Sunday, December 6th
The current pandemic has starkly revealed what the most thoughtful experts from a wide range of fields, from public health to environmental justice to ecology, have been telling us for decades: human health is completely interconnected with the health of ecosystems and with social equity. If we continue the intense degradation of wildlife habitats, the perennial emergence of virulent zoonotic diseases is all but inevitable. If we don’t rethink our current food system, we’ll continue to confront problems ranging from deforestation to obesity. If we don’t decarbonize our economy, we’ll confront ever-worsening health and environmental degradation. If we don’t address gross social and environmental injustices and structural racism, pollution-induced illnesses and epidemics will be impossible to contain. How do we rise to the challenge and radically restructure our entire approach to health? With: William B. Karesh, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Health and Policy at EcoHealth Alliance, President of the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) Working Group on Wildlife Diseases and chair of the IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group; Howard Frumkin, Professor Emeritus, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington School of Public Health, co-editor of the new groundbreaking collection Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves (Island Press); others TBA
December 6th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm
Sunday, December 13th
Despite decades of conservation initiatives and millions of dollars spent, the Amazon forest is, tragically, being destroyed faster than before. Not only are some of the governments in the region actively promoting deforestation, but the twin factors of climate change and Covid-19 are combining to destroy Indigenous cultures at an ever-quickening pace. Renowned ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin is President of the Amazon Conservation Team, an organization that has partnered with over 55 South American tribes to help map and defend their lands and improve management of over 80 million acres of ancestral rainforest. He will share the latest news on the status of the fires and the battle against Covid-19 in Amazonia, as well as present new strategies and approaches to halting the processes threatening these crucially important ecosystems and the well-being and cultural survival of their inhabitants.
December 13th | 11:48 am to 12:03 pm
Although humanity is radically and rapidly degrading the biosphere, condemning countless plant and animal species to extinction, simultaneously there has been an enormous renewal of interest in certain plants as physical and psycho-spiritual healing agents, such as ayahuasca and cannabis, along with a great deal of remarkable new research into plants’ perceptual and cognitive abilities. This panel of botanical luminaries will share their perspectives on: the growing global fascination with certain plant species and what their embrace tells us about the current zeitgeist; what we can do to help support the land protection and human rights struggles of Indigenous peoples in biodiversity hot spots globally who are the custodians of the world’s greatest plant knowledge; and related topics. With host Mark Plotkin, renowned ethnobotanist, and award winning eco-activist, co-founder of the Amazon Conservation Team and bestselling author of such texts as: Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice and Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature’s Healing Secrets; Karyemaitre Aliffe, MD, physician-scientist, leading expert on the healing properties of cannabis, who has taught at Harvard and Stanford and has 35+ years’ experience in natural products research, including explorations in many remote regions globally; +TBA.
December 13th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm
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