It is becoming increasingly clear that our future health, as well as the health of future generations, is linked to global planetary health, including the preservation of the natural environment, appropriate use of resources, and engagement of sustainable systems. The Board of the Vancouver Medical, Dental, and Allied Staff Association/Vancouver Physician Staff Association is very supportive of Vancouver Coastal Health’s formal adoption of planetary health as a strategic priority via the creation of an official planetary health portfolio, with Dr Andrea MacNeill leading the clinical services component. Dr MacNeill has given outstanding lectures on the subject to our membership at our annual general meeting in December, and more recently to our Board. It is clear that what may be perceived as small steps locally can lead to long-lasting positive consequences.
With this in mind, we strongly recommend that the BC Medical Journal consider publishing only online and cease publishing in print. Given the popularity and convenience of online medical journals in general, and the fact that Doctors of BC’s services and communications have long been conducted electronically, we suspect that the Doctors of BC membership will quickly adapt to accessing and reading the BCMJ online. Reducing the carbon footprint associated with printing the journal (i.e., saving paper, ink, metal staples, and plastic wrappers, not to mention the production and distribution resources) will contribute positively to planetary health. It will also most likely result in cost savings to Doctors of BC. If the BCMJ takes a leadership role on this issue, we suspect that other association journals (e.g., CMAJ) may follow.
—Eric M. Yoshida, OBC, MD, FRCPC
Past President, VMDAS/VPSA
—Alison Harris, MBBCh, FRCPC
—Ka Wai Cheung, MD, FRCPC
Vice President, VMDAS/VPSA
—Michael Nimmo, MD, FRCPC
—John Ridley, MD, CCFP
—Hui-Min Yang, MD, FRCPC
Member at Large, VMDAS/VPSA
Read the editor’s response in “Improving planetary health in BC: Taking small but important steps. Editor replies.”
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1. Whitmee S, Haines A, Beyrer C, et al. Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch: Report of the Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on planetary health. Lancet 2015;386(10007):1973-2028.