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It is no great surprise, that we face an environmental crisis that requires an urgent response. As a sector, we recognise the contribution we can play in climate action and the importance of pushing the environmental agenda forward.
One year ago, on Earth Day 2021, we launched two important documents to ignite a collective climate action response, the Call to Action for Environmentally Sustainable Practices in the Eye Health Sector and the Guide for Environmentally Sustainable Practices in the Eye Health Sector. These documents highlighted the immediate need for action and included resources to support organisations to mitigate their own climate impact.
Over the course of the last year, the IAPB Climate Action Work Group has worked hard to bring these documents to life and I applaud their efforts to drive the climate action agenda in our sector. They have carried the message of sustainability at webinars and conferences and collaborated at the intersection of climate change and gender at two United Nations Friends of Vision events.
Today, on Earth Day, I am reminded of two ambitions from the 2030 In Sight Strategy. The first, a world where no-one experiences unnecessary or preventable sight loss and the other, eye care and rehabilitation services are accessible, inclusive and affordable to everyone, everywhere whenever they are needed.
We now know that without a healthy environment, these ambitions are significantly more difficult to achieve. As climate change continues to have a negative impact on eye health by increasing incidences of eye disease, exacerbating inequities by having a disproportionate impact on marginalised and disadvantaged populations, and by disrupting the delivery of eye health services because of extreme weather events.
Climate change is undoubtedly risking decades of work to tackle avoidable blindness and threatens future progress.
On a day when we are called to invest in our planet, I encourage you to revisit the fantastic resources created by our Climate Action Work Group. When we collectively invest our time, our energy and our resources into understanding and combatting climate action, we will see great impact on the health of our environment and the health of the world’s citizens.
Learn more about the work of the Climate Action Work Group.