In this talk, the findings and insights from two EU Horizon2020 projects – BlueHealth and SOPHIE (Seas Oceans & Public Health In Europe – and a UK Research and Innovation funded Grand Challenges Research Fund project – Blue Communities in South East Asia will be presented. The marine environment provides many opportunities to enrich human welfare, from fishing and aggregates, to transportation and recreation. However it also possess many health and wellbeing risks, many of which are the product of anthropogenic behaviours, such as chemical and microbial pollution and sea-level rise and increased storm events resulting from climate change. The populations of island and coastal cities and states such as Singapore are particularly sensitive to both benefits and risks. This talk will provide an overview of the field and provide detailed evidence of how, if managed correctly, the marine environment can be used to better promote health and wellbeing among coastal populations. Although much of the evidence at the moment comes from Europe the talk will introduce new research currently underway in South East Asia exploring these issues.
About the speaker
Mathew White is an environmental psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Psychology Applied to Health & the Environment at the European Centre for Environment & Human Health, University of Exeter. His work focuses mainly on a) Natural environments, human health and well-being; and b) Pro-environmental behaviour & well-being. Since 2011 he has co-ordinated the UK’s ‘Blue Gym’ project exploring the health & well-being benefits of marine environments and is currently Work Package lead on 3 programmes exploring these issues internationally: ‘BlueHealth’ (H2020), ‘SOPHIE’ (Seas Oceans & Public Health In Europe, H2020) and ‘Blue Communities in South East Asia’ (Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam & Philippines, GCRF). His work has been published in leading psychology and environmental science journals, including Science, highlighted by Nature as well as being cited in DEFRA’s 25 Year Plan and the EU’s Rome Declaration on marine environments. He has also presented his scientific work in the UK’s House of Commons, the House of Lords, to DEFRA, Public Health England and the European Marine Board.
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