
for Planetary Health

Early Lessons from a Pandemic

As we face one of the greatest challenges for public health in several generations with the COVID-19 pandemic, we also have an unprecedented opportunity as governments and citizens prepare for a post-COVID future that we hope will not be simply restoring everything to the way it was. The pandemic has been described as climate change at warp speed. But the response to this "greatest challenge" has been quite different. Since this is such a ripe opportunity for learning, we (several eco-health colleagues and the SFU Planetary Health research group, and the BC Climate and Health Network) have organized these webinars with more in planning stages. We began by exploring the origins of the outbreak with lessons from the animal-human interface. We then learned from previous economic collapses and what these lessons teach us about the coming weeks and months as we emerge from the current wave of disease and economic devastation to become a healthier planet than before the current pandemic. We explore the relationships and resources needed for a recovery that makes us stronger and better able to face the challenges to planetary health that in the longer term are even more critical than the COVID-19 pandemic, but that appears less imminent to society.

We have taken lessons in inequities, exposed by disparities in mortality and morbidity by location, air pollution levels, occupation and socioeconomic status. We heard inspirational stories from Ebola-ready countries in Africa, about resilience and bouncing forward not back; international efforts towards a green new deal for health and protecting gains in UN sustainable development goals. Our primary goal is to articulate a shared vision of this future where instead of bouncing back, society bounces forward to a better place than our pre-pandemic world.


For a quick background, before diving into the hours of discussion available below, check out Jonathan Patz, from the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin, discussing environmental and social determinants of the pandemic in a 9 minute video.

The White Paper published in Nov.2020, Building Forward Better: A Clean and Just Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic, is a helpful document with recommendations that help to move many of the concepts covered in this webinar series into action. Find an executive summary here, an infographic summarizing the 11 key recommendations of the paper here, and a short video about the paper here.

Upcoming Webinar Sessions

To receive invitations to upcoming webinars, ensure that you have registered for our mailing list.


Webinars have concluded for the 2020 Year.

We plan to continue with more webinars in 2021.

Stay tuned for updates!


If you are interested in presenting at a webinar, please contact

Dr. Maya Gislason at maya_gislason@sfu.ca or Jaclyn Parks at jaclynp@sfu.ca.

For a highly interactive experience, join us at MeetHere.org's conferencing space, hosted by NextGenU.org

Previous Sessions Here

Listing of previous webinar sessions.

Please click on a title to jump to a description of the session, view recordings and download presenter slides (where applicable).

Session 1: April 15

12:30-2pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

Webinar Series Introduction and Objectives

Introduction and goals of the sessions which are, to learn about the human response to our current pandemic and articulate an accessible and achievable action agenda for bouncing forward in our relationship with each other and the planet in the post-COVID-19 era.

Moderated by Chris Buse.

  • Tim Takaro, MD, MPH: What are these sessions hoping to accomplish?

  • Mira Ziolo, DVM. Karma: Mother Nature fights back with a zoonosis

  • Trevor Hancock, MB BS, MHSc: Be careful what you wish for: Bouncing back to economic boom times is bad for health. More than resilience: Bouncing back to a better place.

  • Tim Takaro: What’s climate change got to do with it? + Introduction to the next sessions

Session 1 has been completed & you may view the recording here. Dr. Tim Takaro's presentation on COVID-19 and climate change is available here, Dr. Mira Ziolo's presentation "Mother Nature fights back with a zoonosis" is available here, and Dr. Trevor Hancock's presentation "Rock Forward, Not Back" is available here.

Session 2: April 22

12:30-2pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

Bouncing forward to a sustainable world: resilience, equity & climate change adaptation with a pandemic.

Sustainability after this pandemic.

  • Kris Ebi, PhD. International dimensions of the crisis, what the pandemic could mean for climate change adaptation

  • Maya Gislason, PhD. Recovery for everyone: equity issues and lessons from the pandemic

  • Chris Buse, PhD. Climate Change in a time of COVID: Bouncing forward, not back

Session 2 has concluded & you may watch the recording below. Dr. Kristie Ebi's presentation on Covid-19 and climate change adaption is available here and Dr. Maya Gislason's presentation on equity issues and lessons from the pandemic is available here. Dr. Chris Buse's presentation "Climate Change in a time of COVID: Bouncing forward, not back" can be found here.

Session 3: April 29 (SFU platform session link)

12:30-2pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

Hard hit urban populations, air pollution and energy system reboot all connected to a sustainable world.

Sustainability after this pandemic.

  • Cheryl Teelucksingh, PhD. Special challenges of urban racialized and low-income populations

  • Jeff Brook, PhD. Air pollution COVID-19 interactions, what are we not measuring?

  • Marc Lee, PhD. The energy transition and a low-carbon reboot

Session 3 has concluded & you may watch the recording below. Dr. Cheryl Teelucksingh's presentation "Special challenges of urban racialized and low-income populations" is available here and Dr. Jeff Brook's presentation "Special challenges of urban racialized and low-income populations" is available here.

Session 4: May 6

9-10:30am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

Voices from Africa and the struggle for a healthier planet and a sustainable world.

Voices from Zambia and Rwanda:

  • Douglas Singini, MSc. MBBS. Public health in Zambia before and after the pandemic

  • Greg Bakunzi, Conservation and community-based ecotourism in Rwanda meets COVID-19

  • Craig Janes, PhD with Christine Edet, MBBS and Mwimanenwa Njungu, MBBS. How Zambia is building a resilient health system

Session 4 has concluded & you may watch the recording below. Dr. Tim Takaro's presentation is available here, Dr. Dougas Singini's presentation "Public health in Zambia before and after the pandemic" is available here, and Greg Bakunzi's presentation "Conservation and community-based ecotourism in Rwanda meets COVID-19" is available here.

Session 5: May 13

9-11am * (PDT)

Action Agenda Workshop #1Mobilizing for the bounce forward.

The first of several sessions designed to explore policy options and potential actions in your communities for the in the post-COVID-19 era.

Introduction and polling results (Tim Takaro)

1) Nino Paichadze -UN Sustainable Development Goals post COVID-19

2) Trevor Hancock -A Green (New) Deal for (Planetary) Health (Wellbeing)

On May 13th, SFU’s Learning for Planetary Health; Lessons from a Pandemic webinar series offered an action-agenda workshop. The purpose of this workshop was to hear from all of our participants and work together to identify challenges and actionable resolutions for each of the following topics in a post-COVID world:

Session 1: Knowledge Translation on the Origins of the Pandemic

Moderator: Mira Ziolo

Notetaker: Holly Clermont

Session 2: Climate Change and Energy Policy

Moderator: Tim Takaro

Notetaker: Jordan Brubacher

Session 3: Equity, Environmental Justice, and Indigenous Rights

Moderator: Maya Gislason

Notetaker: Dawn Hoogeveen

Session 4: United Nations and Sustainable Development Goal-friendly Nations

Moderator: Nino Paichadze

Notetaker: Angel Kennedy

Session 5: Municipal/Community-based Initiatives: Change from Bottom Up

Moderator: Trevor Hancock

Notetaker: Stephanie Witham

Notes from each focus group have been compiled in this document for your ease and future referral. Please first download the document, and then you may click on a Session name to jump to that specific section of the notes. Thank you to our moderators and note-takers for capturing these engaged and productive discussions.

The introductory presentation is available here, Dr. Nino Paichadze's presentation "UN Sustainable Development Goals post COVID-19" is available here, and Dr. Trevor Hancock's presentation "A Green (New) Deal for (Planetary) Health (Wellbeing) is available here.

* Note extended time


Session 6: May 20

9-10:30am (PDT)

Learning from HIV about population dynamics and spread in the current pandemic, and the geography of consumption related to climate change.

  • Kiffer Card - Demography and consumption - Prioritizing climate policies in an era of global demographic transition.

  • Bob Hogg - HIV risk and Climate Change - Linked by Food Insecurity

Session 6 has concluded. Kiffer Card's presentation can be found here. Bob Hogg's presentation can be found here.

Session 7: May 27

9-10:30am (PDT)

Air pollution, smoking and protecting gains for public health in a pandemic driven by viral pneumonia.

  • Mary Rice - SARS CoV2, outdoor air pollution and inequality, the bad, the good and the ugly.

  • John Balmes - Smoke, indoor air-pollution and protecting the public from roll-backs of environmental regulations

Session 7 has concluded. Tim Takaro's background slides can be found here, Mary Rice's presentation can be found here, and John Balmes' slides can be found here.

Session 8: June 3

9-10:30am (PDT)

Building it back better, mental health and substance use in the time of COVID-19

  • Hasina Samji - Measuring the dual impacts of climate change and COVID-19 on young people’s mental health

  • Julian Somers - COVID-19, Addiction and Renewing the Social Contract

Session 8 has concluded. Tim Takaro's background slides can be found here, Hasina Samji's presentation can be found here, and Julian Somers' slides can be found here.

Session 9: June 10

9-10:30am (PDT)

Livable cities post-COVID: a focus on urban planning and transportation.

Hosted by Meghan Winters and Caislin Firth.

  • Steven Farber and Matt Palm - Public Transit

  • Brian Patterson - Street Reallocations; Municipal responses to COVID-19

Session 9 has concluded. Tim Takaro's background slides can be found here, Meghan Winters and Caislin Firth’s presentation can be found here. Mathew Palm's slides can be found here.

Here is the COVID-19 Street Rebalancing Guide and FCM's Press Release, shared by Brian Patterson on behalf of the Urban Systems team. You can find Matthew Palms report for the City of Vancouver here.

9-11 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

Action Agenda Workshop #2; Mobilizing for the bounce forward.

This will be the second session designed to explore personal and collective policy options and potential actions in your communities. Small breakout groups are planned. Please select which group you would like to attend using our survey link. If you don’t choose one, you will be randomly assigned to a group. You can look through notes from our last action agenda here.

Session 1: Knowledge Translation on the Origins of the Pandemic

Moderator: Mira Ziolo

Session 2: Climate Change and Energy Policy

Moderator: Tim Takaro, Kris Ebi, & Barbara Hoffman

Session 3: Equity, Environmental Justice, and Indigenous Rights

Moderator: Maya Gislason

Session 4: UN’s Build Back Better plan, Change from the top down

Moderator: Jon Patz

Session 5: Municipal/Community-based Initiatives: Change from Bottom Up

Moderator: Trevor Hancock

* Note extended time

Session 10 has concluded. Tim Takaro's background slides can be found here, Barbara Hoffman’s presentation can be found here. Jon Patz’ presentation can be found here.

  • Link to the chatbox from June 17th document can be found here.

  • Link to the compiled notes from our breakout sessions can be found here.

Session 11: June 24

9-10:30 am (PDT)

Indigenous perspectives and communicable disease control, protecting the rights of all peoples.

Moderated by Dr. Maya Gislason, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences SFU

  • Dr. Shannon Waters, Medical Health Officer, Island Health and member of Stz'uminus First Nation
    Sub-title - Reconnection, responsibility and relationships between people, animals, land, and water.

  • Dr. Daniele Behn-Smith - Eh Cho Dene (Fort Nelson First Nation) & French Canadian/ Metis (Red River Valley), B.C. Deputy Provincial Health Officer - Indigenous Health, BC.
    Sub-title - Structural determinants of health and the Population Health and Wellness Agenda of First Nations Health Authority.

Session 11 has concluded. Presentation slides can be found here.

  • Link to the chatbox from June 24th document can be found here.

Session 12: September 23

12:30-2 pm (PDT)

Taking effective action on climate change through civil disobedience

In this first webinar of the season we will explore community-level direct action to protect the planet by blocking climate-destroying fossil energy infrastructure construction in Canada and Oceania. Dr. Tim Takaro will discuss the ongoing citizens’ blockade of Trudeau’s TransMountain pipeline expansion project (TMX) throughout the province of British Columbia. Using climate change policy in Aotearoa NZ as a case study, Dr. Alexandra Macmillian will examine how action on climate change, a well-recognized public health emergency and an ethical crisis, can be realized by concerted citizen actions that interfere with commercial and government intention resulting in citizens including health professionals, turning to civil disobedience as a last resort. We will review the ethical and philosophical literature on medical civil disobedience and propose an ethical framework for action by health professionals.

Moderated by Chris Buse, Centre for Environmental Assessment Research, UBC

  • Dr. Tim Takaro, MD MPH, Professor of Health Sciences, SFU
    '
    Taking effective action on climate change by blocking construction of large fossil energy projects'

  • Alexandra Macmillian, MD, Associate Professor Environmental Health, Dept of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, NZ
    'Health professional civil disobedience in response to the climate health emergency: an ethical framework'

Session 12 has concluded. Tim Takaro's slides can be found here. Alexandra Macmillian's slides can be found here.

A recording of this session can be found here.

Session 13: Wednesday, Oct.28th

12:30-2 pm (PDT)

Enabling Youth Voices in the Era of COVID-19 and Climate Change

In this second webinar of the season we are welcomed to the classroom of Graeme Mitchell, Mark Neufeld and Joanna Linger. They will describe their research and experience as founders of the Institute for Global Solutions at Claremont High School in Victoria, B.C. This interdisciplinary program combines social studies and science while aiming to "inspire, develop and implement solutions for a more resilient and equitable future". Find out more about this program at instituteforglobalsolutions.ca


Moderated by Dr. Tim Takaro, MD MPH, Professor of Health Sciences, SFU

  • Dr. Graeme Mitchell, PhD(Interdisciplinary)

  • Mr. Mark Neufeld, MSc.(Interdisciplinary)

  • Ms. Joanna Linger, MSc.

  • Kate O'Conner, 18 year old MLA candidate-Saanich South

  • The grade 11 students of the Institute for Global Solutions

Session 13 has concluded. Presentation slides will be available soon.

A recording of this session can be found here.

Session 14: Thursday, Nov. 5th

12:30-2 pm (PDT)

EcoHealth Practice: Waterways to the future

Moderated by:

  • Katie Bauder, First Nations Health Authority

  • Margot Parkes, School of Health Sciences, UNBC

Speakers will be:

  • Robert Woollard, Dept of Family Medicine, UBC

  • Louisa Hadley, UNBC Alumni

  • Meg Labron, ECHO Network Project Assistant & Graduate Student in UNBC’s School of Social Work

  • Diana Kutzner, Research Manager – ECHO Network/Réseau ECHO, UNBC

Session 15: Wednesday, Nov. 18th

12:30-2 pm (PDT)

Animals, Health and Society - reframing the historic narrative of people, animals and nature as risks to each other, to one where we think about health as a shared capacity

This session will explore the situations wherein we can all, regardless of our job description, work across species, sectors and generations to motivate action by discussing the upcoming book Animals, Health and Society: Health Promotion, Harm Reduction and Health Equity in a One Health World. A panel of the books publisher, editor and some authors will provide their perspectives on why this book is timely and needed in a time of pandemics, climate change and mass extinction. The discussion will focus on finding perspectives and methods from a variety of fields and experts that can be shared and adapted to promote collaborative understanding of and action on determinants of health at the animal-society interface.

Moderated by Stefan Iwasawa, Centre for Coastal Health

  • Craig Stephen, Book Editor, President, Pacific Epidemiology Services

  • Margot Parkes, Contributing author, School of Health Sciences, UNBC

  • Alice Oven, CRC Press

  • Colin Robertson, Dept of Geography and Environmental studies, Wilfred Laurier University

To receive information about these Community of Practice in Ecosystem Approaches to Health (CoPEH-Canada) webinars, please register through their website.


Recordings of all past CoPEH webalogues can be found here.

Can't make these times?

Our colleagues at CAPE, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, are also running a webinar series featuring CAPE experts and special guests that may be of interest.