National and global responses to climate change tend to reflect a narrow focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, the origins of climate change and other ecological crises lie in the disruption of essential relationships driven by systems of colonialism and capitalism. Our responses must not reinscribe the same exploitative power dynamics – instead we must centre climate justice and relational restoration. In this keynote, Rhys will outline a vision of planetary health that is grounded in Indigenous worldviews, values and knowledges, and discuss critical tensions in working towards this vision. Navigating these tensions requires a commitment to dismantling systems that uphold the ecocidal status quo, restoring Indigenous sovereignty and rebuilding relationships among human and more-than-human communities.
Associate Professor Rhys Jones is a Public Health Physician and Associate Professor in Te Kupenga Hauora Māori (TKHM) at the University of Auckland (NZ) where he contributes to oversight of Māori Health teaching, learning and assessment in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. In 2005-06, he was a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy based at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, examining interventions to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care using organizational case studies. His research areas are Māori health, Health equity, Health professional education, Environmental health, and Climate change and health