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Published: 20.04.2022
Mitasha Yu & Imran Khan Co-Chairs, IAPB Climate Action Work Group

It has been one year since the IAPB publicly declared a climate emergency on Earth Day 2021, and launched its Call to Action for Environmentally Sustainable Practices in the Eye Health Sector (Call to Action) and Guide for Environmentally Sustainable Practices in the Eye Health Sector (the Guide). As we celebrate this anniversary, we take a look a back at the progress we have made to date.  

The Climate Action Work Group (CAWG) of IAPB are proud of its members and the sector for working together to keep the momentum going.  The CAWG developed an additional key resource, a supporting slide deck to enhance sharing and readability of The Guide. Leveraging off the momentum of the launch, the CAWG was able to further promote its message widely across several channels including mainstream media, social media, webinars, and conferences. We celebrated World Environment Day 2021 through developing and sharing a case study video that highlighted key climate actions taken by the sector. We also published CAWG’s first e-newsletter.  

The CAWG continued to strengthen  

  • its engagement with IAPB members within the work group with 6 meetings through the year; and with IAPB members more broadly with the climate action being part of the 2030 In Sight strategy, 
  • its engagement within the eye care sector through a well-attended session at the 2030 IN SIGHT LIVE event in Dubai, and  
  • its engagement with the broader climate change community by aligning with the global organisations such as the United Nations and World Health Organization in their messaging around planetary health and commitments made by the global community during COP26. The CAWG were also involved with two United Nations Friends of Vision events, where one of them was collaborating with the Commission on the Status of Women. 

The theme for Earth Day 2022 is “Invest In Our Planet.” The key point here is to act in a bold way, innovate in a broad way, and implement in an equitable manner. In 2022, we look forward to collaborating with the intersections of gender and child eye health given its role in climate change. As we celebrate the significant progress we’ve made in the last year, the CAWG continues to be motivated to keep pushing the agenda forward in the eye care sector.  

Image: Pranab Basak. IAPB World Sight Day Photo Competition 2017.